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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Grundfos A/S v. Yilmaz Ozgur
Case No. D2002-0252
1. The Parties
Complainant is Grundfos A/S, represented by Christian Kragelund Esq., Chas. Hude A/S, H.C. Andersens Boulevard 33, 1780 Copenhagen V, Denmark, hereinafter the "Complainant".
Respondent is Yilmaz Ozgur, 99999 Istanbul, Turkey, hereinafter the "Respondent".
2. Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name in dispute is <grundfoss.info>, hereinafter the "Domain Name".
The registrar for the disputed domain name is Registrars.com Inc. c/o Verisign Inc., 21355 Ridgetop Circle, MS 205-4, Dulles, VA 20166-6503, United States of America.
3. Procedural History
The essential procedural history of the administrative proceeding is as follows:
(a) Complainant initiated the proceeding by the filing of a complaint, received by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center ("the Center") on March 15, 2002. On March 19, 2002, the Center sent an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Complaint to the Complainant.
(b) On March 26, 2002, the Center transmitted a Request for Registrar Verification to the registrar, with the Registrar’s Verification received by the Center March 28, 2002 confirming that the domain name at issue was registered through Network Solutions, Inc.
(c) On April 8, 2002, the Center transmitted Notification of the Complaint and Commencement of the Administrative Proceeding to the Respondent, after having satisfied itself that the Complainant had complied with all formal requirements pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on August 26, 1999 ("the Policy"), the Rules for the Policy approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 ("the Rules"), and the Supplemental Rules for the Policy ("the Supplemental Rules").
(d) No Response has been submitted by the Respondent. Accordingly, the Center issued a Notification of Respondent Default on May 3, 2002.
(e) In view of the Complainant’s designation of a single Panelist, the Center invited Mr. Peter Nitter to serve as a Panelist. Having received his Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence of May 13, 2002, the Center formally appointed him as Sole Panelist. The parties were notified of the Appointment of Administrative Panel on May 14, 2002.
(f) The Sole Panelist finds that the Administrative Panel was properly constituted and appointed in accordance with the Rules and the Supplemental Rules. The Administrative Panel shall issue its decision based on the complaint, the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules. The proceedings have been conducted in English.
(g) On May 27, 2002, Procedural Order No. 1 was issued by the Panel. Complainant’s reply was received by the Center on June 3, 2002.
(h) An e-mail from Respondent was received by the Center on May 28, 2002, and another e-mail from Respondent was sent to the Center and the Panel on June 4, 2002. Pursuant to Rules Paragraph 10 and 14, the Panel has decided to disregard these e-mails.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a Danish company conducting its business worldwide. The Complainant is a large producer and developer of different kinds of pumps, and is represented by 58 companies in 41 countries all over the world.
Complainant has registered the word mark GRUNDFOS in several countries, including Turkey, Denmark and the United States of America.
Complainant has registered the domain names <grundfos.com> and <grundfos.dk>. In addition, the Complainant has acquired the domain names <grundfoss.dk> and <grundfoss.com> through administrative proceedings.
The Respondent is a Turkish individual. Respondent registered the domain name <grundfoss.info> on September 22, 2001.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that:
"The Domain Name has to be regarded as confusingly similar or quasi-identical with Complainant’s trademark.
Respondent has no rights to the US trademark registration no E.G.B 12345, as this trademark does not exist in the United States of America. The registration of the Domain Name is obtained on fraud information. It is evident that the sole registration of the domain is in some extent to occupy a domain registration probably in order to receive economic achievement by getting unauthorized traffic to Respondent’s homepage, and presumably sometime to try to sell the domain name to the complainant.
There has been no use of the Domain Name by the Respondent."
GRUNDFOS is a well-known mark, and the registration of the Domain Name is a violation of this trademark.
The Complainant requests the Administrative Panel to issue a decision transferring the Domain Name to the Complainant.
The Respondent has not submitted a response, and is thus in default.
Respondent has made two submissions after the Notification of Respondent Default, in connection with the issuing of Procedural Order No 1.
However, Respondent has not given any explanation for the omission of filing a response, nor has he pointed out any exceptional circumstances for the omission. The Panel finds that Paragraph 10 (b) of the Rules has been complied with, and that exceptional circumstances according to Paragraph 14 (a) and (b) of the Rules have not been proven.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three tests that a complainant must satisfy in order to succeed. The complainant must satisfy that:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of such domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
6.1 Identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which the complainant has rights
The Panel finds that the documentation provided in Annex C to the Complaint proves that Complainant has rights to the trademark GRUNDFOS.
The domain name at issue is <grundfoss.info>.
The Panel considers that, as found in several earlier Panel decisions, the suffix .info does not influence on the consideration of similarity.
As put forward by the Complainant, the Domain Name is identical to the trademarks with the addition of an "s". This addition is not sufficient to prevent the Domain Name from being confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.
6.2 Rights or legitimate interest in the domain name
As a result of default, the Respondent has not presented any evidence that he has rights or legitimate interest in the domain name.
The Panel has visited the <www.grundfoss.info> web site of the Respondent in order to investigate whether there could be found any evidence as to Respondents rights or legitimacy of interest with regard to the Domain Name. The address leads to a page that is "under construction," and so the Panel did not find any such evidence.
According to the Whois-printout from Afilias, presented as Annex A, the registration of the Domain Name is based on a US trademark registration. However, Complainant has presented evidence that the US trademark no. E.G.B. 12345 does not exist, and hence this trademark registration cannot justify the registration of the Domain Name under the special rules for .info domains.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.
6.3 Registration and use in bad faith
Based on the evidence presented and the Complainant’s web pages, the Panel finds that Complainant’s trademarks are well known, and the Panel also finds that the trademarks of the Complainant, in all probability, were known to Respondent when registering the Domain Name.
At the moment, there is no web site corresponding to the Domain Name, thus the Respondent does not conduct any legitimate commercial or non-commercial business activity.
Given the Complainant's numerous trademark registrations and its wide reputation in connection with the mark GRUNDFOS, it is hard to conceive that the Respondent could legitimately use the Domain Name.
The contact information provided by Respondent is insufficient. Stating a false address and telephone number indicates that Respondent is trying to avoid contact with regard to the Domain Name. If the Domain Name had been registered in good faith, there would be no need for Respondent to avoid contact with and receive the cease and desist letter from Complainant. In addition, there was no response from Respondent when the cease and desist letter was sent by e-mail. The Panel finds that these circumstances indicate bad faith.
By not submitting a response, Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances that could demonstrate it did not register and use the Domain Name in bad faith.
Based on the above discussion, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Panel has found that the Domain Name <grundfoss.info> is confusingly similar to a trademark held by the Complainant, and that the Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interest in the Domain Name. The Panel further finds that the Domain Name has been registered in bad faith, and that it has been and is being used in bad faith.
Therefore, pursuant to Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel decides that the domain name <grundfoss.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Peter G. Nitter
Dated: June 10, 2002