WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Association Relative A La Tlvision Europenne (ARTE) G.E.I.E. v. Mythos Srl

Case No.D2007-0462

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Association Relative A La Tlvision Europenne (ARTE) G.E.I.E., Strasbourg, France, represented by Ernest Gutmann - Yves Plasseraud S.A., Paris, France.

The Respondent is Mythos Srl, Borgomanero, Italy.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed Domain Name <artetv.com> is registered with Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.com.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the“Center”) on March26,2007. On March26,2007, the Center transmitted by email to Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name at issue. On March28,2007, Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a directNIC.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 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“SupplementalRules”).

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April16,2007. Inaccordance with the Rules, paragraph5(a), the due date for Response was May6,2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May7,2007.

The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on May16,2007. 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, paragraph7.

 

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a Groupement Europen d’Intrt conomique (“G.E.I.E”) which is the head entity of the ARTE Group, a well-know European public-service television channel. ARTE began broadcasting in 1991 and claims to have more than 185 million viewers as of 2003. Arte is present on the internet through its official website, <arte-tv.com> since 1996, and also operates related websites (Annex 4 to the Complaint).

Complainant is the owner of many European trademarks including the following:

- ARTE No.252908 (applied for on May2,1996)

- ARTE THEMA No.782243 (applied for on March26,1998)

- ARTE EDITION No.888305 (applied for on July27,1998)

- ARTE VIDEO No.888362 (applied for on July27,1998)

- ARTE RENDEZ-VOUS No.888537 (applied for on July27,1998)

- ARTE (device) No.2622306 (applied for on March18,2002)

- ARTE (device) No.2768596 (applied for on July8,2002).

(See Annex 5 to the Complaint)

Complainant received an email from a third party on or about November13,2006 complaining that the disputed Domain Name website had links to pornographic sites. The disputed Domain Name appears to have been registered in May 1999 and to have, or have had links both to the activities of Complainant and to activities that compete with Complainant’s, as well as to pornographic material.

 

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that each of the elements of the test set forth in Paragraph4(a) of the Policy is clearly met in this case and that the disputed Domain Name should be transferred to Complainant. Complainant, in particular, alleges that it is obvious that Respondent is knowingly trading on the well-known “Arte” name. Complainant also points out that Respondent has already been found to have registered and used a domain name in bad faith under circumstances very similar to this case. See Juventus F.C. SpA v. Mythos Srl, WIPO Case No.D2001-0583.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

The Policy, in paragraph4(a), provides that Complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) The Respondent’s Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) The Domain Name has been registered and used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed Domain Name begins with and incorporates the entirety of the Complainant’s trademark. The mere addition of the sufffix “.tv” is not sufficient to distinguish it from Complainant’s marks; all the more so because Complainant is in the TV business. Furthermore, the disputed Domain Name is, but for a dash, identical to Complainant’s official website address. Complainant submits evidence of an incident of actual confusion, which prompted a user complaint. The disputed Domain Name is clearly confusingly similar and substantially identical to Complainant’s marks and Complainant’s website.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The file and evidence presented show no basis to believe that Respondent is known as “Arte”, or has any right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed Domain Name; nor is Respondent making legitimate non-commercial use of the disputed Domain Name. On the contrary, all evidence points to Respondent’s use of the disputed Domain Name with knowledge of Complainant’s rights and for improper commercial gain. The absence of a reply by Respondent also points to a lack of legitimate interest in respect of the disputed Domain Name, and the Panel so finds.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant’s name and marks are used in the media extensively throughout Europe since 1991, and its first trademark registration goes back to 1996. It is not plausible that Respondent registered and used the disputed Domain Name in ignorance of Complainant’s marks and trade name. Rather, the evidence reflects a deliberate bad faith registration and use of Complainant’s well-known name and trademarks. The disputed Domain Name resolves to a site including, inter alia, links to media competitors of Complainant and for profit pornographic sites (see Annex 8 to the Complaint). This is specific indicia of bad faith use under paragraph4(b)(iv) of the Policy. Complainant further cites the apposite case of Playboy Enterprises International Inc. v. Global Media Domain Trust, WIPO Case No. D2006-1543 in support of this assertion. The Panel finds that the disputed Domain Name was both registered and used in bad faith.

 

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs4(i) of the Policy and 15of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <artetv.com> be transferred to the Complainant.


Nicolas Ulmer
Sole Panelist

Dated: May30,2007