World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Vladimir Sangco

Case No. D2010-1774

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Revlon Consumer Products Corporation of New York, New York, United States of America, represented internally.

The Respondent is Vladimir Sangco of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Philippines.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <revlonhaircolor.info> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 21, 2010. On October 21, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 22, 2010, GoDaddy.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 October 27, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 16, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 17, 2010.

The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on November 25, 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 and its affiliated companies make up a well-known enterprise that sells many different types of goods around the world. Its total worldwide sales last year exceeded USD 1 billion. The Complainant is best known for its cosmetics and similar beauty products, of which eye shadow and similar products are prominent.

The Complainant has rights over the REVLON trademark, for which it holds several registrations. The Complainant contends to have more than two thousand six hundred (2,600) trademark registrations and or pending applications for trademarks incorporating the REVLON mark around the world, including: registration No. 3,035,671 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, registered in 2005, international class 3, with stated first use in 1932; registration No. 1,886,476 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, registered in 1995, international classes 9 and 11; registration No. 1,625,545 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, registered in 1990, international class 3; registration No. 1,660,540 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, registered in 1990, international class 8 and registration No. 4-1998-006075 with the Bureau of Trademarks of the Intellectual Property Office of Philippines, registered in July 9, 2007 for classes 03 and 11.

The disputed domain name was created on June 11, 2010.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered REVLON trademarks. The Respondent lacks rights or any legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant has never transacted any business with the Respondent and has never authorized the Respondent to use any of its trademarks. The Respondent had at a minimum constructive knowledge of the Complainant’s rights. In addition, the Respondent has no rights with respect to the disputed domain name given the distinctiveness and international reputation of the REVLON trademark. Finally the Respondent is not and has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

The Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements which a complainant must satisfy in order to succeed. The Complainant must satisfy that:

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

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

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant has established its trademark rights in REVLON as evidenced by the trademark registrations submitted with the Complaint, as mentioned above.

The Panel is also prepared to find that the domain name <revlonhaircolor.info> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark REVLON. The name Revlon is clearly the dominant element of the disputed domain name.

Furthermore, the terms “hair” and “color” used in the disputed domain name are related to the Complainant’s line of products, so many Internet users would assume that the disputed domain name combining the trademark and such terms had been registered by the Complainant or is related to the promotion of the Complainant’s products. In the present case, the addition to the trademark of the descriptive, generic words “hair” and “color” is not sufficient to distinguish the disputed domain name from the trademark. As a general principle, the addition of generic or descriptive terms to a trademark does not distinguish the domain name from the trademark and is not sufficient to avoid confusing similarity between the two. See Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. IONE Inc., WIPO Case No. D2010-1000 (with respect to the term “hairs”) and Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd, /Privacy Ltd. Disclosed Agent for YOLAPT, WIPO Case No. D2010-1070 (with respect to the terms “hair” and “products”).

The addition of the generic top-level domain suffix “.info” does not change this finding.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the first requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or 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) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are 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.

There is no evidence of the existence of any of those rights or legitimate interests. The Complainant has not authorized, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the domain name or to use the trademarks. The Complainant has prior rights in the trademarks, including trademarks registered in the Respondent’s jurisdiction, which precede the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name by several years. The Complainant has therefore established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and thereby shifted the burden to the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, section 2.1; and Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624 and Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455).

The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any trademark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name is used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant must prove both that the domain name was registered in bad faith and that it is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant's trademarks are well-known, and have evidently been known to the Respondent when registering the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name is highly unlikely to have been registered if it were not for the Complainant's trademarks. In this respect, see Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Yoram Yosef aka Joe Goldman, WIPO Case No. D2000-0468; Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Brandy Farris, WIPO Case No. D2003-0291; Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Domain Manager, PageUp Communications, WIPO Case No. D2003-0602; Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. IONE Inc., WIPO Case No. D2010-1000; Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Jose Gilson de Almeida, WIPO Case No. D2010-1189; Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Above.com Domain Privacy / Host Master, Transure Enterprise Ltd, David Smith, WIPO Case No. D2010-1497 and Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Rick Lizotte, WIPO Case No. D2010-1484.

The Panel also notes in this regard that the Complainant's trademark was also registered in the country of residence of the Respondent in July 2007 and the disputed domain name was registered only in June 2010, nearly three years after the existence of the trademark. Thus, the Panel is convinced that, as the Complainant argued, the Respondent was well aware of the fame of the Complainants' trademark when it registered the disputed domain name in June 2010 (see Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Aventis Pharma SA v. Goldie Fishero, WIPO Case No. D2004-0094).

The disputed domain name is used to provide links to websites selling products competing with the Complainant’s products. The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark (see, Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Ye Li. WIPO Case No. D2010-1568 and Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Zeng Wei, WIPO Case No. D2010-1567).

This view is confirmed with the Respondent’s answer via e-mail to the Complainant’s request for transfer of the disputed domain name. In such e-mail the Respondent recognized that the disputed domain name was registered because “it has lots of traffic” (e-mail dated September 14, 2010, available in Annex 10 of the Complaint).

Therefore, taking all the circumstances into account and for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed 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 disputed domain name <revlonhaircolor.info> be transferred to the Complainant.

Pablo A. Palazzi
Sole Panelist
Date: December 8, 2010.

 

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