WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Teleperformance v. Click Cons. Ltd.
Case No. D2008-0242
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Teleperformance, Paris, France, represented by Inlex Conseil, France.
The Respondent is Click Cons. Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Names and Registrars
The disputed domain names, <telepeformance.com> and <teleperformanceusa.net> (the “Domain Names”), are registered with DomainDoorman, LLC and Capitoldomains, LLC respectively.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 15, 2008. On February 18, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to DomainDoorman, LLC and Capitoldomains, LLC requests for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On February 19, 2008, DomainDoorman, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response in respect of the Domain Name, <telepeformance.com>, confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On the same day, Capitoldomains, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response in respect of the Domain Name, <teleperformanceusa.net>, confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 20, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 11, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 12, 2008.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on March 26, 2008. 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.
The Complainant subsequently submitted a request to suspend the proceedings for one month on April 7, 2008. However, as the Panel had already proceeded to consider the merits of the case by this point, the Panel believes the appropriate course in the circumstances is to proceed to render its decision as set out below.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a company incorporated in France and engaged in the operation of call centers under and by reference to the name ‘Teleperformance’.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of a large number of trademark registrations of the word TELEPERFORMANCE, the earliest of which is French registration No. 1354316 dated June 9, 1978.
The Complainant is also the proprietor of several domain names comprising the name “teleperformance” including <teleperformance.com>, <teleperformance.org>, <teleperformance.info> and <teleperformance.biz>.
The Domain Names were registered on September 1, 2006 and August 22, 2006, respectively and are connected to a French language parking page featuring links to various call centre and telemarketing sites.
In September 2007, the Complainant’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent to a postal address in Germany, to a fax number in Hong Kong and by email. No reply was received.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to its registered trademark, TELEPERFORMANCE.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Names, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) The Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names; and
(iii) The Domain Names have been registered in bad faith and are being used in bad faith.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Apart from the generic domain suffix, which may be ignored for this purpose, the Domain Name, <telepeformance.com>, comprises the Complainant’s trademark with one letter (the first ‘r’) missing. It is substantially identical and certainly confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
Apart from the generic domain suffix, the Domain Name, <teleperformanceusa.net>, comprises the Complainant’s trademark (correctly spelt) with the addition of the letters, ‘usa’, which is best known as a geographical indication and does nothing to dilute the distinctiveness of the trademark. It, too, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Panel finds that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The essence of the Complainant’s case is that the Complainant is very well-known in its field and that the Respondent, knowing of the existence of the Complainant, registered the Domain Names with the Complainant in mind and with the intention of deriving revenue from the links featured on the parking page to which the Domain Names are connected.
In support of this contention, the Complainant points to the fact that the parking page not only concentrates on links to the Complainant’s competitors, but is also a French language page, France being the Complainant’s home country, but a country having no obvious connection with the Respondent.
The Complainant contends that such a use of the Domain Names cannot constitute a bona fide offering of services within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy.
The Complainant has conducted various enquiries and has been unable to find any trademark registrations or any other factors, which could justify the adoption of the Domain Names by the Respondent. The Complainant states that it has not granted the Respondent any permission to use its name and trademark.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a very strong case calling for an answer from the Respondent, but the Respondent has chosen not to answer.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The nature of the parking page is such that the Respondent must have known of the existence of the Complainant and the field in which it operates. The fact that one of the Domain Names features a correct spelling of the Complainant’s name and trademark, whereas the other omits a letter in the middle, yet both Domain Names link to a French language parking page devoted to the field in which the Complainant operates, leaves the Panel in no doubt that the Respondent was targeting the Complainant from the outset.
Internet users are likely to be attracted to the Respondent’s site in the case of one of the Domain Names by mistyping the Complainant’s name or in the case of the other of the Domain Names in the belief that they are visiting the Complainant’s United States website.
On arriving at the site, visitors will be offered numerous links to competitors of the Complainant, thereby providing the Respondent with revenue earning opportunities.
None of the above has been challenged by the Respondent.
The Complainant has produced evidence to show that the Respondent has frequently in the past been held to be in possession of domain names registered and used in bad faith. The Complainant cites no less than six decisions of WIPO UDRP panelists to that effect.
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent’s motivation in registering the Domain Names was to attract internet users to its revenue earning website for commercial gain, the attractive force being the Complainant’s well known trademark featured in the Domain Names.
The Panel finds that the Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(a)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
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 Names, <telepeformance.com> and <teleperformanceusa.net>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: April 7, 2008