The Complainant is L'Oréal of Paris, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Rampe Purda of Hailuoto, Finland; Privacy--Protect.org of Shanghai, the People's Republic of China.
The disputed domain names <lorealfantasyrugby.com>, <lorealindonesia.com> and <lorealmenfantasyrugby.com> are registered with Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING ( SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 28, 2010. On May 31, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On June 6, 2010, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on June 7, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on June 10, 2010. On June 7, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to the parties in both Finnish and English regarding the language of proceedings. On June 10, 2010, the Complainant submitted a request that English be the language of proceedings. The Respondent did not comment on the language of proceedings by the specified due date or subsequently. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 14, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 4, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on July 5, 2010.
The Center appointed George R. F. Souter as the sole panelist in this matter on July 8, 2010. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted and, as the Respondent had not objected, accedes to the Complainant's request that English be the language of these proceedings. 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.
After the commencement of these proceedings, the Complainant submitted “Additional Observations”. In the light of previous proceedings involving the Respondent (detailed below under “Discussion and Findings”), the Panel decided that it would be proper to take these into account in the present case.
L'Oréal is a famous French cosmetics and beauty products company, dating from 1909. It employs more than 67,000 employees, in 130 countries. In 2008, its turnover was EUR 17.5 billion.
The Complainant has provided the Panel with evidence of widespread registration of its trade mark L'OREAL internationally, including China and Indonesia.
The Complainant is also a sponsor of events in various sports, and has provided the Panel with evidence of its sponsorship of rugby.
The Complainant is also active in Indonesia, with a fast growing subsidiary company, and is the owner of a factory in the country.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names contain, in prefix position, the Complainant's L'OREAL trade mark in its entirety, and, given the fame of the Complainant's mark, the remaining generic elements of the disputed domain names are not sufficient to prevent the disputed domain names from being confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark.
The Complainant states that the Respondent is not affiliated with it in any way, nor has the Respondent been authorized to use the Complainant's mark, that the Respondent is not known under the name L'OREAL, and alleges that it can be inferred that the Respondent has no legitimate rights or interests in the disputed domain names.
The Complainant further alleges that the fact that the Respondent chose to register three domain names containing its trade mark L'OREAL clearly shows that the Respondent had the Complainant's earlier trade mark in mind at the time of registration of the disputed domain names, which proves bad faith in registration.
The Complainant has provided evidence that the disputed domain names are used in connection with websites with “pay per click” facilities, the effect of which could be to direct users to competing cosmetic products. In the case of the disputed domain name <lorealfantasyrugby.com>, the Complainant has provided evidence that it is used in a website directing users to a page including pornographic links, to the Complainant's possible detriment. The Complainant alleges that such use constitutes use in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements that a complainant must prove to merit a finding that the domain name of Respondent be transferred to the complainant or be cancelled:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark (“mark”) in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
L'OREAL is clearly a widely known mark. Successive Panels in proceedings under the Policy have been consistent in regarding inconsequential additions to a widely known trademark in a domain name as insufficient to escape the finding that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to widely known trademarks involved. The Panel accepts the Complainant's contentions under Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, and finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's widely known L'OREAL mark.
The Respondent did not take advantage of the opportunity presented in these proceedings to advance any justification of a claim to legitimate rights or interests in the disputed domain names, and the Panel draws the appropriate conclusion. The Panel accepts the Complainant's supported contentions under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, and finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
The Respondent's name in the present proceedings is well known to the Panel. In U.S. Natural Resources, Inc. v. Rampe Purda / Privacy Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0720, the disputed domain name comprised the complainant's established mark plus inconsequential admissions, and was used on a pay per click website which could have had the effect of luring potential customers of the complainant to its competitors. In Hertz System, Inc. v. Rampe Purda / PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0636, the same methodology was employed, as was also the case in LEGO Juris A/S v. Rampe Purda, WIPO Case No. D2010-0840, and is the case here.
In the light of such a pattern of abusive behavior associated with the name Rampe Purda, the Panel has no hesitation in accepting the Complainant's submissions in connection with registration and use in bad faith in the present case, and, accordingly, decides that the Complainant has also satisfied the test set out in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 names <lorealfantasyrugby.com>, <lorealindonesia.com> and <lorealmenfantasyrugby.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
George R. F. Souter
Dated: July 22, 2010