Complainant is Missoni S.p.A of Sumirago, Varese , Italy, represented by Dr. Modiano & Associati S.p.A., Italy.
Respondent is Sanadiwen Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The disputed domain name <missoni.info> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 23, 2010. On March 23, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 23, 2010, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response. 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, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 14, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on April 15, 2010.
The Center appointed Halvor Manshaus as the sole panelist in this matter on April 23, 2010. 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 is an Italian company within the fashion industry, marketing and promoting its services in several countries around the world.
Complainant first filed for a trademark registration for the trademark MISSONI in 1969, and has since registered the trademark in several jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom which is also the registered domicile of Respondent.
The disputed domain name <missoni.info> was registered by Respondent on January 21, 2007.
Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademark MISSONI.
Complainant further holds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
According to Complainant, Respondent is neither commonly known by the disputed domain name nor is it making a legitimate non-commercial use of the domain name. The website associated with the domain name is used to present a list of sponsored links to, inter alia, competitors of Complainant. At present, a message error appears when accessing the website. Complainant maintains that it has not granted Respondent with a right to use its trademark in connection with a website containing such links, or for any other purpose.
Complainant is of the opinion that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
According to Complainant, the trademark MISSONI has a strong reputation and is widely known through out the world. Complainant argues that it is unlikely that Respondent was not aware of Complainant's trademark when registering the disputed domain name, and holds that the disputed domain name was registered in order to attract Internet users to Respondent's website to achieve commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's trademark.
Complainant further asserts that Respondent through its alias Jil Sander has a frequent practice of registering domain names that are confusingly similar to other parties' trademarks, including as shown from previous UDRP decisions. Respondent also seems to have registered other domain names containing Complainant's entire mark.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
From the evidence presented, the Panel finds that Complainant through its registration and use of the trademark MISSONI has demonstrated rights in that trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates in full the distinctive trademark MISSONI. Previous Panel decisions under the UDRP have concluded that the generic top level domain denominator is irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a protected trademark. Thus, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant's trademark MISSONI.
Respondent does not, according to Complainant, have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and is not commonly known by the domain name.
The Panel notes that Respondent has not filed any Response arguing that it has rights to, or legitimate interests in, the disputed domain name. None of Complainant's assertions have thus been contested by Respondent.
In the event that any such rights, or legitimate interests existed, it would generally be for a respondent to substantiate this, while it is generally difficult for a complainant to prove the negative that respondent has no such rights. For this reason, previous decisions under the UDRP have, in the event of a respondent's default, found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that the circumstances mentioned and evidenced by Complainant are sufficient to establish a prima facie showing that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue.
As Respondent has not rebutted this by demonstrating any of the circumstances that constitute rights to, or legitimate interests in, the disputed domain name for example pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the Panel concludes that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name at issue.
The Panel has considered Complainant's assertions and evidence with regard to Respondent's registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith. By not submitting a response, Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances that could demonstrate that it did not register and use the domain name at issue in bad faith.
The Panel accepts Complainant's assertion that it is unlikely that Respondent was unaware of Complainant's rights to the trademark MISSONI when registering the disputed domain name. Further, the fact that Respondent, having knowledge of Complainant's trademark, through the Internet websites corresponding to the disputed domain name, has provided sponsored links to competitors of Complainant indicates that Respondent seeks to take advantage of the fame of Complainant's trademark.
The Panel finds that Respondent's use of Complainant's trademark in the disputed domain name is an attempt to intentionally divert customers to its website for financial gain.
Hence, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used 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 domain name, <missoni.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: May 7, 2010