On-line ADR Center of the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC)

Panel Decision

§ 15 of the UDRP Rules (Rules), § 9 of the CAC’s Supplemental Rules (Supplemental Rules)

Case No. 104279
Time of Filing 2022-01-21 09:45:17
Disputed domain name ARCELORMITTAL-DE.COM
Case Administrator
Name Iveta Špiclová
Complainant
Organization ARCELORMITTAL (SA)
Authorized Representative
Organization NAMESHIELD S.A.S.
Respondent
Organization bill chill
Other Legal Proceedings
The Panel is not aware of any other legal proceedings which are pending or decided and which relate to the disputed domain name.
Identification of rights
The Complainant has provided evidence of ownership of the following trademark:

International trademark ARCELORMITTAL registered on August 3, 2007 under No. 947686, duly renewed and designating goods and services in international classes 06, 07, 09, 12, 19, 21, 39, 40, 41, and 42.
Factual Background
FACTS ASSERTED BY THE COMPLAINANT AND NOT CONTESTED BY THE RESPONDENT:

The Complainant is the largest steel producing company in the world and is the market leader in steel for use in automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. It holds sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and operates extensive distribution networks.

The Complainant also owns an important domain names portfolio, including the domain names <arcelormittal.com> registered since January 27, 2006.

The disputed domain name <arcelormittal-de.com> was registered on 17 January, 2022 and is inactive.


LEGAL GROUNDS:

A. THE DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME IS IDENTICAL OR CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR

The Complainant states that the disputed domain name <arcelormittal-de.com> is confusingly similar to its trademark ARCELORMITTAL. The trademark ARCELORMITTAL is included in its entirety.

The addition of the geographic term “DE” (for Germany) is not sufficient to escape the finding that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark ARCELORMITTAL.

It does not change the overall impression of the designation as being connected to the Complainant’s trademark ARCELORMITTAL. It does not prevent the likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant, its trademark and the domain names associated.

It is well-established that “a domain name that wholly incorporates a Complainant’s registered trademark may be sufficient to establish confusing similarity for purposes of the UDRP” (WIPO Case No. D2003-0888, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG v. Vasiliy Terkin).

Furthermore, the Complainant contends that the addition of the gTLD “.COM” does not change the overall impression of the designation as being connected to the Complainant’s trademark. It does not prevent the likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant, its trademark and its domain names associated.


B. RESPONDENT HAS NO RIGHTS OR LEGITIMATE INTEREST IN RESPECT OF THE DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not known by the disputed domain name. Past panels have held that a Respondent was not commonly known by a disputed domain name if the Whois information was not similar to the disputed domain name. Thus, the Respondent is not known as the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name <arcelormittal-de.com> and he is not related in any way with the Complainant. The Complainant does not carry out any activity for, nor has any business with the Respondent.

Neither license nor authorization has been granted to the Respondent to make any use of the Complainant’s trademark ARCELORMITTAL, or apply for registration of the disputed domain name by the Complainant.

Moreover, the disputed domain name is not used. The Complainant contends that Respondent did not use the disputed domain name, and it confirms that Respondent has no demonstrable plan to use the disputed domain name.

Thus, in accordance with the foregoing, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name <arcelormittal-de.com>.


C. THE DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME WAS REGISTERED AND IS BEING USED IN BAD FAITH

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <arcelormittal-de.com> is confusingly similar to its distinctive trademark ARCELORMITTAL.

The Complainant’s trademark ARCELORMITTAL is widely known. Past panels have confirmed the notoriety of the trademark ARCELORMITTAL.

Besides, all of the results of a Google search of the terms “ARCELORMITTAL DE” refers to the Complainant.

Given the distinctiveness of the Complainant's trademark and reputation and the fact exposed above, it is reasonable to infer that the Respondent has registered the domain name with full knowledge of the Complainant's trademark.

Moreover, the disputed domain name is not being used. The Complainant contends that the Respondent has not demonstrated any activity in respect of the disputed domain name, and it is not possible to conceive of any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the domain name by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate, such as by being a passing off, an infringement of consumer protection legislation, or an infringement of the Complainant’s rights under trademark law.

Thus, Complainant contends that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name <arcelormittal-de.com> and is using it in bad faith.
 
NO ADMINISTRATIVELY COMPLIANT RESPONSE HAS BEEN FILED.
Rights
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy).
No rights or legitimate interests
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the Respondent to have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy).
Bad faith
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy).
Procedural Factors
The Panel is satisfied that all procedural requirements under UDRP were met and there is no other reason why it would be inappropriate to provide a decision.
Principal Reasons for the Decision
Notwithstanding the fact that no Response has been filed, the Panel shall consider the issues present in the case based on the statements and documents submitted by the Complainant.


Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each 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; and

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

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


A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

A complainant must establish that it has a trademark or service mark and that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that trademark or service mark for the complainant to succeed.

The Complainant, ArcelorMittal (SA), is the largest steel producer in the world. The Complainant has provided evidence of ownership of the mark "ArcelorMittal".

As regards the question of identity or confusing similarity for the purpose of the Policy, it requires a comparison of the disputed domain name with the trademarks in which the complainant holds rights. According to section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), “this test typically involves a side-by-side comparison of the domain name and the textual components of the relevant trademark to assess whether the mark is recognizable within the disputed domain name”.

Also, according to section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, “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 disputed domain name wholly incorporates the Complainant’s trademarks "ArcelorMittal" in addition to the term “de” which may be understood as referring to Germany. This addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity with the Complainant’s trademark. The fact that a domain name wholly incorporates a Complainant’s trademark is sufficient to establish identity or confusing similarity for the purpose of the Policy, despite the addition of other words to such mark.

It is well accepted by UDRP panels that a generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), such as “.com”, is typically ignored when assessing whether a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark.

This Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and therefore finds that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.


B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any of the following circumstances, if found by the Panel, may demonstrate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:

(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.


The consensus view of UDRP panels on the burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is summarized in section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, which states: “[…] where a Complainant makes out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the Respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the Respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the Complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.”

The evidence on record does not show that the Respondent was commonly known, as an individual or an organization, by the disputed domain name.

The Panel also finds, in the absence of a rebuttal from the Respondent, that the Respondent uses the Complainant's trademarks in the disputed domain name without authorization from the Complainant.

Equally, the Panel accepts that the Respondent has not made a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and therefore finds that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.


C. Registration and Use in Bad faith

For the purpose of Paragraph 4(a) (iii) of the Policy, the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that the holder has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the holders documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) the holder has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the holder has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) the holder has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, the holder has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the holder's website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on the holder's website or location.


The ArcelorMittal trademark enjoys a long-standing continuous reputation worldwide. Such reputation, coupled with the evidence on record, shows that the Respondent was certainly aware of the existence of the Complainant and of the rights of the Complainant on the trademark. The Panel finds that the Respondent, by registering and using the disputed domain name has intentionally attracted internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark.

Finally, the Panel agrees that the current use of the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith use under the established doctrine of passive holding.

The Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, and therefore finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.
Decision
For all the reasons stated above, the Complaint is Accepted
and the disputed domain name(s) is (are) to be
ARCELORMITTAL-DE.COM Transferred to Complainant
Panellists
Name Arthur Fouré
Date of Panel Decision 2022-02-14
Publication of the Decision
Publish the Decision