Complainant is Roche Bobois International (SA), of Paris, France, represented by Taj Société d'avocats, of France.
Respondent is Reliance Resource Investments, of Springfield, Australia.
The disputed domain name <roch-bobois.com> (“Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with NameScout Corp. (“Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 21, 2008. On October 22, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On October 23, 2008, Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. Complainant amended the Complaint on November 5, 2008, to request the remedy of transfer of the Disputed Domain Name. The Center verified that the Complaint and the Amendment to the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), 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 November 10, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 30, 2008. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on December 1, 2008.
The Center appointed Mark Ming-Jen Yang as the sole panelist in this matter on December 10, 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.
Complainant has trademark registrations for ROCHE BOBOIS for various furnishings (including furniture, mirrors, vases, carpets and related) in several jurisdictions, including: France – bearing no. 1304792 since April 4, 1985 and no. 98731588 since May 7, 1998; and European Community, bearing no. 834432 since May 20, 1998 (collectively, the “ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark”).
Complainant registered the domain name <roche-bobois.com> on June 25, 1998.
Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on June 26, 2008.
One fundamental requirement of due process is that a respondent has notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy, Rules, and Supplemental Rules establish procedures intended to assure that a respondent is given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against it and a reasonable opportunity to respond (see e.g., Rules, paragraph 2(a)).
In this case, the Panel is satisfied that the Center took all steps reasonably necessary to notify Respondent of the filing of the Complaint and initiation of these proceedings and that the failure of Respondent to furnish a Response to the Complaint is not due to any omission by the Center. There is sufficient evidence in the case file for the Panel to conclude that the Center discharged its obligations under Rules, paragraph 2(a) (see Section 3, Procedural History, supra).
In case of default, under paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, “the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint”, and under paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, “the Panel shall draw such inferences [from the default] as it considers appropriate”. Furthermore, paragraph 15(a) of the Rules provides that “a Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.” Since Respondent has not submitted any evidence, the Panel must render its Decision on the basis of the uncontroverted evidence supplied by Complainant.
Complainant contends (in accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy) that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar with the ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark in which it has rights, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, and that Respondent registered and uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions and is in default.
Complainant contends that it has rights in the ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark and that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar thereto.
In particular, Complainant contends (and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing and supported by the evidence) that it is a French “…famous company specialized in the distribution of furniture. Over the years, it has developed a worldwide network, and is now selling its products in more than 30 countries (France, England, Italy, United-States, Spain, Canada, China…) […] there is an obvious risk of confusion for the consumers in consideration of the fact that only one letter (the [e] of “Roche”) differs […]”, from the ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark as compared to the Disputed Domain Name.
The Panel concludes that the Complaint has met the first requirement of the Policy.
Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
In particular, Complainant contends (and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing and supported by the evidence) that: (1) Respondent is not affiliated or related to Complainant in any way, nor is licensed or otherwise authorized to use the ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark; and (2) Respondent has never (to the knowledge of Complainant) registered any trademark including the name “Roch-Bobois” or similar name, or been known under the name “Roch-Bobois” or similar name.
The Panel concludes that the Complainant has met the second requirement of the Policy.
Complainant contends that Respondent registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
In particular, Complainant contends (and the Panel accepts as uncontroverted and convincing and supported by the evidence) that Respondent registered and used the Disputed Domain Name as an intentional attempt to attract Internet users to its website, for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's ROCHE BOBOIS Trademark and with its website to which the domain name <roche-bobois.com> resolves. In particular, Complainant contends that the home page of Respondent's website at the Disputed Domain Name, presents exclusively some links in connection with the sale of furniture, that, when clicked on, show a list of businesses and websites which are competitors of Complainant.
The Panel concludes that the Complainant has met the third requirement 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 Disputed Domain Name, <roch-bobois.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Mark Ming-Jen Yang
Dated: December 22, 2008