The Complainant is Casino de Paris of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Germain & Maureau, France.
The Respondent is MinsungKim of Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea.
The disputed domain name <casinodeparis.com> is registered with Fabulous.com.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 21, 2010. On May 21, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Fabulous.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 24, 2010, Fabulous.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 June 1, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 21, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 23, 2010.
The Center appointed Francine Tan as the sole panelist in this matter on July 5, 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.
The Complainant, Casino de Paris, is a French company incorporated on May 5, 1958. It is primarily in the show and entertainment business. The Casino de Paris is also a well-known music hall in Paris. The Complainant owns a number of trademark registrations for CASINO DE PARIS. Submitted in evidence were the details of its French, Community TradeMark (CTM registration number 3760824 of April 14, 2004) and International Registrations (registration number 673686 of May 21, 1997 and registration number 827309 of April 14, 2004) covering various classes of goods and services including those in Class 41 of the International Classification of Goods and Services. The Complainant's website is located at “www.casinodeparis.fr”.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 20, 2004.
The Complainant contends that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or, at least, confusingly similar to its trade mark CASINO DE PARIS;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
On point (ii), the Complainant submits that the Respondent is not legally or economically related to the Complainant and has never been authorized by the Complainant to use or register in any manner the trade mark CASINO DE PARIS, including as a domain name. The Respondent has been using the disputed domain name to capture Internet traffic, particularly those who enter the domain name <casinodeparis.com> and expect to find the Complainant's website. Instead, upon entering the disputed domain name, these Internet users are directed to the Respondent's portal website located at “www.searchportal.information.com” which provides links, inter alia, at one point for the reservation of concert and theater tickets, last-minute travel and low-cost flight tickets. The Respondent is thereby seeking to exploit the Complainant's trade mark on the Internet for commercial gain.
On point (iiii), the Complainant submits that the Respondent, being located in the Republic of Korea and having no links to the Complainant, cannot substantiate its adoption of a domain name corresponding to a French trade mark. The Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the offending website or portal by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade mark, CASINO DE PARIS. The exploitation of a reputed French trade mark in order to obtain “click through” commissions from the diversion of Internet users constitutes bad faith use.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
The Complainant has in this case shown that it has rights in the trade mark CASINO DE PARIS. As the disputed domain name contains the Complainant's trade mark in its entirety, it is therefore identical to the Complainant's mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP.
In not replying to the Complaint, the Respondent has not shown any of the following circumstances set out in paragraph 4(c) of the UDRP which would go towards demonstrating that he has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:
(i) that before any notice to him of the dispute, he has used or made demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) that he, as an individual or business, has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if he has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) that he is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever licensed or permitted the Respondent to use the trade mark in any manner or in a domain name. Neither is there evidence that the Respondent has been known by the disputed domain name or that it has used it in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
In the absence of any evidence which demonstrates the Respondent's rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, the Panel accordingly finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP.
The Complainant has relied on paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP in relation to the issue of bad faith registration and use, i.e. “by using the domain name, [the Respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [his] web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [his] web site or location or of a product or service on [his] web site or location”. In addition, the Complainant has asserted that the Respondent's exploitation of the former's trade mark in order to obtain “click through” commissions from the diversion of Internet users constitutes bad faith use.
The Panel agrees with the assertions made by the Complainant. The Respondent's use of the disputed domain name for the purposes complained of by the Complainant does not constitute bona fide use. Previous panel decisions have established the principle that the wholesale incorporation of a third party's trade mark within a domain name, and for the sole purpose of profiting from sponsored links provided on the webpage located at the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith registration and use.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP.
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 <casinodeparis.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: July 11, 2010