WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Prada S.A. v. Ms. Loredana Salvatori
Case No. D2007-0064
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Prada S.A., Luxembourg, represented by Studio Legale Jacobacci e Associati.
The Respondent is Ms. Loredana Salvatori, Rome, Italy.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <giadaprada.com> is registered with Direct Information Pvt Limited d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 17, 2007. On January 18, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Direct Information Pvt Limited d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue.
On January 19, 2007, Direct Information Pvt Limited d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.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 together with the amendment to 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 January 23, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 12, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 23, 2007.
The Center appointed Clive Duncan Thorne as the sole panelist in this matter on February 28, 2007. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel finds that the Respondent was given due notice of the Complaint, and 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 well - known company in the field of fashion, and the owner of several hundred trademarks including the word PRADA throughout the world. At Annex 1 to the Complaint are listed a large number of trademarks owned by the Complainant. Representative trademarks PRADA and copies of evidence of their registration are set out at Annexes 2 - 6 of the Complaint. The marks relied on as representative marks are as follows:
International Registration No. R556183
International Registration No. R439174
European Community Registration No. 271163
Italian Registration No. 809346
US Registration No. 2135219
The Complainant has been the owner of the trademark PRADA for many years. It submits that it is a famous trademark as is evidenced by on-line searches under “Prada” and by widespread international press coverage of the Complainant and its products. Samples of such press coverage are set out at Annex 7 to the Complaint.
The trademark PRADA originated from an Italian fashion designer whose first name was Miuccia. She is often referred to simple as Ms. Prada. The Prada business is a family owned business. In Rome where the Respondent is resident the Complainant has one of its largest boutiques and Ms. Prada is a household name.
The Respondent maintains a website, extracts from which are annexed at Annex 9 to the Complaint. The Respondent appears to offer “erotic services”. By calling “Ms. Giada Prada” the user can arrange for “an erotic body massage or something more” including various kinds of “transgressions” in hotels, private houses etc. The website also offers pornographic photographs and a movie. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is what is fashionably called an “escort” even though advertising and selling sexual services through the Internet is, apparently, under Italian law regarded as prostitution and illegal.
The Panel has looked at the extract from the Respondent’s website and it is clear that it incorporates pornographic photographs including four clips of a female figure in various erotic poses.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends the following:
1. The Complainant submits that it has trademark rights in the mark PRADA.
2. The Complainant submits the domain name <giadaprada.com> is confusingly similar with the trademark PRADA.
3. The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name. In particular, there is no evidence of the Respondent’s use or demonstrable preparation to use the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
4. The domain name is being used in bad faith. The redirection to pornographic sites from a domain name incorporating the trademark of another company is evidence of bad faith.
5. The present case is a case of “porno-squatting” where a cyber-squatter tries to take advantage of a well - known trademark and/or trade name to attract Internet users to a pornographic website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
General Principles under the Policy and the Rules
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant has the burden of proving:
(i) That the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) That the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) That the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
There being no response the Panel proceeds to decide this Complaint in relation to the contents of the Complaint and Complainant’s submissions only.
A. Identical or confusingly similar
Having considered the evidence referred to above of the registration by the Complainant of the mark PRADA the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has registered trademark rights. The Complainant submits that the “giada” portion of the domain name in dispute is a very common Italian first name and that there is a risk of confusing “giadaprada” with Miuccia Prada the founder of the Complainant. In the Panel’s view there is force in that submission. The use of the first name “Giada” qualifies the dominant part of the trademark i.e. Prada. It follows that the domain name is confusingly similar to the mark PRADA.
The Complainant therefore succeeds in this element of its Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant relies upon the fact that there is no evidence of the Respondent’s use of the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. It points out that the services provided are illegal under Italian law and that there is no evidence demonstrating any link between the name of the Respondent Loredana Salvatori and “giadaprada”. In the absence of any submission to the contrary from the Respondent, and of any other evidence in the record that would indicate rights or legitimate interests on the part of the Respondent, the Panel accepts the Complainant’s submission and finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The core of the Complainant’s submission is that the domain name incorporating the mark PRADA is being used to attract customers looking for the products and services associated with the Complainant to the sex site and that, in itself, is evidence of bad faith.
To support the submission the Complainant relies upon a number of Panel decisions which it submits support the proposition that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, linking the domain name in dispute to pornographic websites is prima facie evidence of bad faith. It submits that the decisions relied upon are, as in the present case, “porno-squatting” where a cyber-squatter attempts to take advantage of a well - know trademark and/or trade name to attract Internet users to a pornographic website. It submits that this arises in cases in which:
(a) a trademark similar to a famous mark is used by the domain name owner;
(b) the site to which the user is directed is pornographical or sells sexual services;
(c) the site is commercial requiring the user to pay for further services.
The Panel accepts these submissions and the principles established in the previous decisions referred to. In particular, the Panel is supported by the earlier decision in Six Continental Hotels v. Seweryn Nowak (WIPO Case No. D2003-0022) where the panel found that “the diversion of the domain names to a pornographic site is itself certainly consistent with the finding that the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith”.
The Panel is also mindful that there is no submission to the contrary by the Respondent. Based on the foregoing, the Panel finds that the domain name in dispute was registered and being 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 <giadaprada.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive Duncan Thorne
Dated: March 14, 2007