WIPO

 

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Renault S.A.S. , Automobile Dacia S.A. v. Aritz Goikoetxea Arruti

Case No. D2008-1042

 

1. The Parties

The Complainants are Renault S.A.S., Cedex, France; Automobile Dacia S.A., Judetul Arges, Romania, represented by Cabinet Dreyfus & Associs, France.

The Respondent is Aritz Goikoetxea Arruti, Guipuzcoa, Spain.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com> is registered with eNom.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 9, 2008. On July 11, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On July 11, 2008 eNom transmitted by email to the Center its verification response 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 July 24, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 13, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 14, 2008.

The Center appointed Beatrice Onica Jarka as the sole panelist in this matter on August 25, 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.

In an email dated July 23, 2008, the Center requested the parties to be kept advised of any developments in the court proceedings which are or may be of relevance to these Policy based dispute. The said email was answered by the Complainant that it will follow up the request. None of the Parties had provided further information in connection to the said court proceedings. Therefore, the Panel decided to decide in these proceedings based on the Complaint provided by the Complainant.

 

4. Factual Background

The Complainants are RENAULT S.A.S. and its Romanian subsidiary, AUTOMOBILE DACIA S.A., which are automakers known throughout the world.

RENAULT was created in 1899 and enjoys a worldwide reputation. RENAULT manufactured 2.2 million vehicles in 2007 and has been ranked first on the market for commercial vehicles in Europe for the past 10 years.

DACIA is Romania’s leading automaker. It exports to numerous different countries. One of DACIA’s models is the LOGAN which was launched in 2004 as an economic car, and has since become very successful. DACIA also made the LOGAN MCV, a station wagon which was launched in 2006 and is now present in 33 new markets.

The Complainants own different trademarks registrations for trademarks LOGAN, LOGAN MCV, DACIA and RENAULT all over the world.

The Complainants also own and mainly communicate through their websites “www.renault.fr” and “www.daciagroup.com”. These websites allow Internet users to look at models, and they also list sales and events for customers or potential customers.

The disputed domain name <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com> was registered in 2008, by the Respondent.

The website directed Internet users to a webpage that offered users a chance to win a DACIA RENAULT MCV car.

 

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainants contend that:

- The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademarks or service mark RENAULT, DACIA, LOGAN and LOGAN MCV in which the Complainants have rights;

- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, as it is neither affiliated with the Complainants in any way, or ever have the Complainants authorized the Respondent to use and register their trademarks or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating such marks;

- The Respondent has no prior right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. The numerous trademarks of the Complainant preceded the registration of the domain name <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com> .

- The Respondent cannot establish that it has rights or any legitimate interest in the disputed domain name as it cannot demonstrate any of the circumstances under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy,

- The domain name was registered by the Respondent in bad faith, as it was aware of the existence of the Complainants and of their business at the time the Respondent registered the domain name because of the precise combination of the four trademarks within the domain name and because of the content of the website;

- The disputed domain name is being used in bad faith, as the Respondent intentionally tried to divert Internet users from the Complainants’ business by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainants’ trademarks. This behavior constitutes bad faith use and may tarnish the Complainants’ reputation by attracting Internet users to a webpage that does not correspond to what they were looking for but that Internet users believe is owned by the Complainants.

- Moreover, the cease-and-desist letter sent via registered letter and email to the Respondent’s address listed on the WhoIs database for the disputed domain name was never responded to.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainants’ contentions.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainants are the owners of trademark registrations for DACIA, RENAULT, LOGAN and LOGAN MCV all over the world as follows

- International RENAULT Trademark n 224502, covering classes 7, 8, 12

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 291642, covering class 12

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 296394, covering classes 7, 9, 12

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 308738, covering classes 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 395992, covering classes 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 37, 39

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 533627, covering classes 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

- International RENAULT Trademark + logo n 589202, covering classes 12, 37, 39

- International RENAULT Trademark n 603606, covering classes 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 34

- International LOGAN Trademark n 442582, covering class 12

- International LOGAN Trademark n 873410, covering classes 28, 37, 39

- Community LOGAN MCV Trademark n 004548822, covering class 12

- Community LOGAN Trademark n 004273413, covering classes 12, 37, 39

- Community RENAULT Trademark + logo n 000089763, covering classes 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42

- Community DACIA Trademark + logo n 006848816, covering classes 12, 35, 36, 37, 39

- Community DACIA Trademark + logo n 000868007, covering classes 12, 36, 37, 39

The Complainants also operate many websites under domain names reflecting their trademarks, among which are:

<renault.fr>

<daciagroup.com>

<loganmcv.com>

<dacialoganmcv.com>

<renaultdacia.com>

<dacia-logan.com>

<dacia-logan-mcv.com>

The disputed domain name <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com> consists of the Complainants’ trademarks RENAULT, DACIA, LOGAN and LOGAN MCV in their entirety split by simple dashes.

Therefore, the Panel finds the disputed domain name confusingly similar to the Complainants’ trademarks RENAULT, DACIA, LOGAN and LOGAN MCV

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The website under the disputed domain name directed Internet users to a webpage that offers them a chance to win a DACIA RENAULT LOGAN MCV car. That advertisment is apparently misleading and it has been disclosed as such on the Internet and by Romania media.

The Complainants contend that the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainants in any way and has not been authorized by the Complainants to use and register their trademarks or to seek registration of any domain names incorporating such marks.

Furthermore, it is contended that the Respondent has no prior right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name as the numerous trademarks of the Complainant preceded the registration of the domain name <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com>.

In addition, the Complainants contend that the Respondent has never used the disputed domain name for bona fide offerings of goods or services. As the Complainants contend, the conduct of the Respondent is merely parasitical and constitutes an obvious attempt to misleadingly divert Internet consumers.

None of the contentions of the Complainants are refuted by the Respondent as it has not respond in these proceedings.

These circumstances together with the misleading content of the website resolved under the disputed domain name strongly indicate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The elements of the case indicate that the Respondent must have known of the trademarks RENAULT, DACIA, LOGAN and LOGAN MCV at the time it registered the disputed domain name. This is proven by the precise combination of the said trademarks in the disputed domain name and also by the content of website under which the disputed domain name resolves. As stated above, the website contained an offer for Internet users to potentially win one of the Complainants’ cars.

The Panel agrees with Complainants contentions that the Respondent was attempting to make people believe that the disputed domain name was owned and operated by the Complainants and this represents bad faith registration

Moreover, the Respondent likely registered the disputed domain name in order to benefit from this registration, intentionally trying to divert Internet user’s from the Complainants’ business by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainants’ trademarks.

This behavior constitutes bad faith use and may tarnish the Complainants’ reputation by attracting Internet users to a webpage that does not correspond to what they were looking for but that Internet users believe is owned by the Complainants.

From all these circumstance together with the lack of response to the cease and desist letter sent by the Complainants and with the lack of response to the Complainants contentions in these proceedings, Panel infers the bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.

 

7. Decision

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, <renault-dacia-logan-mcv.com> be transferred to the Complainant.


Beatrice Onica Jarka
Sole Panelist

Dated: September 6, 2008