The Complainant is Sanofi-aventis of Paris, France represented by Selarl Marchais De Candé of France.
The Respondent is Said Zerouali of Kiev, Ukraine.
The disputed domain name <sanofiaventiszentiva.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 12, 2009. On November 13, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 13, 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 November 23, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 13, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 15, 2009.
The Center appointed Gabriela Paiva Hantke as the sole panelist in this matter on December 22, 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 company that was formed during the year 2004 as a result of a merger between the two French companies Aventis SA and Sanofi-Synthelabo. The Complainant is now a leading pharmaceutical group in Europe and worldwide, in its core business and with a strong direct presence on all major world markets.
The Complainant owns registered trademarks for SANOFI AVENTIS in several countries of the world including in major markets, and also owns a family of domain names to reflect its trademark and business activities on the Internet. The trademark SANOFI AVENTIS is registered among other countries in Australia, Georgia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, United States of America, Switzerland, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, Romania, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, this last the country of origin of the Respondent.
In addition the Complainant shows evidence that supports the fact that SANOFI AVENTIS is a well-used trademark and also quite well-known in the world.
As attested in the evidentiary material provided, the group Sanofi-aventis acquired the company Zentiva, that then became part of the Sanofi-aventis Group. Thanks to this acquisition, the Group is now highly ranked among generic medicines manufacturers worldwide.
The Complainant filed the Complaint with the Center on November 12, 2009, the administration of which has been carried out in accordance with the UDRP as was described in the previous paragraph of this decision. Previously, the Complainant had sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent, which was not answered.
The Respondent did not file any response or documents in accordance with this proceeding, as noted by this Panel.
The Complainant is requesting the transfer of the disputed domain name <sanofiaventiszentiva.com> based upon its legitimate rights in its trademark SANOFI AVENTIS, attested to by copies of registrations in several countries and important markets of the world, along with the use of its trademark in the pharmaceutical business. Also the Complainant has shown a legitimate connection with the additional word included in the disputed domain name, that is, Zentiva, since Zentiva became part of the Sanofi-aventis group (as attested in the case file), and it was just after this business acquisition became more public that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
It is evident to the Panel that the disputed domain name <sanofiaventiszentiva.com> is in the main and for the most important part identical to the Complainant's registered trademark SANOFI AVENTIS, which is used and well-known in the pharmaceutical area throughout the world. In addition, it is also a proven fact that there is a business connection between the Sanofi-aventis Group and the last word in the disputed domain name, Zentiva.
In conclusion, the disputed domain name is identical in the main to a registered trademark of the Complainant and also includes a commercial name linked to the Complainant's business group. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
As expressed before, the Complainant has proven trademark rights in the SANOFI AVENTIS mark, which is the most important part of the disputed domain name. To the contrary, the Respondent, having been granted the legal opportunity within this administrative proceeding to attest or defend its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, did not file any response or provide any evidence of any such rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
On the other hand, the Complainant states that it has not granted any license or permission to the Respondent in connection with the trademark SANOFI AVENTIS.
In conclusion, and on the present evidentiary record, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Observing the use of and the lack of rights and legitimate interests of the Respondent in the disputed domain name, there is no doubt that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith and it is also using it in bad faith. According to print-outs of the web site operating at the disputed domain name, (copies of which were provided in the case file), the Respondent is using the disputed domain name in activities that do not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services, in view of the existence of the clear trademark rights of the Complainant in the most important part of the disputed domain name.
By such contrary activity as using the Complainant's trademarks to divert Internet users to a parking website belonging to the Respondent, with links leading to commercial websites relating to the medical field, where the Complainant's notoriety is established, and by including on this website a specific link entitled “sanofi aventis” to generate the above mentioned commercial links, the Respondent is found to have registered and be using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
In conclusion, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <sanofiaventiszentiva.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Gabriela Paiva Hantke
Dated: January 5, 2010