Burgmann Industries GmbH & Co. KG v. Bergman Specialty Products, Inc.
Claim Number: FA0810001227943
Complainant is Burgmann Industries GmbH & Co. KG (“Complainant”), represented by Kyle
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <burgmannpacking.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, Inc.
The undersigned certifies that he or she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his or her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Judge Harold Kalina (Ret.) as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on October 6, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on October 6, 2008.
On October 6, 2008, Godaddy.com, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name is registered with Godaddy.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Godaddy.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Godaddy.com, Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy").
9, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative
Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of
October 29, 2008
by which Respondent could file a response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent's registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to email@example.com by e-mail.
Having received no response from Respondent, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On November 4, 2008, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Judge Harold Kalina (Ret.) as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the National Arbitration Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent." Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the National Arbitration Forum's Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any response from Respondent.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <burgmannpacking.com> domain name is identical/confusingly similar to Complainant’s BURGMANN mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant is a company that produces and develops a wide range of products relating to sealing and packing systems. Since at least as early as 1977, Complainant has marketed its products under the BURGMANN mark, which, after continuous use in commerce, Complainant registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on June 22, 2004 (Reg. No. 2,856,299).
Respondent registered the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name March 5, 2005. The disputed domain name resolves to a website entitled “Burgmann Packing.” That website purports to offer products that meet Complainant’s requirements and industrial standards, and features links associated with those products; however, every link redirects the Internet user to Respondent’s own commercial website, <bergmanspecialty.com>, where Respondent sells its own Bergman Specialty Products, which compete with Complainant’s own sealing and packing products.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to "decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable."
In view of Respondent's failure to submit a response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondent’s failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009 (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel finds that Complainant has established rights in the BURGMANN mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) through its trademark registration with the USPTO. See Janus Int’l Holding Co. v. Rademacher, D2002-0201 (WIPO Mar. 5, 2002) ("Panel decisions have held that registration of a mark is prima facie evidence of validity, which creates a rebuttable presumption that the mark is inherently distinctive."); see also Koninklijke KPN N.V. v. Telepathy Inc., D2001-0217 (WIPO May 7, 2001) (finding that the Policy does not require that the mark be registered in the country in which the respondent operates; therefore it is sufficient that the complainant can demonstrate a mark in some jurisdiction).
Complainant contends that Respondent’s <burgmannpacking.com> domain name is confusingly similar to its BURGMANN mark. The <burgmannpacking.com> domain name differs from Complainant’s mark in two ways: (1) the descriptive term “packing” has been added to the end of the mark; and (2) the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com” has been added. The addition of a descriptive term does not sufficiently distinguish a domain name from an incorporated mark for the purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Brown & Bigelow, Inc. v. Rodela, FA 96466 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 5, 2001) (finding that the <hoylecasino.net> domain name is confusingly similar to the complainant’s HOYLE mark, and that the addition of “casino,” a generic word describing the type of business in which the complainant is engaged, does not take the disputed domain name out of the realm of confusing similarity). The addition of a gTLD also does not reduce the likelihood of confusion between the domain name and the mark because every domain name must contain a gTLD. See Sony Kabushiki Kaisha v. Inja, Kil, D2000-1409 (WIPO Dec. 9, 2000) (finding that “[n]either the addition of an ordinary descriptive word . . . nor the suffix ‘.com’ detract from the overall impression of the dominant part of the name in each case, namely the trademark SONY” and thus Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) is satisfied). Because the likelihood that Internet visitors will confuse the disputed domain name with Complainant’s mark is not eliminated or diminished by these changes, the Panel finds that Respondent’s disputed domain name is not sufficiently distinguished from Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant contends that Respondent lacks all rights and legitimate interests in the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name. Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), after the complainant makes a prima facie case against the respondent, the respondent then has the burden of showing evidence that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Complainant has made a prima facie case under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See G.D. Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 1, 2002) (“Because Complainant’s Submission constitutes a prima facie case under the Policy, the burden effectively shifts to Respondent. Respondent’s failure to respond means that Respondent has not presented any circumstances that would promote its rights or legitimate interests in the subject domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).”); see also Wild West Domains, Inc. v. Jung, D2004-0243 (WIPO May 18, 2004) (“It can be inferred that by defaulting Respondent showed nothing else but an absolute lack of interest in the Domain Name . . . . It is incumbent on Respondent to contribute to the fact-finding and if contrary to that, it rather incurs in default, there is nothing that the Panel could do to discuss in its benefit.”).
Complainant contends that Respondent is not commonly known by the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name nor has it ever been the owner or licensee of the BURGMANN mark. The WHOIS record for the disputed domain name lists Respondent as “Bergman Specialty Products Inc.” Because Respondent is not identified as any variant on the BURGMANN mark and has failed to show any evidence contrary to Complainant’s contentions, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Wells Fargo & Co. v. Onlyne Corp. Services11, Inc., FA 198969 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 17, 2003) (“Given the WHOIS contact information for the disputed domain [name], one can infer that Respondent, Onlyne Corporate Services11, is not commonly known by the name ‘welsfargo’ in any derivation.”); see also Brown v. Sarrault, FA 99584 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 16, 2001) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <mobilitytrans.com> domain name because it was doing business as “Mobility Connections”).
Respondent maintains a website at the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name that features links to Respondent’s website offering products that compete with Complainant’s products. The Panel finds that this use of the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Computerized Sec. Sys., Inc. v. Hu, FA 157321 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 23, 2003) (“Respondent’s appropriation of [Complainant’s] SAFLOK mark to market products that compete with Complainant’s goods does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods and services.”); see also Ameritrade Holdings Corp. v. Polanski, FA 102715 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 11, 2002) (finding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a financial services website, which competed with the complainant, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services); see also 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. v. 24HourNames.com-Quality Domains For Sale, FA 187429 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sep. 26, 2003) (holding that Respondent’s use of the <24hrsfitness.com>, <24-hourfitness.com> and <24hoursfitness.com> domain names to redirect Internet users to a website featuring advertisements and links to Complainant’s competitors could not be considered a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Complainant contends that Respondent is diverting Internet
customers from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s website that resolves from
the disputed domain name, through the confusion caused by the similarity
between the BURGMANN mark and the <burgmannpacking.com> domain
name. Complainant also contends that
Respondent intentionally disrupted Complainant’s business by enticing confused
customers to buy Respondent’s products that compete with Complainant. The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the
disputed domain name disrupts Complainant’s business, and is evidence of
registration and use in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See
Complainant also contends that Respondent is gaining commercially through this diversion, through the products that Respondent is selling in competition with Complainant. The Panel finds that Respondent has intentionally used the disputed domain name for commercial gain through a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark, and that therefore, pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv), Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is also evidence of registration and use in bad faith. See Busy Body, Inc. v. Fitness Outlet, Inc., D2000-0127 (WIPO Apr. 22, 2000) (finding bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) because the respondent and the complainant were in the same line of business and the respondent was using a domain name confusingly similar to the complainant’s FITNESS WAREHOUSE mark to attract Internet users to its <efitnesswarehouse.com> domain name); see also State Fair of Texas v. Granbury.com, FA 95288 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 12, 2000) (finding bad faith where the respondent registered the domain name <bigtex.net> to infringe on the complainant’s goodwill and attract Internet users to the respondent’s website); see also Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. v. Lalli, FA 95284 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 21, 2000) (finding bad faith where the respondent directed Internet users seeking the complainant’s site to its own website for commercial gain).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <burgmannpacking.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Judge Harold Kalina (Ret.), Panelist
Dated: November 13, 2008
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