VKR Holding A/S v Bains, Court of Appeal - Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service, April 24, 2009, [2009] DRS 6973

Resolution Date:April 24, 2009
Issuing Organization:Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service
Actores:VKR Holding A/S v Bains
 
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DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICE

DRS 06973

Decision of Independent Expert

VKR Holding A/S

and

Sardara Bains

1. The Parties:

Complainant: VKR Holding A/S

Address: Hørsholm

Postcode 2970

Country: Denmark

Respondent: Sardara Bains

Address: 46 St. Helens Road

Solihull

Postcode: B91 2DA

Country: GB

2. The Domain Name:

veluxblind.co.uk

3. Procedural History:

The Complaint entered the Nominet system on March 10, 2009, was validated on March 11, 2009 and transmitted to the Respondent that day. The Response was filed on March 18, 2009 and transmitted to the Complainant that day. A Reply was filed on March 24, 2009. Informal mediation not having resolved the dispute and the Complainant having paid the relevant fee on April 8, 2009, the matter was referred to me for decision on April 16, 2009. I confirmed that I am independent of the parties and am not aware of any matters that might call into question my impartiality or independence.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant manufactures and supplies roof windows and blinds under the trademark VELUX, which it has registered in numerous countries, including in the UK since 1950 (Registered No. A691115). It operates several websites via domain names incorporating its VELUX trademark, including www.veluxblinds.co.uk and www.veluxblindsdirect.co.uk, both registered in 2000.

The Domain Name was registered by the Respondent on May 18, 2007. For some months in that year the Domain Name led to a website with the following headlines on its home page:

``VELUX BLIND: Welcome to the www.VELUXBlind.co.uk

VELUX is one of the leading roof window manufacturers. We offer all Velux Blinds.''

The home page depicted various VELUX blinds. At the foot of the home page appeared a box entitled ``Manufacturer'' whereby the products of manufacturers other than the Complainant could be accessed.

The Complainant's initial letters addressed to the Respondent seeking transfer of the Domain Name (November 7 and 22, 2007) contained the paragraph:

``We appreciate that you are a dealer of VELUX products, however as a general rule and as laid down in our Conditions of Sale, we do not allow third parties to acquire intellectual property rights incorporating our trademark''.

In a further letter from the Complainant dated November 13, 2008, by which time the Domain Name no longer led to the aforesaid website, that paragraph was replaced by the following:

``As a general rule, we do not allow third parties to acquire intellectual property rights incorporating our trademark. Further more, the domain name is used for web-portal activities, such activities constituting illegal commercial use of our trademark.''

That letter prompted ``Without Prejudice'' correspondence from the Respondent,...

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