The Complainant is Lufin Partners AG & Co. KG, Liechtenstein, represented by Rentsch & Partner, Switzerland.
The Respondent is Techman Resources, Finland.
The disputed domain name <lufin-partners.com> is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 14, 2020. On August 17, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 17, 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 August 26, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 15, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 16, 2020.
The Center appointed Charles Gielen as the sole panelist in this matter on September 25, 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 has its legal headquarters in Switzerland, is active and operates in the sector of services for banks and credit institutions.
The Complainant owns the following trademark registrations for the trademark LUFIN PARTNERS:
- International Registration valid for the European Union and Liechtenstein registered under number 1207754 on March 6, 2014 for services in classes 35, 36 and 41;
- Swiss registration registered under number 651704 on December 2, 2013 for services 35, 36 and 41.
The disputed domain name <lufin-partners.com> was created on August 2, 2020 and directs to a webpage containing contact details of a company called Lufin Partners in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark LUFIN PARTNERS and that it is used by a person in Nigeria for a phishing website pretending to be the company of the Complainant, offering financial services in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Furthermore, the Complainant argues that the Respondent does not have any bona fide interest to use the disputed domain name, since it directs to a phishing website, operated in Nigeria. Finally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The reasons for this are as follows. First, the website under the disputed domain name is hosted on a server in Nigeria. However, the website looks like it belongs to the Complainant's sister company Lufin Partners AG located in Lucerne Switzerland. The website contains several details about the Complainant’s sister company in Switzerland; however all of them are false. The address does not exist and the telephone number is being reported as used for criminal activities. Secondly, business partners of the Complainant received phishing emails sent from the disputed domain name. One such email was sent from “[email protected]" by a person who called himself “Finn Ragatz” and this person pretended to be an employee of Lufin Partners AG in Lucerne. However, according to the Complainant no such person exists. Finally, the Complainant argues that the Respondent has a long history in operating scam websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel is of the opinion that the Complainant’s contentions are reasoned and that the disputed domain name should be transferred to the Complainant pursuant to the Policy.
The Complainant proves that it has rights in the trademark LUFIN PARTNERS based on different trademark registrations. This trademark is entirely reproduced in the disputed domain name, which causes the disputed domain name to be identical to the trademark at least in that respect. The fact that there is a hyphen between “lufin” and “partners” is of minor relevance and does not change the conclusion by this Panel that the disputed domain name is identical to the trademark of the Complainant. Furthermore, the added generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” does not change the finding that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar, since the gTLD “.com” is understood to be a technical requirement. In making the comparison between the trademark and the disputed domain name, the gTLD is disregarded. The Panel is of the opinion that applying these principles to this case, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark.
Therefore, the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is met.
The Panel is of the opinion that the Complainant made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. First, the Respondent did not show that it owns any rights to the name “lufin partners” nor that is has any license from the Complainant to use its trademark. Second, the Respondent did not argue that it is known, or that it has ever been known under the name “lufin partners”. Third, there is no bona fide offering of goods or services attached to the disputed domain name by the Respondent. The Panel is convinced that the Respondent has deliberately used the trademark LUFIN PARTNERS to create an impression of association with the Complainant in order to earn revenue. Finally, the Respondent has not come forward with evidence of any rights or legitimate interests and the Panel does not find any in the present record.
In view of the aforementioned, the Panel is of the opinion that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is met.
The Panel is of the opinion that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. With respect to the registration, the Panel finds that it is implausible that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s trademark that was first registered in 2013. The fact that this trademark is incorporated in its entirety in the disputed domain name demonstrates that the Respondent must have been aware of the existence of the Complainant’s trademark. Furthermore, the disputed domain name has been used to send phishing emails that proves that the domain name was registered for bad faith purposes. The Panel is of the opinion that the Respondent, by using the disputed domain name that is identical to the Complainant’s trademark LUFIN PARTNERS, will attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark and its business. This is also caused by the fact that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to redirect to a page that suggests that it concerns the Complainant’s company. Finally the bad faith use if proven by the fact that the disputed domain name is used for criminal purposes, namely to earn revenue from sending phishing emails. The Panel therefore concludes that registration and use of the disputed domain name as described in this decision constitutes bad faith under the Policy.
The Panel therefore considers the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy to be met.
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 <lufin-partners.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 7, 2020
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