WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Credit Suisse Group v. John Alli
Case No. D2004-0637
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Credit Suisse Group, Zurich, Switzerland, represented by E. Blum & Co., Switzerland.
The Respondent is John Alli, Mesquine, Texas, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <creditsuisseb.com> is registered with iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 16, 2004. On August 16, 2004, the Center transmitted by email to iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 16, 2004, iHoldings.com Inc. d/b/a DotRegistrar.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 19, 2004. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 8, 2004. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 14, 2004.
The Center appointed Christiane Féral-Schuhl as the Sole Panelist in this matter on October 4, 2004. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is an internationally active bank and financial institute.
The Complainant owns the trademark “CREDIT SUISSE” which has been registered all over the world for several years.
The Complainant uses the domain name <credit-suisse.com> for its main website dedicated to its activities.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <creditsuisseb.com> on July 14, 2004.
The disputed domain name is used for the website of Credit Suisse Bank Monaco an entity unaffiliated with Complainant, providing online banking services.
The website “www.creditsuisse.com” has been deactivated.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that the trademark registration “CREDIT SUISSE” claims and covers different kinds of goods and services within its activities and that its name is protected under the laws of Switzerland as well as based on Art. 8 of the Paris Convention.
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith because the name “Credit Suisse” is not a coined word which could have been found by the Respondent by coincidence. Therefore the Complainant assumes that the disputed domain name has been chosen by the Respondent in order to take advantage of the Complainant’s business.
The Complainant notes that the disputed domain name is the full name of the Complainant with the addition of the letter “b” for “Bank”.
The Complainant contends that the public seeing and using the disputed domain name will be led to believe that it is the website of one of its affiliates located in Monte Carlo.
The Complainant adds that the Respondent did not reply to the warning letter it sent on August 5, 2004.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of registrations of its trademark “CREDIT SUISSE” all over the world.
The name and trademark “CREDIT SUISSE” is used by the Complainant for its international banking and financial activities.
The disputed domain name is almost identical to the “CREDIT SUISSE” trademark, the only difference being the addition of the letter “b” which cannot operate as a distinguishing feature.
The disputed domain name is used for a website which provides online banking services unassociated with the Complainant.
The public seeing this website may be led to believe that it is one of the Complainant’s websites.
Therefore, the Panel considers that the disputed domain name <creditsuisseb.com> is confusingly similar to the said registered trademark of the Complainant
The disputed domain name is used for the website of an unassociated banking service which mentions a copyright protection.
However, the Respondent has not submitted a response to present any evidence to establish its rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. In particular, the Respondent has not demonstrated its right over the name or trademark “CREDIT SUISSE”.
Therefore, the Panel considers that it can find no evidence to demonstrate that the Respondent has a legitimate right or interest in the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark “CREDIT SUISSE” owned by the Complainant and is used for the same activities (banking services and goods).
Given the fame of the Complainant’s mark the Panel considers that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in order to take advantage of the Complainant’s business.
Therefore, the Panel finds the domain name disputed has been registered and used in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <creditsuisseb.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: October 18, 2004