Swagelok Company v. Sumit Aggarwal
Claim Number: FA2205001996831
Complainant is Swagelok Company (“Complainant”), represented by Brendon P. Friesen of Mansour Gavin LPA, Ohio, USA. Respondent is Sumit Aggarwal (“Respondent”), India.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <swagelokllc.com>, registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.
The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Richard Hill as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on May 18, 2022; the Forum received payment on May 18, 2022.
On May 19, 2022, GoDaddy.com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <swagelokllc.com> domain name is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. GoDaddy.com, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the GoDaddy.com, LLC registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).
On May 23, 2022, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of June 13, 2022 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to email@example.com. Also on May 23, 2022, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.
Having received no response from Respondent, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On June 21, 2022, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Richard Hill as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the 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" through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the 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.
Complainant states that is the industry leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of advanced and innovative fluid system products, services and solutions to a wide range of global industries including, but not limited to, chemical and petrochemical, oil and gas, alternative fuels, biopharmaceutical, power and semiconductor. Complainant, founded in 1947 by Fred A. Lennon, emphasizes innovative design, reliable performance and the diligent manufacture of quality fluid system products. Complainant’s goods and services are sold worldwide through authorized distributors, on Complainant’s website <swagelok.com>, and on its authorized distributors’ websites. The goods include, but are not limited to, fittings, couplings, quick-connects, valves, gauges, regulators, gaskets, welding equipment, cylinders, seals, caps, plugs, filters, clamps, ferrules, tubing, hoses and accessories. The services include, but are not limited to, logistics business support management, inventory control, equipment rental, procurement, shipping and delivery services, metal treatment, education and training, assembly, and scientific and technological testing. Complainant asserts rights in the SWAGELOK mark through its registration in the United States in 1954.
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its SWAGELOK mark, as it incorporates the mark in its entirety and merely adds the generic/descriptive term “llc” (which stands for Limited Liability Corporation) and the “.com” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”).
According to Complainant, Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and is neither an authorized user nor licensee of the SWAGELOK mark. Additionally, Respondent fails to use the disputed domain name for any bona fide offer of goods or services or for any legitimate noncommercial or fair use. Instead, Respondent uses Complainant’s well-known mark to direct users to a parked website displaying monetized hyperlinks to third-party websites not related to Complainant.
Further, says Complainant, Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith because it is used to attract would-be customers of Complainant to Respondent’s parked website which displays pay-per-click advertising hyperlinks not related to Complainant’s business.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant owns the mark SWAGELOK and uses it to market advanced fluid system products and services.
Complainant’s registration of its mark dates back to 1954.
The disputed domain name was registered in 2022.
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark.
The resolving website displays pay-per-click advertising hyperlinks to products and services not related to those of Complainant.
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."
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.
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(f), 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 set forth in a complaint; however, the Panel may deny relief where a complaint contains mere conclusory or unsubstantiated arguments. See WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0 at ¶ 4.3; see also eGalaxy Multimedia Inc. v. ON HOLD By Owner Ready To Expire, FA 157287 (Forum June 26, 2003) (“Because Complainant did not produce clear evidence to support its subjective allegations [. . .] the Panel finds it appropriate to dismiss the Complaint”).
The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s SWAGELOK mark in its entirety and merely adds the generic/descriptive term “llc” (which stands for Limited Liability Corporation) and the “.com” generic top-level domain (“gTLD”). Past Panels have determined that merely adding a generic or descriptive term and a gTLD is insufficient to distinguish a domain name from a mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Bloomberg Finance L.P. v. Nexperian Holding Limited, FA 1782013 (Forum June 4, 2018) (“Where a relevant trademark is recognisable within a disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element.”); see also Altec Industries, Inc. v. Gopal Pai, FA0903001252471 (Forum April 30, 2009) (“The <altecllc.com> domain name contains Complainant’s ALTEC mark in its entirety followed by “llc,” an abbreviation of the business organization designation ‘Limited Liability Company,’… Adding an abbreviated generic term to the mark does not reduce the confusing similarity of the disputed domain name…Therefore, the Panel finds the <altecllc.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s ALTEC mark.”); see also Stitch Fix, Inc. v. var char, FA2205001997811 (Forum June 20, 2022) (finding that Respondent’s <stitchfixinc.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s STITCH FIX mark as it merely adds the term “inc” and a gTLD). Thus, the Panel finds that the <swagelokllc.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s SWAGELOK mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use its mark. Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name: under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) Panels may look to relevant WHOIS information to determine whether Respondent is commonly known by a disputed domain name. See Chevron Intellectual Property LLC v. Fred Wallace, FA1506001626022 (Forum July 27, 2015) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <chevron-europe.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii), as the WHOIS information named “Fred Wallace” as registrant of the disputed domain name). Here, the WHOIS information of record identifies “Sumit Aggarwal” as the domain name registrant. Therefore the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name within the meaning of Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii).
The disputed domain name resolves to a parked website with links to various third-parties unrelated to Complainant’s business. Use of a domain name to host a parked website with pay-per-click hyperlinks does not demonstrate either a bona fide offer or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) or (iii). See Bloomberg Finance L.P. v. Syed Hussain / IBN7 Media Group, FA 1721384 (Forum April 26, 2017) (holding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to commercial websites, unrelated to the complainant and presumably with the purpose of earning a commission or pay-per-click referral fee did not evidence rights or legitimate interests in the domain name); see also Insomniac Holdings, LLC v. Mark Daniels, FA 1735969 (Forum July 15, 2017) (”Respondent’s use of <edcorlando.xyz> also does not qualify as a bona fide offering… the <edcorlando.xyz> domain name resolves to a site containing pay-per-click hyperlinks and advertisements… Since these kinds of advertisements generate revenue for the holder of a domain name, they cannot be noncommercial; further, they do not qualify as a bona fide offering.”). Therefore the Panel finds that Respondent fails to use the disputed domain name to make a bona fide offer of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(i) and (iii). And the Panel finds that Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent (who did not reply to Complainant’s contentions) has not presented any plausible explanation for its use of Complainant’s mark. In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences from Respondent’s silence as it considers appropriate. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent did not have a legitimate use in mind when registering the disputed domain name.
Indeed, as already noted, the resolving website displays pay-per-click advertising hyperlinks unrelated to Complainant. Such use may demonstrate bad faith attraction to commercial gain within the meaning of Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See Dovetail Ventures, LLC v. Klayton Thorpe, FA1506001625786 (Forum August 2, 2015) (holding that the respondent had acted in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv), where it used the disputed domain name to host a variety of hyperlinks, unrelated to the complainant’s business, through which the respondent presumably commercially gained); see also Tumblr, Inc. v. Ailing Liu, FA1402001543807 (Forum March 24, 2014) (“Bad faith use and registration exists under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where a respondent uses a confusingly similar domain name to resolve to a website featuring links and advertisements unrelated to complainant’s business and respondent is likely collecting fees.”). Therefore the Panel finds bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv).
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <swagelokllc.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Richard Hill, Panelist
Dated: June 22, 2022
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