Posco Steel Service & Sales Co., Ltd.
v.
Byung Ok, Ji

[Indexed as: Posco Steel Service v. Byung Ok]
[Indexed as: POSTEEL.COM]

WIPO Arbitration & Mediation Center
Administrative Panel Decision

Case No. WIPO D2000-0516
Commenced: 7 June, 2000
Judgment: 15 July, 2000

Presiding Panelist: Young Kim

Domain name –Trademark – Service mark registrations – Identical – Confusingly similar – right or legitimate interest in respect of domain name - bad faith registration – negotiating transfer of domain name for a premium - bad faith use.

Complainant is the owner of 5 trademark and service mark registrations for the mark “POSTEEL” in Korea.  Although not authorised or licenced to use the Posteel mark, Respondent registered the domain name “posteel.com”.  Complainant alleges that Respondent’s domain name is identical and/or confusingly similar to its registered mark.

Held, Name Transferred to Complainant

The Posteel mark is widely known in Korea.  It is clear that the domain name “posteel.com” is confusingly similar to the Posteel mark registered by the Complainant.  Since Respondent registered the domain name after he had seen the Posteel mark on the uniforms of the Complainant’s professional soccer team and since he is not authorised to use the Posteel mark, Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name.  Furthermore, there is evidence that Respondent has registered legal equivalents of other major companies’ trademarks and is in the process of negotiating the transfer of those domain names for a premium.  This shows a pattern of bad faith registration.

Respondent is not making fair use of the mark as evidence shows that he has offered to transfer the domain name at issue to the Complainant for a price that exceeds his out-of-pocket expenses.  Hence, Respondent has demonstrated bad faith use of the mark.

Cases referred to

World Wrestling Federation, Inc. v. Michael Bosman, WIPO Dispute No. D99-001
Harrods Ltd v. Boyd, WIPO Dispute No. D2000-0060

Kim, Panelist:-
1. The Parties
The Complainant is POSCO Steel Service & Sales Co., Ltd. of Yoksam Bldg. 824,Yoksam-dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul 100-192, Republic of Korea
The Respondent is Byung Ok, Ji of 505-1107 Kuryur 2 Dong A.P.T, Songpa-Ku, Seoul 138-112, Republic of Korea.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name at issue is "posteel.com". The domain name is registered with Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI").

3. Procedural History
A Complaint was submitted electronically by the Complainant to the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center ("WIPO Center") on May 27, 2000. The signed original Complaint was received by WIPO Center on June 2, 2000.

On May 30, 2000, WIPO Center transmitted via e-mail a Request for Registrar Verification to NSI.

By email dated May 31, 2000, NSI advised WIPO Center as follows:

NSI had received a copy of the Complaint from the Complainant.

NSI is the Registrar of the domain name registration "posteel.com?.

The Respondent, Byung Ok, Ji, is the current registrant of the said domain name. The contact details including the administrative contact and the billing contact are as follows:

Registrant: Byung Ok, Ji
Postal Address: 505-1107 Kuryur 2 Dong A.P.T.
Songpa-Ku, Seoul 138-112
Republic of Korea

Administrative and Billing Contacts for the domain name:

Name: Byung Ok, Ji 
Postal Address: 505-1107 Kuryur 2 Dong Apt.
Songpa-Ku, Seoul 138-112
Republic of Korea 

Phone: (82-2) 431-4797
Fax: (82-2) 431-4797
E-mail: jooyeons@chollian.net 

Technical Contact for the domain name:
Name: WorldNIC Name Host
Postal Address: Network Solutions, Inc.
505 Huntmar Park Drive
Herndon, VA 20170
U.S.A. 
Phone: 1-888-642-9675
E-mail: namehost@WORLDNIC.COM

NSI?s 4.0 Service Agreement is in effect.

The domain name registration "posteel.com? is in "Active" status.

Having verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Policy and the Uniform Rules, WIPO Center on June 7, 2000, sent by courier, fax and email a notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceedings to the Respondent. The communication to the Respondent by courier was recorded as successful. However, the communication tothe Respondent by e-mail and fax was found unsuccessful. A copy of the Complaint was also emailed to NSI and ICANN.

The Respondent was advised that a Response to the Complaint was required within 20 calendar days (i.e., by June 26, 2000). 

The Respondent has made no Response to the Complaint. On June 30, 2000, WIPO Center notified the Respondent by courier and email of the consequences of its default in failing to file a Response. 

The Complainant elected to have its Complaint resolved by a single-member Panel and it has duly paid the amount required of it to WIPO Center. 

On July 4, 2000, WIPO Center notified the appointment of the Panel to the Complainant and the Respondent. 

4. Factual Background
The Complainant is the owner of the following five (5) trademark and service mark registrations for the mark POSTEEL in Korean transliteration and Design containing "Posteel" (thePOSTEEL mark) in Korea: 

(i) Trademark Registration No. 410554 
Class: 032 

(ii) Service Mark Registration No. 046869 
Class: 108

(iii) Service Mark Registration No. 046870
Class: 109 
(iv) Service Mark Registration No. 046871
Class: 110 

(v) Service Mark Registration No. 046872
Class: 112

The Complainant is the owner of the website "POSTEEL.CO.KR" in Korea.

The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant, nor is it otherwise authorized to use the POSTEEL mark.

5. Parties' Contentions

The Complainant asserts that the Respondent's domain name at issue is identical and/or confusingly similar to the POSTEEL mark.

The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is a small sized merchant who primarily sells clothing at the East Gate Market in Seoul, Korea. He has never been an agent of, or employed by the Complainant, nor has he ever been authorized to sell, distribute or promote any products of the Complainant. 

The Complainant asserts that the domain name is not associated with, or related to, the Respondent's given name or surname. The domain name is also not similar to any fictitious business name the Respondent is currently using for his clothing store, nor does the Respondent own any trademarks or service marks for the mark "POSTEEL".

The Complainant has submitted affidavits stating that the Respondent visited the Complainant to discuss the transfer of the domain name. At the meeting, the Respondent stated that the thought of registering the domain name did not occur to him until he observed the POSTEEL mark on the uniforms of the Complainant's professional soccer team in a nationally televised soccer game. Further, the Respondent stated that he is the owner of several other domain names that include the names of major companies and that he is in the process of negotiating the transfer of those domain names for a premium. Although the Respondent did not give a specific quote as to how much he wanted in return for the transfer, the Respondent requested the Complainant to make an offer to purchase the domain name for a price that was substantially above his out-of-pocket expenses. The Respondent further stated that if a deal is not made and the domain name
is transferred to another party, the situation would get very complicated. 

The Complainant thus sought the remedy that the domain name at issue be transferred to the Complainant.

The Respondent has not filed any response to the Complaint.
 

6. Discussion and Findings

The Complainant, under Paragraph 4(a) of the ICANN Policy, is required to show:

1)  that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

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

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

The Panel determines that the Respondent's domain name at issue is confusingly similar to the POSTEEL mark to which the Complainant has rights because the word "posteel" is a predominant part of the POSTEEL mark.

The Panel determines that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name for the following reasons: 

(a) The Respondent has failed to submit any evidence that it has any right or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name at issue; and

(b) According to the Complainant, the Respondent registered the domain name after seeing the POSTEEL mark on the uniform of the Complainant's professional soccer team, rather than on any
rights or interests he has in the word "POSTEEL". 

The Panel determines that the Respondent has registered the domain name in bad faith because the Complainant is widely known in Korea. Further, according to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Respondent registered the domain name after seeing the mark on the uniform of the Complainant's professional soccer team in a televised game. The Respondent stated that he is the owner of several other domain names that include the names of major companies and that he is in the process of negotiating the transfer of those domain names for a premium.

The domain name must not only be registered in bad faith, but must also be used in bad faith. In determining whether it has been so used, the Panel adopts with respect the reasoning set out in World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. v. Michael Busman, Case No. D99-001 and Harrods Ltd v. Boyd, Case No. D2000-0060. The Respondents there had offered to sell the domain name to the Complainants "for valuable consideration in excess of out-of-pocket expenses." In the present case, there is evidence showing that the Respondent visited the Complainant
to discuss the transfer of the domain name at issue in return for the compensation which appears to exceed the Respondent's out-of-pocket expenses. Thus, the Panel determines that the Respondent is using the domain name in bad faith.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, the Panel decides that: 

(a) The domain name registered by the Respondent is confusingly similar to the POSTEEL mark to which the Complainant has rights;

(b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and 

(c) The Respondent's domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. 

Accordingly, pursuant to Paragraph 4(i) of the Policy, the Panel hereby orders that the registration of the domain name "posteel.com" be transferred to the Complainant.
 

Domain Name Transferred