WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Credit Suisse Group v. Kingdomdatanet Nework, Inc
Case No. D2004-0846
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Credit Suisse Group, of Zürich, Switzerland, represented by E. Blum & Co., Switzerland.
The Respondent is Kingdomdatanet Nework, Inc, of Lagos, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <creditsuissefinance.com> is registered with SRSplus.
3. Procedural History
3.1. Issuing of the Complaint
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) by email on October 15, 2004, and in hardcopy on October 19, 2004.
3.2. Confirmation of registration details
On October 18, 2004, the Center transmitted by email to SRSplus a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On October 19, 2004, SRSplus 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.
3.3. Formal requirements compliance check
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”).
The Panel independently determined and agreed with the assessment of the WIPO Center that the Complaint is in formal compliance with the requirements of the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
3.4. Notification of the Respondent
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 October 20, 2004.
In accordance with the Rules, Paragraph 5(a), the Notification specified, November 9, 2004, as the due date for the submission of the Response.
Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules provides that it is the provider’s responsibility to employ reasonably available means to achieve actual notice of the Respondent. The Panel accepts that, in the light of the information available to it, the Center has fulfilled this obligation.
3.5. Filing a Response
The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 10, 2004.
3.6. Constitution of the Administrative Panel
The Center appointed Beatrice Onica Jarka as the Sole Panelist in this matter on November 25, 2004. 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.
The Panel finds that the Administrative Panel was properly constituted and appointed in accordance with the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
3.7 Language of the Proceedings
The Panel considers that, according to Paragraph 11 of the Rules, the language of the proceedings is English.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is the owner of the world famous trademark “CREDIT SUISSE”, which has been registered in many countries all over the world. These trademark registrations claim and cover different kind of goods and services within the activities of an internationally active bank and financial institute.
CREDIT SUISSE is also the name of the Complainant, which is protected under the laws of Switzerland as well as based on Article. 8 of the Paris Convention, to which most countries in the world adhere.
The Respondent has a website under the domain name <creditsuissefinance.com> where he pretends to offer the services of a bank under the name of “Credit Suisse”, as it results from the annex 4 to the Complaint. However, at the time the Complaint was filed the registrant’s server was being temporarily unable to service.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that:
- it is the owner of the world famous trademark “CREDIT SUISSE”, which has been registered all over the world for goods and services within the activities of an internationally active bank and financial institute;
- CREDIT SUISSE is also the name of the Complainant, which is protected under the laws of Switzerland as well as based on Article. 8 of the Paris Convention, to which most countries in the world adhere;
- the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, because the Respondent when registering the disputed domain name, must have known of the Complainant’s business and decided to take advantage of it;
- the disputed domain name is in fact the full name of the Complainant with the addition of “finance”;
- the public seeing and using the domain name <creditsuissefinance.com> will be misled to believe that this is a website of Credit Suisse, because the public knows that Credit Suisse does have a large international network of affiliate branches and companies throughout the world;
- the Respondent has a web-site under the domain name <creditsuissefinance.com> where he pretends to offer the services of a bank under the name of “Credit Suisse”;
- the registrant’s server is temporarily unable to provide services due to the site owner reaching his bandwidth limit;
- when the website under the domain <creditsuissefinance.com> is active, the public is able to access it, and to enter in contact with this company. The likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s business is very high.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
A.1. The Complainant’s trademark or service mark rights
Credit Suisse Group is a world-leading financial services company, advising clients in all aspects of finance, around the world. The Complainant is the owner of the world famous trademark CREDIT SUISSE, which has been registered all over the world.
A search on the Internet for the name of CREDIT SUISSE resolves to thousands of sites where the Complainant’s banking and financial services are mentioned, including the site of the Complainant “www.credit-suisse.com”.
The Panel concludes that the Complainant has trademark and service mark rights in the mark CREDIT SUISSE.
A.2. The similarity of the mark Credit Suisse with the disputed domain name <creditsuissefinance.com>
In the disputed domain name, the Respondent incorporated in its entirety the trademark of the Complainant and added the word “finance”.
It is undisputed that the Complainant enjoys a strong reputation for the services it offers under the Trademark “CREDIT SUISSE” (and hence possesses rights in the Trademark). By adding a descriptive word “finance” to the Trademark does not serve to distinguish the Domain Names from the Trademark.
For the reasons above, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar with the trademark and service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has a website under the domain name <creditsuissefinance.com> where he pretends to offer the services of a bank under the name of “Credit Suisse”. The Complainant attached to the complaint evidence to prove its assertion. During the administrative proceedings, the Panel could not access the website operating under the disputed domain name. Nevertheless taking in consideration Annex 4 to the Complaint, the lack of any reply from the Respondent corroborated with its proper notification by the Center, the Panel accepts that the Respondent uses the website under the domain <creditsuissefinance.com> to offer the services of a bank under the name of “CREDIT SUISSE”.
As for the rights or legitimate interest of the Respondent in the disputed domain name, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant and is not otherwise authorized to use Complainant’s marks. Moreover, the Complainant is disturbed by the fact that the Respondent is using the <creditsuissefinance.com> to mislead the public to believe that it is a web-site of CREDIT SUISSE. From this assertion taken together with failure of the Respondent to provide a Response on the matter, the Panel infers that there is no connection between the Complainant and the Respondent as to the use of the disputed domain name. Using another’s famous trademark as domain name for selling services similar with those offered by the owner of the trademark, in the absence of an agreement with that owner cannot be considered use or preparation to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to the dispute. The Respondent’s failure to provide a Response prevents Respondent from showing any legitimate interests detailed in Sections 4(c)(ii) and (iii), as such being commonly known as the domain name or making noncommercial fair use of the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Accepting that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name offering the services of a bank under the name of “CREDIT SUISSE”, the Panel finds that this constitutes a strong evidence of registration and use in bad faith of the Domain Name, as the Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
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, <creditsuissefinance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Beatrice Onica Jarka
Dated: December 8, 2004