WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Missoni S.p.A v. Faizon Limited
Case No. D2008-0920
1. The Parties
Complainant is Missoni S.p.A, Sumirago, Italy, represented by Dr. Fabrizio Bedarida of Dr. Modiano & Associati S.p.A., Milan, Italy.
The Respondent is Faizon Limited, Faizon Love, 18-22 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4DQ, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names, <m-missoni.biz> and <m-missoni.info>, are registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 18, 2008. On June 18, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On June 18, 2008, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 26, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 16, 2008. The Response was filed with the Center on July 16, 2008.
The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on July 28, 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is a well-known Italian fashion house with an international distribution. Complainant holds numerous European and other trademarks including M-MISSONI and MISSONI and has a website at “www.missoni.com”. Complainant asserts that Respondent is identical to, or an emanation of, other persons or entities including Jhho Limited, Moorcroft Limited, Enki and Monteil Limited, and supplies emails and other indicia that these entities may be operating together with respect to the disputed domain names. Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to Jhho Limited on or about June 12, 2007, and received a reply indicating the disputed domain names and some other similar domain names could be for sale (“If you need, we can sell”). A number of communications ensued bargaining about the purchase price, but no deal was struck. As part of this bargaining it was represented to Complainant that the disputed domain names were registered for personal blogs. The disputed domain names resolve to sites advertising commercial goods and services, including some luxury goods.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that Respondent deliberately seeks to confuse the situation and complicate legal action by registering or shifting the disputed domain names to different names or addresses. Complainant further contends that it is here obvious that Respondent set up the disputed domain names with knowledge of the Missoni name and brand and with an intent improperly to trade on its reputation and goodwill. Complainant asserts that Respondent's characterization of the disputed domain names sites as “blogs” is another deceptive practice. For these and other reasons, discussed below, Complainant believes all elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are met and asks that the disputed domain names be transferred to it.
Respondent has submitted a brief unsigned Response largely limited to formal denials and allegations that the “complaint does not meet the statutory conditions” and that Complainant did not supply sufficient proof or its rights or priority. Respondent acknowledges that “m-missoni” is formed “by the Margherita Missoni simplified, Margherita Missoni Miss is a world-renowned models, but also a philanthropist active in the public interest”.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant is called Missoni SpA and has a trademark for M-MISSONI. The disputed domain names incorporate Complainant's trademark and name and therefore are confusingly similar within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant asserts, convincingly and without denial, that it has never licensed or given Respondent any right to use its marks, and that Respondent has made no bona fide use of these domain names. The evidence in the file is consistent with these assertions, so this element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is established as well.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant supplies convincing evidence and argument that Respondent knew of Complainant's mark and brand when it registered the disputed domain names; Respondent does not materially dispute or deny this. There is also a clear evidence of Respondent's immediate willingness to sell the disputed domain names and attempts to obtain a significant sum for the same. The foregoing is specific evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b) of the Policy. Further evidence of bad faith registration and/or use is to be found in Respondent's use of the disputed domain names in sponsored links that appear to trade on Complainant's marks and business, with Respondent claiming that these are personal blogs. For all the above reasons a finding of bad faith registration and use is here justified.
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, <m-missoni.biz> and <m-missoni.info> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: August 5, 2008