The Complainant is Eczacıbaşı Holding A.Ş, Turkey, represented by Alica Novus Law Office, Turkey.
The Respondent is Wan Li Huang, China.
The disputed domain name <intemamutfak.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with DropCatch.com LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 18, 2020. On September 18, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On September 18, 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 September 24, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 14, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 15, 2020.
The Center appointed Karen Fong as the sole panelist in this matter on October 22, 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 is a Turkish company established in 1978. It was one of the first publicly traded companies in Turkey. One of the brands it owns is INTEMA and INTEMA MUTFAK which it uses in connection to its range of modular kitchens. The word “mutfak” means kitchen in Turkish. The Complainant owns 13 trade mark registrations in Turkey for marks which comprise and/or include INTEMA and INTEMA MUTFAK. The earliest registrations submitted in evidence for each are the following:
- Turkish Trade Mark Registration No 160233 for INTEMA in classes 6, 7 ,9, 11, 19, 20, 21, registered from April 13, 1995;
- Turkish Trade Mark Registration No 2015 08017 for INTEMA MUTFAK in class 20 registered from January 30, 2015.
(individually and collectively, the “Trade Mark”).
The Complainant previously owned the Domain Name. However due to an administrative error, the Domain Name was inadvertently not renewed. The Complainant tried to reacquire the Domain Name once it realised the error but was beaten to it by the Respondent who purchased the Domain Name on February 19, 2020. The Respondent is based in China. The website connected to the Domain Name is a gambling site (the “Website”).
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name, and that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant requests transfer of the Domain Name.
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 Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The Domain Name is 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 Name; and
(iii) The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established that it has rights to the Trade Mark.
The standing (or threshold) test for confusing similarity involves a reasoned but relatively straightforward comparison between the trade mark and the domain name to determine whether the domain name is confusingly similar to the trade mark. The test involves a side-by-side comparison of the domain name and the textual components of the relevant trade mark to assess whether the mark is recognizable within the domain name.
In this case the Domain Name contains the Trade Mark in its entirety. For the purposes of assessing identity and confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) which in this case is “.com”. It is viewed as a standard registration requirement (section 1.11 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy therefore are fulfilled.
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, a respondent may establish rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name by demonstrating any of the following:
(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain, to misleadingly divert consumers.
Although the Policy addresses ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, it is well established that, as it is put in section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 that a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent does come forward with some allegations of evidence of relevant rights or legitimate interests, the panel weighs all the evidence, with the burden of proof always remaining on the complainant.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has never been commonly known by the Domain Name and has acquired no trade mark or other IP rights to the Domain Name. Neither “intema” or “mutfak” has any meaning in Chinese. The word “mutfak” which means kitchen in Turkish has nothing to do with gambling, which is the activity on the Website. The use of the Domain Name as a gambling site is not bona fide or legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name especially as gambling is illegal in Turkey.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case, a case calling for an answer from the Respondent. The Respondent has not responded and the Panel is unable to conceive of any basis upon which the Respondent could sensibly be said to have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
To succeed under the Policy, the Complainant must show that the Domain Name has been both registered and used in bad faith. It is a double requirement.
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent must have been aware of the Trade Mark when it registered the Domain Name given the Trade Mark was registered prior to registration of the Domain Name, the fact that the Complainant owned the Domain Name until it inadvertently failed to renew the Domain Name and that the word “mutfak” within the Domain Name meaning kitchen in Turkish, describes the products of the Complainant but has absolutely no connection with gambling.
It is implausible that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant when it registered the Domain Name.
“Noting the near instantaneous and global reach of the Internet and search engines, and particularly in circumstances where the complainant’s mark is widely known (including in its sector) or highly specific and a respondent cannot credibly claim to have been unaware of the mark (particularly in the case of domainers), panels have been prepared to infer that the respondent knew, or have found that the respondent should have known, that its registration would be identical or confusingly similar to a complainant’s mark. Further factors including the nature of the domain name, the chosen top-level domain, any use of the domain name, or any respondent pattern, may obviate a respondent’s claim not to have been aware of the complainant’s mark.”
The fact that there is a clear absence of rights or legitimate interests coupled with no explanation for the Respondent’s choice of the Domain Name is also a significant factor to consider (as stated in section 3.2.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0). In light of the above, the Panel finds that registration is in bad faith.
The Panel also finds that the actual use of the Domain Name is in bad faith. The Website which is a gambling site has been set up for the commercial benefit of the Respondent. It is highly likely that Internet users when typing the Domain Name into their browser, or finding it through a search engine would have been looking for a site operated by the Complainant rather than the Respondent. The Domain Name is likely to confuse Internet users trying to find the Complainant’s official website. Such confusion will inevitably result due to the incorporation of the Trade Mark in its entirety in the Domain Name.
Gambling is banned in Turkey. Implicit in the UDRP is the principle that the use of a domain name constitutes bad faith when a respondent seeks to, or recklessly has the effect of, tarnishing the good name of a complainant whom that respondent wilfully seeks to associate with illegal activity. The Respondent is falsely associating the well respected INTEMA MUTFAK trade mark with activity which is against the law in the Complainant’s country. It is clear that the Respondent employs the fame of the Trade Mark to mislead Internet users into visiting the Website instead of the Complainant’s.
From the above, the Panel concludes that the Respondent intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, by misleading Internet users into believing that the Website is authorised or endorsed by the Complainant. The Panel therefore also concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <intemamutfak.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 30, 2020
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