Fake Pandora sellers fined in UK
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Danish jewellery manufacturer and retailer Pandora has failed to secure the domain name pandora.nl in a dispute filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
In the decision (in Dutch), WIPO panellist Remco van Leeuwen said Pandora had not shown that the respondent had no legitimate interest in the domain.
The domain was registered in 1997 and is held by a Dutch company called Safenet, which was closed in 2011, according to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Van Leeuwen explained that the web page of the domain appears to be inactive but in fact embeds the web page of a sole proprietorship called SJA Kamp Management & Consultancy. However, redirection fails because of an incorrect link, he said.
Pandora filed a complaint under ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, citing its EU trademark for ‘Pandora’, registered in 2007, and its international registration for the same name, dated 2013.
The jewellery company said the registrant had no legitimate interest in the domain and is keeping it merely in order to sell it, as shown by the offer for sale to Pandora for €25,000 ($29,300).
While van Leeuwen agreed that Pandora had sufficient rights in the domain name, he added that the company was unable to show that the registrant had no legitimate rights or interests in it.
He explained that the registrant still uses the domain to link—“albeit unsuccessfully”—to the website www.skmc.nl. He added that according to email correspondence between the parties, the respondent “apparently offered a product or service under the name ‘Pandora internetcentrale’ before the ‘Pandora’ marks were registered”.
The respondent had claimed in the correspondence that this product was on the market as early as 1999. Van Leeuwen added that although the product is no longer sold, the pandora.nl domain is still used today to handle any email correspondence with remaining customers.
The respondent claimed it had suggested the €25,000 sum to cover the costs of ending these email services in the event Pandora wanted to buy the domain.
According to van Leeuwen, the fact that the domain was offered for sale in response to Pandora’s communication is insufficient to show that it had been used in bad faith.
“For this purpose, further circumstances need to be demonstrated. However, the existence of additional circumstances has not been made sufficiently plausible by the plaintiff.”
Van Leeuwen concluded that the domain had not been registered or used in bad faith.
Pandora, Dutch domain name, WIPO, UDRP