WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Banque Accord v. George At, N/A
Case No. D2007-0888
1. The Parties
Complainant is Banque Accord, Croix, France, represented by Cabinet Dreyfus & Associés, France.
Respondent is George At, N/A, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <oney.info> is registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 15, 2007. On June 18, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On June 18, 2007, Go Daddy Software transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing some contact details. 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 June 25, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 15, 2007. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on July 16, 2007.
The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on August 1, 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a financial institution, and part of a larger financial and goods distribution group. Complainant carries out on-line banking and other financial activities under the “Oney” trade name. It is the owner of a number of trademarks including, notably, the following:
- Community trademark ONEY No. E4579561, filed on August 5, 2005, in classes 9, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41 and 42;
- International trademark ONEY No. 865742, filed on August 11, 2005, in classes 9, 36 and 38; and
- International trademark ONEY No. 867251, filed on October 4, 2005, in classes 9, 35, 39, 41 and 42.
Complainant has a website at “www.oney.fr” and has registered other domain names with names similar to the disputed domain name, including:
<carte-de-credit-oney.com> registered on April 20, 2005;
<oneybanque.com> registered on October 26, 2005; and
<oney-shopping.com> registered on August 10, 2005.
The disputed domain name was registered on or about February 26, 2007.
Complainant sent cease and desist letters concerning the disputed domain name on or about September 13, 2006 and January 11, 2007, but received no response. Little is know of Respondent other than the above United Kingdom contact information.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant maintains that its ONEY trademark is valuable and is well-known due to a series of ONEY credit cards, advertising, web announcements, and domain names. Complainant maintains that it is clear that Respondent, through the disputed domain name, is impermissibly using its trade name and marks in bad faith such that the elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are readily proven. The Complainant’s contentions and factual assertions are further discussed in Section 6 below.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy, in paragraph 4(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
As noted above, Complainant has a series of trademarks for the name ONEY and uses these trademarks in its business and on the Internet.
The disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the key trademark word “Oney”. Numerous cases support the proposition that the addition of a domain name indication or suffix does not dispel similarity. E.g. Gamefly v. James Martin, WIPO No. D2006-0236 (suffix “info” added to Complainant’s mark).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is essentially identical and in any event confusingly similar, to Complainant’s trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests as regards the disputed domain name, or that Respondent is known as “Oney” or anything similar. The disputed domain name was registered significantly after Complainant’s trademarks were registered and its websites operational. Nor, it should be added, has Respondent asserted any rights; rather it has failed to answer demand letters and the Complaint in this proceeding. The Panel finds that Complainant has met its burden of demonstrating that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant supplies significant evidence that its ONEY trademark was and is well- known, including in e-commerce. The registration of an identical or confusingly similar disputed domain name by the Respondent is in bad faith. See also Banque Accord v. Jean Aimé, WIPO Case D2005-1239.
Complainant further submits evidence that the disputed domain name is, or has been, used to advertise a wide variety of services, with many links including to e-retail stores, hotels and travel services, and prominently displays numbers and calculations; presumably in some genre of association to finance. Complainant is in the business of, inter alia, e-financial services and is part of a larger group involved in shopping and the distribution of products. All these factors strongly indicate that Respondent is aware of Complainant’s rights and marks and seeks improperly to use them for commercial gain; this is evidence of bad faith under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy. Furthermore, and as noted above, this Panel may draw appropriate inferences from Respondent’s failure to answer both cease and desist letters and the Complaint in this proceeding. Accord, Banque Accord v. Michael Glawe, WIPO No. D2006-0855. The panel finds that
Complainant has, accordingly, here met its burden of demonstrating bad faith registration and use.
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 <oney.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: August 14, 2007