The plaintiff is a manufacturer of ventilation equipment for the renovation market and the building construction market. The defendant has been the sole distributor of AERECO products in The Netherlands on the renovation market. The plaintiff has registered the international trademark AERECO in 1999. The defendant has registered the domain name in 2004. The plaintiff has requested that the Tribunal will decide that the plaintiff shall become the holder of the domain name instead of the defendant and that the defendant will be prohibited from registering domain names similar to the contested domain name aereco.nl in the future.
In absence of a defence the Tribunal is only required to establish if the plaintiff's claims are not baseless or unlawful. Use of a domain name for a website on which goods or services are advertised or offered for sale can be considered as use to distinguish the goods or services offered on the website under that domain name. The domain name aereco.nl is identical with the plaintiff's trademark AERECO. It is well established that the top level domain '.nl' is irrelevant for the assessment of similarity or identity between the trademark and the domain name. The sign aereco.nl has been used in relation to goods or services which are identical with those for which the trademark has been registered. The domain name has been used by the defendant in relation to ventilation equipment, while the trademark has been registered for, inter alia, ventilation equipment. As there is no evidence that the plaintiff has consented to use by the defendant of its trademark as part of the domain name, the defendant, by using the domain name, infringes upon the trademark rights of the plaintiff, as set out in art. 2:20 paragraph 1 and sub (a) BCIP. Therefore, the Tribunal shall award the requested remedy that the plaintiff shall become the holder of the domain name instead of the defendant.
The Plaintiff has requested that the defendant be prohibited from registering domain names similar to the contested domain name aereco.nl. The Tribunal feels that it has been well established in previous .nl awards that a general order to prohibit a defendant from registering domain names similar to the contested domain name is not admissible (see for instance Loadit - Xiro Unlimited Entertainment, DomJur 2006-262, Just Eat - Roberto da Silva, DomJur 2007-323 and Volkswagen - Princa, DomJur 2007-340). The Tribunal understands however that the Plaintiff seeks a remedy that such future domain names shall not infringe the trademark, which claim is granted.