Complainant is Master International Corporation, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Fox, O'Neill & Shannon, S.C., United States.
Respondent is Tom Kingston, United States.
The disputed domain name <masterelectltd.com> is registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Openprovider (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 10, 2019. On June 11, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 12, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on June 12, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on June 12, 2019.
The Center verified that the Complaint, together with the amended 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 and 4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 13, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 3, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on July 4, 2019.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on July 17, 2019. 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.
Complainant is a global authorized distributor of over 300 suppliers of electronic components. Complainant is the owner of the registered trademark MASTER ELECTRONICS with the United States Patent and Trademark Office registration number 4,322,006, which was registered on April 16, 2013. The mark is registered for wholesale distributorship services featuring electrical and electronic components and hardware and related services, and claims a first use date of December 31, 2012.
Complainant is also the owner and operator of the domain name <masterelectronics.com> which was created in 2003.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on April 10, 2019. The website at the disputed domain name uses the mark MASTER ELECTRONICS and displays images of electronic products including surveillance cameras, laptops, and mobile phones, among others. Respondent’s website, however, does not appear to have been operational. Complainant’s attempts to contact Respondent’s customer service for the website at the disputed domain name were unsuccessful.
Respondent appears to have used a false address in registering the disputed domain name, as the address is the same as the location of Complainant’s own warehouse, which is owned by an affiliate of Complainant.
Complainant has filed two prior complaints against deceptive uses of its mark in domain names. Both were resolved in Complainant’s favor. (See Master International Corporation v. Masterelect, WIPO Case No. D2016-2079, and Master International Corporation v. Wykis World, Wykis-world, WIPO Case No. D2018-2500). Complainant contends that the prior domain names were registered by entities related to or connected with Respondent due to numerous similarities between the websites at the domain names and the use of Complainant’s warehouse address in the registration address for the domain names.
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide a complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.
Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the trademark MASTER ELECTRONICS, including a United States trademark registered in 2013. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark except for the abbreviation of “electronics” to “elect” and the addition of “ltd”, an abbreviation for “Limited Company.” The abbreviations do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as Complainant’s trademark remains recognizable within the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
Complainant asserts and the evidence indicates that Respondent does not use the disputed domain name in connection with a bonafide offering of goods or services. Although Respondent’s website displays images of products, those products do not appear to be available for purchase from the website and Complainant was unable to obtain any response from Respondent’s customer service. There is no evidence in the record that Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
Complainant contends that Respondent’s purpose in registering the domain name was primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of Complainant and to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent’s website.
Complainant’s claim that Respondent in registered the disputed domain name at the same physical location as Complainant’s warehouse is evidence supporting Complainant’s contention that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. There is no evidence in the record of a legitimate reason for Respondent to register the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The evidence indicates that Respondent designed the disputed domain name to closely mimic Complainant’s trademark and domain name for the purpose of attracting, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <masterelectltd.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: August 9, 2019
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