WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The RueDuCommerce Company v. Rampe Purda/Privacy--Protect.org
Case No. D2010-1632
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The RueDuCommerce Company of Saint Ouen, France, represented by Chain Association d'Avocats, France.
The Respondent is Rampe Purda of Hailuoto, Finland; Privacy--Protect.org of Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <larueducommerce.com> is registered with Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 28, 2010. On September 28, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 1, 2010, Hebei Guoji Maoyi (Shanghai) LTD aka HEBEI INTERNATIONAL TRADING (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD dba HebeiDomains.com. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 4, 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 amendment to the Complaint on October 7, 2010. On October 4, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to the parties in both Finnish and English regarding the language of proceedings. On October 5, 2010, the Complainant requested to have a short extension to file any comments on language of proceedings. Such extension was granted on the same day. On October 14, 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.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 October 19, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 8, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 9, 2010.
The Center appointed George R. F. Souter as the sole panelist in this matter on November 11, 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.
Language of the Proceedings
The Complainant requested that the language of these proceedings should be English, notwithstanding the fact that the language of the registration agreement is Finnish. Generally, the Panel is of the view that the language of proceedings under the Policy should be the language of the domain name registration agreement. However, having been the Panel in a number of cases involving the Respondent in these proceedings, namely Hertz System, Inc. v. Rampe Purda/PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0636; U. S. Natural Resources, Inc. v. Rampe Purda/Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0720; LEGO Juris A/S v. Rampe Purda/Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0840; and L’Oréal v. Rampe Purda/Privacy —Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0870, and having, in connection with these cases, checked with the Finnish Population Register that nobody with neither the name Rampe or Purda is currently registered as resident in Finland, having checked that neither Rampe or Purda appears on the Finnish Trade Register (which lists all trading entities in Finland), and having discovered that the Finnish address given for the Respondent is improbable as a trading address, the Panel doubts the existence of an individual/entity called Rampe Purda in Finland. Further, the Respondent did not exercise the option to take part in these proceedings, as in the previous cases mentioned above. In these circumstances, in the Panel’s opinion, to require the Complainant to incur the heavy expense of translation of the documents in this case into Finnish would be unduly onerous, and, accordingly decides that the language of these proceedings should, as requested by the Complainant, be English.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a French company, created in 1999. It has, since 2005, been quoted on the Paris Stock Exchange, and, in 2009, its turnover was 317 million euro. Its business is the selling of diverse business activities on the Internet, on websites such as ”www.rueducommerce.fr“ and ”www.rueducommerce.com”.
The Complainant has drawn the Panel’s attention to a number of French trade mark registrations in its name, including the trade mark RUE DU COMMERCE, in classes 9, 16, 28, 35, 38, 41 and 42, registered on June 27, 2000, and subsequent French registrations of the trade marks LARUE DU COMMERCE.COM, LARUEDUCOMMERCE, and WWW.RUEDUCOMMERCE.COM in the same classes.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name reproduces the same word sequence as its protected trade mark LARUEDUCOMMERCE.COM, and merely adds the word “la” to its protected trade mark RUEDUCOMMERCE and “is therefore clearly aimed at creating confusion among Internet users”.
The Complainant asserts that it has no business relations with the Respondent, and has not granted permission to the Respondent to use its trade marks. It alleges that, prior to any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, there is no evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or 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. The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent: “clearly uses the complainant’s registered trademark, without any legal authorization, in order to prevent the legitimate owner of the trademark to register the reflecting domain name.”
The Complainant has drawn the Panel’s attention to the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in a “pay per click” website, written in French “and therefore clearly directed to French Internet users”, which could direct users to competitors’ products and services, and alleges that: “the domain name was only registered in order to benefit from the fame of the complainant on the Internet and to hunt its clients”, and that “there is clearly bad faith in maintaining the domain name to the benefit of the respondent”.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements that a complainant must prove to merit a finding that the domain name of the 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied as to the existence of the Complainant’s considerable trade mark rights in France, and
accepts the Complainant’s assertions as to confusing similarity between its trade marks and the disputed domain name. The Panel, accordingly, finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is well established in proceedings under the Policy that it is sufficient that a Complainant shows a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, in order to shift the burden of proof to the Respondent. If the Respondent fails to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, the Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. In the present case, the Respondent failed to take part in these proceedings, and the Panel finds that the Complainant has presented a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks either rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the test of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The present case demonstrates a continuation of the pattern of abusive behaviour by the Respondent of registering domain names confusingly similar to well-known trade marks, with no rights or legitimate interests thereto, and using the resulting domain names in connection with “pay per click” websites to possibly divert users to competitors of the trade mark owners and to create a revenue stream for the Respondent, as evidenced in the previous cases Hertz System, Inc. v. Rampe Purda/PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0636; U. S. Natural Resources, Inc. v. Rampe Purda/Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0720;LEGO Juris A/S v. Rampe Purda/Privacy--Protect.org, WIPO Case No. D2010-0840 mentioned above, in which the Respondent was also involved, and the Panel has no hesitation in finding that that the Complainant in this case has satisfied the test of 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 disputed domain name <larueducommerce.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
George R. F. Souter
Dated: November 25, 2010