WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Sanofi-Aventis, Aventis Inc., Aventisub II Inc. v. Alexander Kravtsov - Alex Propertis

Case No. D2010-0662

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Sanofi-Aventis of France, represented by Selarl Marchais De Candé of France.

The Respondent is Alexander Kravtsov of Russian Federation.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <genericallegra.org> is registered with Todaynic.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 27, 2010. On April 27, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Todaynic.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 29, 2010, Todaynic.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 May 3, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 23, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 25, 2010.

The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on June 1, 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.

4. Factual Background

Sanofi-Aventis (of which the other two complainants, Aventis Inc. and Aventisub II Inc. are affiliates) is the result of a 2004 merger between Aventis SA and Sanofi-Synthelabo. These two companies joined to become the number 1 pharmaceutical group in Europe and number 4 in the world. It is present in over 100 countries and its employees number over 100,000.

The product of Sanofi-Aventis here relevant, Allegra, is a drug intended to treat seasonal allergies and was launched by Aventis SA before the merger. It is marketed in over 55 countries.

Complainant is the owner of at least 4 trademarks regarding Allegra: Canadian trademark ALLEGRA no TMA 492 711, registered on April 9, 1998, Canadian trademark ALLEGRA-D no TMA 542 611 filed on March 19, 2001, American trademark ALLEGRA no 2 067 728 filed on June 3, 1997 and American trademark ALLEGRA-D no 2 157 669 filed on November 1, 1996. It is also in possession of the domain names <allegra.com>, <allegra.info>, <allegra.us> and <allegra.biz>, all registered on or before March 27, 2002.

Respondent, Alexander Kravtsov, registered the domain name here in dispute, <genericallegra.org> on December 2, 2008 through Todaynic.com.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant, known worldwide as a producer of pharmaceutical drugs, submits that the Respondent registered, on December 2 2008, <genericallegra.org> with full knowledge of the products of the Complainant. The disputed domain name leads to a website displaying the official packaging of the drug as well as a picture of the Allegra pill. The site also prominently displays “Generic Allegra”, Sanofi-Aventis' official trademark and contains information on the drug. Clicking on the “online pharmacy” link on the page directs users to <onlinepharmacydrug.com> which itself appears to sell competing pharmaceutical drugs, as it does not sell Sanofi-Aventis products, nor is it authorized to do so.

Complainant, on March 10, 2009, wrote Respondent requesting the immediate transfer of the domain name here in dispute and received no response.

Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be cancelled.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, Complainant must prove the following:

(i) Respondent's domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) Respondent's domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant is the owner of at least 4 trademarks containing “ALLEGRA” and at least 4 domain names containing the same. The disputed domain name includes the entirety of the trademarked word “Allegra”, there is no other common usage of the word “Allegra”. The addition of “generic” to the beginning of the name does not serve to distinguish the domain name here in dispute from the trademark held by Complainant ( WIPO Case No. D2007-0889, Sanofi-Aventis, Aventis Inc. v. Searchology, Domain Registrant). In fact, because of the nature of the “Allegra” product, a pharmaceutical drug, it serves to further associate the domain name with that product, indicating a generic, or non-brand name, version of the drug.

The panel here finds <genericallegra.org> to be confusingly similar to the trademarks owned by Complainant.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There is no evidence of any right of the Respondent to the name “Allegra”, and Respondent has not answered Complainant's reasoned contentions to the contrary. Further, there is no relation between the disputed domain name and Respondent's own name and it is known worldwide as an anti-allergy medication. Complainant's affirmation that it has not be licensed or permitted by Complainant to use its trademark nor images or logos of Sanofi-Aventis is accepted.

The Panel here finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name here in dispute.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant manufactures a worldwide brand, and its product is known in over 55 countries. The trademark “Allegra” has already been recognized in Aventis Inc. v. healthtrust pharm, WIPO Case No. D2008-1417, as a well-known trademark. It is clear that the addition of the word “generic” to the web address is intended to indicate a connection to the trademarked name and its associated product. This is made more clear by the presence of pictures of the packaging, the pill and the logo of Sanofi-Aventis on the website.

The website also connects users to another site, <onlinepharmacydrug.com>. This site is not an authorized retailer of Complainant, and does not offer the products of Complainant, instead offering drugs for animals. It is evident that Respondent used the widely recognized trademark in order to attract business for his site.

Respondent has also previously engaged in bad-faith registration of domain names (F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Alexander Kravtsov, Alex Properties, WIPO Case No. D2008-1904). This is further evidence of bad faith by the Respondent.

The Panel here finds that Respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith.

7. Decision

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 <genericallegra.org> be cancelled.

Nicolas Ulmer
Sole Panelist

Dated: June 15, 2010