WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Lyonnaise de Banque v. Richard J.
Case No. D2006-0142
1. The Parties
Complainant is Lyonnaise de Banque, Lyon, France, represented by Meyer & Partenaires, France.
Respondent is Richard J., n/a, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <parcoursj.com> is registered with eNom.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) electronically on February 2, 2006, and in hardcopy on February 6, 2006. On February 3, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 3, 2006, eNom 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 10, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 2, 2006. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 7, 2006.
The Center appointed Torsten Bettinger as the Sole Panelist in this matter on March 16, 2006. 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
Complainant is a French banking and insurance service group, providing services to thirteen million clients. Complainant offers bank account, insurance and credit card services for young people and students under the name “PARCOURS J”.
On June 7, 1996, Complainant registered the trademark “PARCOURS J”, No. 96 629 538 in France for use in connection with business management, financial, monetary and real estate affairs, in Classes 35 and 36.
Respondent is the registered owner of the domain name <parcoursj.com> and uses the domain name to redirect Internet users to a SEDO parking website with various hyperlinks to other financial service providers.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that each of the elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been satisfied.
In reference to the element in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, Complainant contends that the domain name <parcoursj.com> is identical to Complainant’s French trademark registration No. 96 629 538 PARCOURS J. In support of this assertion, Complainant argues that neither the space between the word PARCOURS and the letter J nor the addition of the top level domain “.com” do affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark.
In reference to the element in paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, Complainant states that none of the situations described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy can be established in this case. In support of this assertion, Complainant argues that:
- Respondent is not Complainant’s agent or in any other way related to the Complainant;
- Respondent has never been known under the term “PARCOURS J”
- Respondent has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use Complainant’s trademark as a domain name.
In reference to the element in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name was acquired primarily for the purpose of redirecting Internet users to a SEDO parking page with links to other financial service providers and thus capitalizing on Complainant’s goodwill in the trademark PARCOURS J.
Complainant argues that “PARCOURS J” is a distinctive mark with regard to financial services and that Complainant obviously was aware of Complainant’s trademark when registering the domain name as Respondent used the French term “compte” (bank account) as keyword for the SEDO parking website available under the domain name.
Furthermore, Complainant points out that Respondent registered various other domain names which are used to redirect Internet users to SEDO parking pages and infringe French companies’ trademark rights, and that Respondent has been has been involved in numerous UDPR proceedings where the panelists ordered the disputed domain names to be transferred to the complainants.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has provided evidence of a trademark registration consisting of the term PARCOURS J.
The test of confusing similarity under the Policy is confined to a comparison of the disputed domain name and the trademark alone, independent of the products for which the domain name is used or other marketing and use factors, such as the “Sleekcraft factors” – AMF Inc. v. Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341,346 (9th Cir. 1979), usually considered in trademark infringement (See Arthur Guinness Son & Co. (Dublin) Limited v. Dejan Macesic, WIPO Case No. D2000-1698 <guiness.com>; Ansell Healthcare Products Inc. v. Australian Therapeutics Supplies Pty, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2001-0110, <ansellcondoms.com>; Dixons Group Plc v. Mr. Abu Abdullaah, WIPO Case No. D2001-0843, <dixons-online.net>; AT&T Corp. v. Amjad Kausar, WIPO Case No. D2003-0327, <attinternet.com>, <attuniversal.com>; BWT Brands, Inc. and British Am. Tobacco (Brands), Inc. v. NABR, WIPO Case No. D2001-1480, <kool.com>; Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505, <britanniabuildingsociety.org>.
The disputed domain name wholly incorporates Complainant’s trademark PARCOURS J. The absence of the space between the word “Parcours” and the letter “J” does not eliminate the similarity between Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name. (See Kelley Blue Book Company ./. Nicolay Golovin aka Buy-movie.net, WIPO Case No. D2005-0837, <kelly-blue-book.org>; Owens Corning Fiberglas Technology ./. Hammerstone, WIPO Case No. D2003-0903, <cultured-stone.com>; Rolls-Royces PLC ./. Hallofpain, WIPO Case No. D2000-0170, <rollsroycecanada.com> and <rollsroycecanada.net>.
Furthermore, it is well-established that the specific top level of a domain name such as “.com”, “.org” or “.net” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar (See Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood & Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525, <magnumpiering.com>; Rollerblade, Inc. v. Chris McCrady, WIPO Case No. D2000-0429, <rollerblade.net>).
The Panel thus finds that the domain name <parcoursj.com> is identical to Complainant’s trademark PARCOURS J and that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy requires Complainant to prove that Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. However, it is the consensus view among panelists that if complainant makes a prima facie case that respondent has no rights or legitimate interests, and respondent fails to show one of the three circumstances under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, then respondent may lack a legitimate interest in the domain name.
Complainant showed that Respondent has neither a license nor any other permission to use the trademark PARCOURS J in which Complainant has exclusive rights. The Panel thus finds that Complainant has made a prima facie showing that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name <parcoursj.com>.
Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or any other circumstances giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the domain name.
The term “parcoursj” is identical with Complainant’s trademark. Before notice to Respondent of the dispute, there is no evidence of its use, or demonstrable preparations to use the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent’s use of the domain name to divert Internet users to a SEDO parking website in order to redirect users to competing sites and thus capitalizing on Complainant’s trademark is not a bona fide use pursuant to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy.
Further, nothing in the record suggests that Respondent is making any other legitimate commercial or non-commercial use of the domain name or registered the domain name as a descriptive, non-source identifying domain name.
The Panel therefore accepts the Complainant’s contention that Respondent has no right or legitimate interests in the domain name and that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is also satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant alleges that Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of attracting, for commercial gain, Internet users to a SEDO parking website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark.
The Panel also agrees with Complainant’s contention that Respondent registered and is using the domain name <parcoursj.com> in bad faith.
The term PARCOURS J is obviously connected with Complainant’s trademark and not a word a trader would legitimately choose unless seeking to create an impression of an association with Complainant. It is therefore inconceivable that Respondent registered the domain name unaware of Complainant’s rights in its trademark PARCOURS J.
Screen shots of Respondent’s web page at <parcoursj.com> show that use of the domain name redirects user to a parking website that provides links to other banking service providers which compete with the Complainant. These parking websites typically offer domain name holders to earn click through fees for redirecting Internet users to competing websites and thus capitalizing on the goodwill of
This qualifies as bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) in that Respondent’s use of the domain name attempts to attract for commercial gain Internet users to Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainants’ mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website.
Moreover, Respondent’s default in this proceeding and the fact Respondent was involved in a various other UDRP proceedings, in which Panelists found that Respondent had registered and used domain names in bad faith, reinforces an inference of bad faith.
The Panel therefore concludes that Respondent registered and is using the domain name <parcoursj.com> in bad faith and that the requirement of the paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.
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 <parcoursj.com>, be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: March 30, 2006