#Brandzy : Consultant extorted company to return #domain name, according to #UDRP details

Directnic

UDRP result: Transfer domain.

Brandzy AB, a Swedish company, hired a consultant to assist with the acquisition of its domain, Brandzy.com.

Things turned sour, apparently, and according to a UDRP at the WIPO, the consultant extorted the company.

The domain Brandzy.com was registered in 2009 and was offered for sale at Uniregistry Market at some point. There are no details about how much it sold for, but it was maintained under the control of the consultant, who sought money to release it.

Brandzy AB operates actively from the live web site at Brandzy.com.

Jonas Gulliksson, sole panelist at the WIPO, ordered the domain to be transferred to the Complainant.

Full details of this UDRP decision follow.

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Brandzy AB v. Daniel Niklasson
Case No. D2017-2456

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Brandzy AB of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by SHIELD Advokatfirma AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Daniel Niklasson, of Gothenburg, Sweden.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <brandzy.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 13, 2017. On December 13, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 14, 2017, 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 December 20, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 9, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 10, 2018. The Center received an email communication from the Respondent on January 11, 2018, and an email communication from the Complainant on January 12, 2018.

The Center appointed Jonas Gulliksson as the sole panelist in this matter on January 18, 2018. 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 Swedish company founded August 29, 2015. The company name was originally Meid AB but has been Brandzy AB since May 11, 2017. The Complainant sells logos and related products through their website.

The disputed domain name changed owner on May 11, 2017. The Complainant’s trade name BRANDZY AB was registered May 11, 2017. The Complainant’s Swedish trademark registration for BRANDZY was filed November 2, 2017 and registered November 27, 2017 for services in classes 35 and 42 (Registration No. 542641).

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant is a Swedish company founded August 29, 2015. The company name was originally Meid AB but has been Brandzy AB since May 11, 2017. The Complainant sells logos and related products through their website.

The Complainant has registered BRANDZY as a trademark. The Complainant bought the disputed domain name on May 11, 2017 from the previous owner. An excerpt of the contract has been submitted as evidence.

The Respondent was hired as an IT-consultant by the Complainant in order to provide consulting services to the Complainant. The Respondent has not been employed by the Complainant. The CEO of the Complainant asked the Respondent for technical assistance with registering the disputed domain name the same day as it had been acquired. At that time the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in his own name without knowledge or approval of the Complainant or its CEO.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to blackmail the Complainant and has requested money to release the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent sent an email to the Center on January 11, 2018, after the deadline to reply had expired. This email did, however, not contain any reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove all three of the following elements:

(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

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

(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety. It is well-established among UDRP panels that the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) (such as “.com”) is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test (see Section 1.11.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”). The Panel consequently finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and the first element of the Policy is therefore fulfilled.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In cases where a Respondent fails to present a response, the Complainant is still required to make a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which has not been rebutted by the Respondent. The Panel therefore finds the requirements of the second element of the Policy fulfilled.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent the same day as the Complainant’s acquisition of the domain name from the previous owner. Despite the fact that the Complainant purchased the disputed domain name, the Respondent registered it in its own name while providing consultancy services to the Complainant. The Respondent has not transferred the disputed domain name to the Complainant despite having been repeatedly requested to do so. The Complainant has also alleged that the disputed domain name is being used by the Respondent to blackmail the Complainant. The Respondent has not replied to this allegation. In light of these circumstances the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith. The Panel therefore finds that the third paragraph of the Policy is fulfilled.

7. Decision

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 <brandzy.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Jonas Gulliksson
Sole Panelist
Date: February 6, 2018


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