The Complainant is Klarna Bank AB, Sweden, represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Amar Yosef, Israel.
The disputed domain names, <se-klarna.com>, <skandinavian-klarna.com> (the “Domain Names”), are registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 6, 2020. On April 6, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On April 7, 2020, the Registrar 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 23, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 13, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 21, 2020.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on May 28, 2020. 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.
The Complainant was founded in Sweden in 2005, its purpose being to facilitate online purchasing for its customers. On June 19, 2017 it announced that it had been granted a full banking license by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of International Trade Mark Registration No. 1066079 dated December 21, 2010 for KLARNA (word) for a variety of services in classes 35 and 36.
The Complainant operates a website connected to the domain name, <klarna.co.il>, “.il” being the country code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) identifier for Israel, the country in which the Respondent resides.
The Respondent registered the Domain Names on November 16, 2019. The Panel has visited the websites to which they are connected. The Domain Name, <se-klarna.com>, as viewed from the United Kingdom by the Panel, is currently connected to a webpage featuring a message reading “Welcome! Site se-klarna.com just created. Real content coming soon.” The Domain Name, <skandinavian-klarna.com>, similarly viewed, is currently connected to a pay-per click page featuring links in English (e.g. “Dengue Prevention”) and links in a language unfamiliar to the Panel (e.g. “Deutsch Na Klar”).
On February 6, 2020 a lawyer representing the Complainant sent an email to the Respondent attaching a letter, which unfortunately was not included in the papers sent to the Panel. The covering email sought voluntary transfer of the Domain Names. The response appears to have been an undeliverable message, which prompted the Complainant’s representative to email the Registrar on February 6, 2020 asking for a means of contacting the Respondent. No reply having been received from the Registrar, a ‘chaser’ was sent on February 17, 2020. Again, there was no reply.
The Complainant contends that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s KLARNA trade mark. The Complainant states that it has conducted various searches such as trade mark searches and business register searches to see if the Respondent might have any right in respect of the name, “Klarna”, but has found nothing. The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names. The Complainant has produced screenshots to show that the Respondent has connected the Domain Names to pay-per-click websites and to sites, which require the visitor to disclose user names and passwords. The Complainant has also produced screenshots of Google searches to demonstrate that in Sweden the name “Klarna” indicates the Complainant. The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered the Domain Names with knowledge of the Complainant and with a view to exploiting the value of the Complainant’s trade mark whether for ‘phishing’ or for some other commercial purpose. The Complainant contends that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Names, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names; and
(iii) The Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition explains the test for identity or confusing similarity for the purposes this the first element under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. Section 1.7 explains that the first element functions primarily as a standing requirement and involves a reasonably straightforward comparison between the complainant’s trade mark and the disputed domain name. The section includes the following paragraph:
“While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing.”
The Domain Names each incorporate the Complainant’s KLARNA trade mark in its entirety. The Panel finds that they are confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant has produced evidence to demonstrate that the KLARNA trade mark is well-known, certainly in Sweden. The Domain Names each feature that trade mark in its entirety and accompanied by geographical indications appropriate for Sweden. “.se” is the ccTLD identifier for Sweden and “skandinavian” describes Sweden’s geographical location. On their face the Domain Names identify the Complainant; yet the Complainant asserts that it has given the Respondent no permission to use its trade mark.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case under this element of the Policy; in other words a case calling for an answer from the Respondent. The Respondent has chosen not to respond, possibly for the reason that he has no answer to the Complainant’s contentions. At all events, the Panel cannot conceive, on the evidence before him, of any basis upon which the Respondent could be said to have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.
The Panel has found, on the evidence, that the Domain Names are of such a nature that they identify the Complainant and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of them. Effectively they impersonate the Complainant. People do not register domain names for no purpose. What can have been the Respondent’s purpose?
The Domain Names have been used differently. The Domain Name, <se-klarna.com>, is currently used to connect to a page indicating that an operational website is in course of construction. The Complainant has produced evidence showing that it was previously used differently and in a manner, which, so the Complainant asserts, indicates that the Respondent’s motive was ‘phishing’. The Domain Name, <klarna-skandinavian.com>, has been used and is still being used to connect to a pay-per-click website. There is nothing about the advertising links to indicate any connection with the Complainant or indeed any entity named “Klarna”.
The Respondent has had an opportunity to answer the Complainant’s contentions, but has elected not to take advantage of that opportunity.
The Panel is unable on the evidence before him to conclude that the Respondent’s intention was to use the Domain Names or either of them for the purposes of ‘phishing’. However, in the view of the Panel, they were certainly registered with a view to impersonating the Complainant and more likely than not for the purpose of exploiting the value of the Complainant’s KLARNA trade mark for the Respondent’s own commercial benefit, as evidenced by the Respondent’s use of one of the Domain Names for pay-per-click revenue. To the extent that it might be argued that the other of the Domain Names is not currently in use, the Panel concludes that it nonetheless represents an abusive threat hanging over the head of the Complainant and, as such, a continuing bad faith use.
The Panel finds that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraph 4 of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Names, <se-klarna.com> and <skandinavian-klarna.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 29, 2020
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