WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Les Grands Chais De France v. Cornelis Van der Kruk
Case No. D2010-1280
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Les Grands Chais De France of Petersbach, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Cornelis Van der Kruk of Maassluis, the Netherlands.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jpchenet.mobi> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc. (“GoDaddy.com”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 30, 2010. On August 2, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On August 3, 2010, GoDaddy.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response, confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On August 5, 2010, the Center received an email from the Respondent, in which the Respondent indicated its intention to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainant. The Respondent’s email did not include any allegations or evidence to rebut the allegations of the Complaint. The Center thereafter proceeded with the case based on the Complainant’s request received by email on August 11, 2010.
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 August 12, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for the Response was September 1, 2010. Although the Respondent thereafter reiterated his intention to transfer the Domain Name to the Complainant, the Respondent did not submit a formal Response or any evidence to rebut the allegations of the Complaint and the evidence submitted by the Complainant. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 2, 2010.
The Center appointed Dana Haviland as the sole panelist in this matter on September 13, 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
The Complainant is a French wine company, set up in 1979, which produces and sells wines and spirits worldwide. Complainant exports 70% of its products to many other countries, including the Respondent’s country, the Netherlands. Among the wines produced and exported by the Complainant is J.P. Chenet, launched in 1984.
The Complainant has provided evidence of its trademark registrations for its J.P. CHENET trademark (the “J.P. CHENET Mark”), dating back to 1989. The Complainant also operates two websites incorporating its J.P. CHENET Mark - a corporate website, <www.jpchenet.com>, which provides information about J.P. CHENET wine products, and a Dutch website, < www.vivejpchenet.nl>, which is also dedicated to the J.P. CHENET range of products
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on April 12, 2010. The Domain Name website contains only GoDaddy.com advertisements and links for registration of domain names.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that the Domain Name is identical to its registered J.P.CHENET Mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith. The Complainant requests transfer of the Domain Name.
The Complainant asserts that after receipt of a May 12, 2010 cease and desist letter from the Complainant, the Respondent offered to assign the Domain Name to the Complainant for the sum of EUR 200.
The Complainant asserts that the Domain Name resolves to a parking website on which appear advertisements and links for registering domain names at GoDaddy.com.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent currently holds thousands of domain names, including “a lot” of “.mobi” domain names “reproducing third parties’ trademarks”.
The Respondent did not submit a formal Response to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, in order to prevail, a complainant must prove the following three elements of a claim for transfer or cancellation of a respondent’s domain name:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Policy, paragraph 4(a).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of its prior use and registrations of the J.P. CHENET Mark. The Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s Mark in its entirety, deleting only the two periods after the initials J.P. and the space before the word Chenet, and adding only the “.mobi” suffix.
The deletion of the periods and space in the Complainant’s J.P. CHENET Mark are insufficient to negate the identity or confusing similarity of the Domain Name to the Mark. The specific top level of a domain name such as “.com,” or “.mobi” does not affect the domain name for the purpose of determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar. See Costco Wholesale Corporation, Costco Wholesale Membership Inc. v. Wonjun Lee, WIPO Case No. D2010-0987; Rollerblade, Inc. v. Chris McCrady, WIPO Case No. D2000-0429; Iconcard S.p.A. v. Linecom, WIPO Case No. D2005-1115.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Mark in which the Complainant has prior rights, and that the Complainant has thus established the first element of its claim, pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides that a respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in a domain name by proof of any of the following non-exclusive list of circumstances:
(i) before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent used, or made demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the domain name, even if the respondent has not acquired trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Complainant asserts that it has not licensed or authorized the Respondent to use its J.P. CHENET Mark in the Domain Name or for any other purpose. The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent has not used the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, owns no trademark registrations for the Domain Name, has not been commonly known by the Domain Name, and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
The Respondent has not submitted any response or evidence in rebuttal of the assertions of the Complainant, but the Annexes to the Complaint include correspondence from the Respondent in response to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter, in which the Respondent replied that he represented a club of wine lovers and asked whether the Complainant would compensate their cost of EUR 200 for the Domain Name. However, there is no evidence of any preparations made or actual costs incurred by the Respondent to use the Domain Name for a wine club. See Shaw Industries Group, Inc. and Columbia Insurance Company v. DomainsByProxy, Inc. and Patti Casey, WIPO Case No. D2007-0555; World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. v. Ringside Collectibles, WIPO Case No. 2000-1306. The Domain Name website contains only GoDaddy.com advertisements and links for registration of domain names. This record is insufficient to establish any right or legitimate interest of the Respondent in the Domain Name under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Complainant has satisfied the second element of its claim in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out, by way of example, four circumstances, each of which, if proven, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith for the purpose of paragraph 4 (a)(iii) above:
(i) circumstances indicating that the registrant has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the registrant’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the registrant has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the registrant has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the registrant has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the registrant’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the registrant’s website or location or of a product or service on the registrant’s website or location.
After the Complainant sent the Respondent a cease and desist letter with respect to the Domain Name, the Respondent requested payment of EUR 200 from the Complainant for the Domain Name, an amount in excess of the usual cost of registration of a domain name, as evidenced by the GoDaddy.com domain name advertisements and links on the Respondent’s own Domain Name website. The Respondent has not submitted any evidence as to any actual costs incurred and directly related to the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the evidence submitted by the Complainant is sufficient to establish a finding of bad faith registration and use of the Domain Name pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy. See CBS Broadcasting, Inc. v. Gaddoor Saidi, WIPO Case No. D2000-0243.
The Panel does not consider it necessary in this case to determine the sufficiency of the evidence of bad faith with respect to other subparagraphs of paragraph 4(b) of the Policy. Having established bad faith registration and use of the Domain Name pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy, the Complainant has thereby satisfied the third element of its claim under 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 Name <jpchenet.mobi> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: September 27, 2010