WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A v. Caribbean Online International Ltd.
Case No. D2007-0855
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A, Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Caribbean Online International Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <filbanqaue.com> is registered with BelgiumDomains, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 11, 2007. On June 12, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to BelgiumDomains, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On July 14, 2007, BelgiumDomains, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the details. 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 June 18, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 8, 2007.
The Center appointed Pravin Anand as the sole panelist in this matter on July 5, 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, paragraph 7.
Subsequently the Panel was informed by the Center that their case record reflected that the Respondent Default notice issued in these proceedings was prematurely issued on June 20, 2007 instead of July 9, 2007. The Panel issued a panel order on August 6, 2007 giving the Respondent until August 13, 2007, to provide any reply or indicate its intention to participate in the proceedings. Since no response has been received by the Panel on behalf of the Respondent, the Panel finds the Respondent in default.
4. Factual Background
The facts stated in the Complaint by the Complainant Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A., are as follows:
1) The Complainant Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A., is a French banking group with 3.6 million clients worldwide and a network of 1940 branches in France. The Complainant has an international presence and innumerable branches all over the world, including branches in Europe, Asia, Africa far and Middle East, Latin America and North America.
2) The Complainant offers Internet facilities through its online banking service Filbanque. FILBANQUE is thus the trade name and the trademark used by the Complainant for its online banking activities.
3) The Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations in FILBANQUE. The Complainants registered trademarks are as follows:
- FILBANQUE as French nominative trademark No. 92402299 on January 1992, for classes 35, 36 and 42.
- French figurative trademark FILBANQUE No. 95553426 registered on January 13, 1995, for classes 35, 36, 38.
- French figurative trademark FILBANQUE No. 95553427 registered on January 13, 1995 for classes 35, 36, 38.
- French nominative trademark FILBANQUE No. 01 3 126 064 registered on October 15, 2001, for classes 9, 16, 28, 41 and 42.
- French figurative trademark FILBANQUE No. 013130040 registered on November 7, 2001 for classes 9, 16, 28, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42.
4) The Complainant has also registered various domain names incorporating its trademark FILBANQUE.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contentions are summarized briefly as follows:
1. The Complainant has rights in the trademark and trade name FILBANQUE. Additionally, the domain name <filbanqaue.com> is confusingly similarly to the trademark FILBANQUE as being almost identical.
2. The sole difference is the adjunction of the “letter A” between the “letters Q” and “letter U”. It is the Complainant’s contention that the disputed domain name is a mere misspelling of the Complainant’s mark, notably constituted by the fact that the letters “Q” and “A” are situated side by side on a AZERTY or QWERTY computer keyboard.
3. The Complainant claims that Respondent has neither rights nor legitimate interest in respect of the domain name. The Respondent is not currently and has never been known under the wording FILBANQAUE.
4. The Complainant has neither authorized nor licensed to the Respondent in anyway to use or exploit the FILBANQUE’s trademark, to appropriate this domain name, or to otherwise associate itself with the Complainant.
5. The Complainant states that the Respondent is not related to its business, in any way whatsoever, and that it is not one of its subsidiaries, branch or correspondent, and, that it does not carry out any business with Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A.
6. The Complainant’s trademark FILBANQUE is a well known trademark. Further the Respondent cannot have made randomly the association of the word “FIL” and “BANQAUE” in the expression FILBANQAUE.
7. The misspelling aims at creating a likelihood confusion between the Complainant trademark FILBANQUE and the Respondent’s domain name <filbanqaue.com>
8. It is the Complainant contention that the Respondent has clearly been identified as a cybersquatter and has already been found at fault by previous UDRP panels.
9. The Complainant further contends that the Respondents must be taken to have known about the Complainant’s business and reputation a fact which is proven by the type of hyperlinks set in the webpage of the disputed domain name. These are in the field of banking financial and insurance services. Moreover these links appear solely in French and are related to the complainant’s competitor websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainant has to prove each of the following elements:
i) The domain name registered by the Respondent 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 used in bad faith.
In the case of a default by a party, paragraph 14 of the Rules prescribes that if a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with a provision of, or a requirement, under the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences there from, as it considers appropriate.
In this case, the Respondent has not submitted a Response and the Panel will therefore have to operate on the basis of factual contentions in the Complaint as well as the evidence to support it.
Accordingly the panel finds that:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has exclusive rights in the trademark FILBANQUE by virtue of its numerous trademark registrations as well as the extensive use of the trademark FILBANQUE in the course of its business.
Further the edition of the letter “A” does not make the domain name dissimilar to the trademark in which the complainant has rights. See Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A. Banque Scalbert Dupont S.A. v. Laporte Holdings, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-1110; see Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A v. Name Privacy, WIPO Case No. 2005-0457; see deutsche bank aktiengesellschaft/ new york tv tickets inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-1314.
Further the disputed domain name is a mere misspelling or typographical error of the Complainant’s mark, as evidenced by the fact that the letters “Q” and “A” are situated side by side on a AZERTY or QWERTY computer keyboard.
Therefore the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name:
1. The Respondent is not currently and never has been known under wording ‘Filbanqaue’.
2. The Complainant did not know the Respondent and confirms that Respondent is not related to its business, and that it is not one of its subsidiaries, branch or correspondent and that it does not carry out any business with the Respondent.
3. The complainant has neither authorized nor licensed to the Respondent in any way the right to use or exploit the FILBANQUE trademark or to appropriate it in a domain name or to otherwise associate itself with the Complainant.
4. The disputed domain name points to the parking webpage that displays hyperlinks related to banking and financial products and/or services provided by the Complainant’s competitors. Such use cannot be the basis for a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy 4(c)(i) or a non commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name pursuant to Policy 4(c)(iii). See Credit Suisse Group / Kingdomdatanet Network Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-0846.
Therefore the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has advanced grounds for the Panel to ascertain that the disputed domain name is registered and is being used in bad faith:
1. It has been stated in previous WIPO decisions that FILBANQUE is a well known trademark. see Credit Industriel Et Commercial S.A. v. Whoisguard Protected, WIPO Case No. D2006-1162. Further the Respondent cannot have made randomly the association of the word “FIL” and “BANQAUE” in the expression FILBANQAUE.
2. The Respondent has been clearly identified as a cyber squatter and has been found at fault by previous UDRP Panels see Credit Industriel Et Commercial Sa ./. Carribean International Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2007-0423; see HBH, Limited Partnership v. Caribbean Online International Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2006-1454; See The Royal Bank Of Scotland Group Plc v. Caribbean Online International Ltd, NAF No. 0611000849147; see: Chevron Intellectual Property Llc v. Caribbean Online International Ltd, NAF No.0611000833024.
3. The Respondent must be taken to have known of the Complainant business and reputation. This fact is proven by the type of hyperlinks on the web page to which the disputed domain <filbanqaue.com> resolves; all links are in the field of banking, financial and insurance services. Further these links appear exclusively in French and are related to the complainant’s competitor websites. This kind of behavior illustrates the fact that the Respondent only wanted to divert internet user seeking information about the Complainant products, but to obtain revenue from diverting traffic intended for the complainant websites see Credit Industriel Et Commercial S.A. and Confederation Nationale Du Credit Mutuel v. Spiral Matrix, WIPO Case No. D2006-0271; see Credit Industrial et Commercial S.A. v. Web Advertising Corp., WIPO Case No. D2006-1418.
The following circumstances establish that the domain name is registered and used in bad faith:
The trademark FILBANQUE is a well known trademark. The Respondent must in all likelihood be taken to have known about the Complainant’s trademark.
The webpage on which the disputed domain <filbanqaue.com> resolves has numerous links related to the Complainant’s competitor websites. Further the Respondent has attempted to attract for commercial gain visitors to his website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s well-known trademark FILBANQUE.
The Panel also notes that the Respondent has been found at fault by previous UDRP panels as being a cybersquatter.
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 <filbanqaue.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 13, 2007