The Complainant is CHRISTIAN DIOR COUTURE of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Marc Sabatier of France.
The Respondent is Erynn Brown of Philadelphia, United States of America.
The disputed domain name <delanadior.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 17, 2009. On March 18, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 19, 2009, GoDaddy.com, Inc. 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” 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 25, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 14, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 16, 2009.
The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on April 24, 2009. 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 is an extremely well-known company in the fashion industry with marks registered for a wide range of goods in many jurisdictions mostly including the words “dior” or “chirstian dior”. One such mark is the mark MISS DIOR.
The Respondent is a “courtesan” operating a website under the disputed domain name, which consists of a woman's name “Delana” and the registered mark DIOR. The name “Delana Dior” is a “stage name” of the Respondent. It is neither her first, nor her second name.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name, including as it does the Complainant's mark with additional material consisting of a woman's name, is confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark, and especially that it evokes the mark MISS DIOR. The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the trade name as the name is not her real name and she is operating without a license or permission from the Complainant. The Complainant further contends that the name is registered and is being used in bad faith as the Respondent must have known of the Complainant's extremely well known marks and apparently registered the disputed domain name with the intention of profiting from the reputation of the Complainant's trade mark, a reputation for luxury. Moreover the Complainant contends, on the basis of a number of panel decisions, that the likelihood of bad faith is presumed to be stronger because the content of the Respondent's site is pornographic and that the Respondent offers goods for sale on her website for which the relevant marks are registered.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
The Complainant has twice before been successful in establishing that a domain name consisting of its trade mark DIOR with the addition of a woman's name is confusingly similar to its registered mark (Christian Dior Couture v. Paul Farley, WIPO Case No. D2008-0008, Christian Dior Couture & Chloe v. Konstantinos Zournas, WIPO Case No. D2008-1440). The Panel believes that the current case cannot be meaningfully distinguished from these two former panel decisions and concurs in their result and finding on confusing similarity. The trademark DIOR is clearly discernable to Panel in the disputed domain name and is not “swamped” by the mere addition of a somewhat uncommon women's name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy in relation to the DIOR trademarks.
It is for the Complainant to establish, at least prima facie that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o. WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Nevertheless, given that in this case the likelihood of confusion is strong, and, as the Complainant points out, the Respondent must have known of the Complainant's marks at the time of registration of the disputed domain name, and the disputed name is not the Respondent's real name, it is highly implausible that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP Policy.
Given the reputation of the Complainant's marks and their associations of luxury, associations that the Respondent seems to exploit in several claims made on the pay-per-click content of the website at the disputed domain name, it is clear that the disputed domain name must have been registered with the intent of exploiting a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's marks and that it was therefore registered in bad faith. The Panel is all the more willing to make this finding given the nature of the Respondent's website in line with decisions such as America Online, Inc. v. Viper, WIPO Case No. D2000-1198, and given that the website offers goods for sale that are within the classes covered by and therefore competitive with the Complainant's trade mark registrations.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP 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 name <delanadior.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael J. Spence
Dated: May 10 2009