The Complainant is Credit Industriel et Commercial SA of Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Trabaja Jayam, of Algies, Algeria.
The disputed domain name <cic.sc> is registered with CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH dba Joker.com.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 5, 2009. On November 6, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH dba Joker.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 9, 2009, CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH dba Joker.com 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 11, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 1, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 3, 2009.
The Center appointed Richard Hill as the sole panelist in this matter on December 9, 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.
In response to a query from the Panel, the Center supplied to the Panel a true and correct copy of the domain name dispute resolution policy applicable to the ccTLD “.sc”. That policy is identical to the standard Policy applicable to gTLDs.
The Complainant owns various trademarks for the name CIC. The mark has been in use for many years and is well known around the world.
The Respondent has not been authorized by the Complainant to use its mark or to market its products or services.
The disputed domain name resolves to a web site that appears to contain promotional messages for software that can be used to develop and host web sites. The Complainant is not in any way related to that software.
The Complainant states that it is a banking group tracing its origins back to 1859. Today it has over 4,000,000 clients and over 2,000 commercial offices. It operates around the world.
The Complainant alleges that it owns numerous trademarks for the names C.I.C and CIC. Further, due to its long history and wide use, the trademark CIC acquired great fame and is widely known throughout the world.
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name is identical to its mark, since it consists of the mark plus the ccTLD “.sc”.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. He is not authorized by the Complainant to use its mark or to market its products or services.
On the contrary, says the Complainant, the disputed domain name has been registered by the Respondent to take advantage of the Complainant's well-known trademark to confuse and divert Internet users. Given the fame and reputation of the Complainant's marks and activities around the world, it is inconceivable that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant when registering the disputed domain name, in particular given that he had recently registered the domain name <cic.lc>.
The Complainant states that the domain name <cic.lc> was transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant following a procedure under the Policy, see Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel and Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A. v. Trabaja Jayam, Zeb Fi Tarmatek, WIPO Case No. DLC2009-0002 (March 22, 2009).
According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because there is no imaginable actual or plausible use which would not be detrimental to the Complainant.
Further, says the Complainant, the Respondent provided false information when registering the domain name: its postal address does not correspond to a real street and city in Algeria. This is also indicative of bad faith behavior.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
In view of the Respondent's failure to submit a response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of the Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Talk City, Inc. v. Michael Robertson, WIPO Case No. D2000-0009 (February 29, 2000) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant's mark. Indeed the addition of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) to a mark does not avoid confusing similarity. See F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Macalve e-dominios S.A., WIPO Case No. D2006-0451 (May 28, 2006); see also Telstra Corp Ltd v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 (February 18, 2000).
According to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences from the Respondent's default as it considers appropriate.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent could not be unaware of the Complainant's marks and activities. Thus, the Respondent likely registered the disputed domain name in order to interfere with the Complainant's business.
The Respondent's name, as shown in the Whois records, bears no relation to the disputed domain name. And the Respondent's web site at the disputed domain name does not indicate any activity that might be associated in any way with the term CIC.
Further, the Complainant argues that there is no imaginable actual or plausible use which would be legitimate.
Given that the Respondent has defaulted, in light of the circumstances the Panel will infer that the Complainant's allegations are correct and the Panel holds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
See InfoSpace.com, Inc. v. Hari Prakash, WIPO Case No. D2000-0076 (April 6, 2000) (“In the present default proceeding there is no contention on record in favor of the Respondent, and particularly that it might have rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name. No circumstance has been evidenced that could reasonably support such an inference pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(c). … Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue.”).
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name, which points to a site that appears to contain promotional messages for software that can be used to develop and host web sites. That software is not related in any way to the Complainant.
Thus, by using the domain name, the Respondent appears to have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his web site, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the web site and the products referred to on that web site. This constitutes bad faith use and registration in the sense of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent deliberately registered the disputed domain name in order to interfere with the Complainant's business. According to the Complainant, the Respondent has, in the past, engaged in such conduct with respect to its trademark The Panel accepts that allegation, in light of the case involving the Respondent Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel and Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A. v. Trabaja Jayam, Zeb Fi Tarmatek, WIPO Case No. DLC2009-0002 (March 22, 2009); see also ABF Freight System, Inc. v. American Legal, WIPO Case No. D2000-0185 (May 9, 2000) (“The Panel determines that, in this case, the Respondent's default itself, in the context of facts alleged in the Complaint, leads to an appropriate inference and finding of 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 domain name <cic.sc> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: December 11, 2009