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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

LEGO Juris A/S v. Level 5 Corp.

Case No. D2008-1692

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Lego Juris A/S, of Billund, Denmark, represented by Melbourne IT Corporate Brand Services AB, of Stockholm, Sweden.

The Respondent is Level 5 Corp., of Roseau Valley, Dominican Republic.

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain name <legolanddenmark.com> is registered with Name.net LLC and the disputed domain name <legolland.com> is registered with Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 5, 2008. On November 6, 2008, the Center transmitted by e-mail to Name.net LLC and Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the respective disputed domain names. On November 7, 2008, Name.net LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On November 10, 2008, Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 11, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 1, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 2, 2008.

The Center appointed Anders Janson as the sole panelist in this matter on December 16, 2008. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Denmark. The Complainant and its licensees, The LEGO Group of Companies is, as can be read out of the Complaint and the website “www.lego.com”, a global toy manufacturing company and the Complainant is the owner of the trademark LEGO and all other trademarks used in connection with the famous LEGO brand of construction toys and other LEGO branded products, this includes the trademark LEGOLAND. Since the dominant part of the disputed domain names is “lego” the Complainant mainly refers to the trademark LEGO and not the whole LEGOLAND trademark.

The Complainant and its licensees, The LEGO Group of Companies, through its predecessors, commenced use of the LEGO mark in the United States of America during 1953, to identify construction toys made and sold by them. Their use of the LEGO mark has been extensive, exclusive and continuous since 1953. The Complainant is also the owner of more than 450 domain names containing the terms LEGO and LEGOLAND.

The Complainant has, in the Complaint, put forward a large number of national and international registrations in various classes that consist of the trademark LEGO, such as;

- Dominican Republic No 36.816, class 28, renew date April 15, 2014;

- United States Reg. No 1.018.875, class 28, renew date August 25, 2015;

- United States Reg. No 2.245.652, class 28, renew date May 5, 2009.

The Panel notes that the registration dates of the above-mentioned registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain names by the Respondent, which was on February 24, 2008 for <legolanddenmark.com> and March 17, 2008 for <legolland.com>.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that:

- The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names;

- The disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith; and

- that the disputed domain names <legolanddenmark.com> and <legolland.com> should be transferred to the Complainant.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the disputed domain names registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names; and

(iii) that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The domain names concerned by this dispute are <legolanddenmark.com.> and <legolland.com>. The Complainant holds a large number of national and international registered trademarks comprising of the word LEGO and is the owner of more than 450 domain names containing the terms LEGO and LEGOLAND. The Panel finds that the Complainant has established that LEGO and LEGOLAND are well-recognized and world famous trademarks and that the trademarks are distinctive. The disputed domain names contains the Complainant’s mark LEGO in <legolanddenmark.com> and LEGO and a misspelled LEGOLAND in <legolland.com>.

In determining whether a domain name and a trademark are identical or confusingly similar, the gTLDs and ccTLDs shall be disregarded. Accordingly, the question is whether the addition of the suffix “denmark” makes the disputed domain name dissimilar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks or not.

As established by numerous panels before, the addition of a geographic designation generally does not render it different or distinctive from the trademark (See for instance Harrods Limited v. John Griffin, WIPO Case No. D2002-0641 and Microsoft Corp v. Webbangladesh.com, WIPO Case No. D2002-0769). Furthermore, numerous panels have found that the fact that a domain name incorporates a complainant’s registered mark may be sufficient to establish identity or confusingly similarity for the purpose of the Policy (see Oki Data Americas Inc. v. ASD, Inc. WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Magnum Piering, Inc. v. the Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525 and CSC Holdings, Inc. v. Elbridge Gagne, WIPO Case No. D2003-0273).

The Panel finds it established that the trademark LEGO and LEGOLAND are very well known and that the ownership of the trademarks belongs to the Complainant.

The Panel finds that the term “lego” is the distinctive parts of the disputed domain names. The term “denmark” does not lead to other conclusions. Accordingly, Internet users are very likely to assume that the addition of the word “denmark” to the trademarks LEGO or LEGOLAND signifies a website associated with the Complainant. The Panel finds that the addition of the suffix “denmark” does not diminish the similarity between the respective disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark nor does the misspelling of LEGOLAND. The Panel further finds it established that the disputed domain name <legolland.com> is a purposeful misspelling of the trademark in a way that constitutes typosquatting.

The disputed domain names must therefore be considered confusingly similar to the trademark LEGO. The panel holds that the Complainant has established the first element of the Policy, paragraph 4(a).

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not filed a Response. In these circumstances, when the Respondent does not have an obvious connection with the disputed domain names, the mere assertion from the Complainant that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest is enough to shift the burden of proof to the Respondent to demonstrate that such right or legitimate interest exists. The Respondent has not demonstrated or argued that he used or prepared to use the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or that any other rights or legitimate interests exist. Registration of a domain name in itself does not establish rights or legitimate interests for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

In conclusion, the Respondent has not presented any evidence of rights or legitimate interests in using the disputed domain names and has no obvious connection to them. The Panel therefore holds that the Complainant has established the second element of the Policy, paragraph 4(a).

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant has asserted that the Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain names has been made in bad faith. It is, according to the Complainant, evident that the Respondent, by registering and using the disputed domain names has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location.

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states four (non-exclusive) circumstances which, if found to be present, are deemed to provide evidence of bad faith in registering and using a domain name. Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that a circumstance indicating bad faith is using a domain to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.

Based on the evidence provided by the Complainant, the Panel finds it established that the website of the disputed domain names consists of a hyperlink collection where products and services of various kinds are marketed. The domain names, by these links, divert Internet users to websites promoting and offering products and services of third parties. It must therefore be held for certain that the Respondent, by these actions, is trying to mislead consumers in order to attract them to other websites making them believe that the websites behind those links are associated with or recommended by the Complainant. Furthermore, the Respondent cannot, according to this Panel, have been unaware of the trademark LEGO due to its market presence worldwide and the worldwide registered trademarks.

The Panel finds, with reference to the above-mentioned and the proof provided by the Complainant, that the Respondent used the disputed domain names in bad faith, hence having intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to web-sites, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source. The Panel therefore concludes that the Complainant has proven that the Respondent was acting in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain names, <legolanddenmark.com> and <legolland.com> be transferred to the Complainant.


Anders Janson
Sole Panelist

Dated: December 30, 2008

 

Источник информации: https://internet-law.ru/intlaw/udrp/2008/d2008-1692.html

 

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