World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Sanofi-aventis v. Moniker Privacy Services / Charlie Kalopungi

Case No. D2011-0575

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Sanofi-aventis of Gentilly Cedex, France, represented by Selarl Marchais De Candé, France.

The Respondent is Moniker Privacy Services of Florida, United States of America / Charlie Kalopungi of Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <cgatesanofi-aventis.com> (the “Domain Name") is registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 30, 2011. On March 30, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 4, 2011, Moniker Online Services, LLC 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 April 5, 2011 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by Moniker Online Services, LLC, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on April 5, 2011.

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 April 7, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 27, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 28, 2011.

The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on May 10, 2011. 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 large pharmaceutical company and owns registered trade marks for SANOFI-AVENTIS for pharmaceutical products and services in many countries around the world. It was formed in 2004 as a result of a merger between Aventis SA and Sanofi-Synthelabo.

The Domain Name which was registered on July 19, 2010 and has been used to provide links through a parking site to third party companies with no connection to the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant's contentions can be summarised as follows:

The Complainant is a large pharmaceutical company and owns registered trade marks for SANOFI-AVENTIS for pharmaceutical products and services in many countries around the world. It was formed in 2004 as a result of a merger between Aventis SA and Sanofi-Synthelabo. It is the number one pharmaceutical group in Europe and number one in the world. Consolidated net sales in 2009 were EUR 29.3 billion. It is a multinational settled in more than 100 countries and 5 continents. The Complainant owns <sanofi-aventis.com>, <sanofi-aventis.net>, <sanofi-aventis.biz>, <sanofi-aventis.info>, <sanofi-aventis.org> and <sanofi-aventis.us> all registered in 2004.

The Domain Name reproduces entirely the trade mark SANOFI-AVENTIS. The addition of the third party trade mark CGATE does not alleviate a likelihood of confusion. CGATE is registered for computer software in health care management. The registration suggests the two marks are associated with one source which they are not and this is inherently confusing.

The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trade marks in which the Complainant has rights.

The Respondent does not have a legitimate interest in the Domain Name. The registrant on the WhoIs register is a privacy services company and not the real registrant. The Registrant does not have any prior rights in the Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted the Respondent any permission to use the Domain Name. The use is not a bona fide offering of goods and services. The Respondent is not a supplier of the Complainant's goods, but uses the Domain Name to provide links through a parking web site.

The Domain Name was registered with the Complainant's trade mark in mind.

The Complainant's trade mark has been associated with the CGATE trade mark which is also used in the medical field.

The Domain Name has been registered for the purpose of attracting Internet users to the Respondent's web site by creating a likelihood of confusion between the Complainant's trade marks and the Domain Name and to take advantage of the Complainant's reputation. The Respondent is trying to gain unfair benefit from the Complainant's trade mark to divert users to a parking web site with links to third party web sites with no connection to the Complainant for commercial gain.

The Complainant wrote to the Respondent but received no reply.

The Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(1) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(3) The Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Apart from the “.com” suffix which may not be taken into account for the purposes of the Policy, the Domain Name consists of the Complainant’s registered mark with the additional designation "cgate". The Complainant's SANOFI-AVENTIS trade mark is highly distinctive and the addition of "Cgate" does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s mark. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trade mark for the purposes of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not filed a Response (i.e., it has not shown any circumstances under the Policy paragraph 4(c) of the Policy which may apply to its favour) and does not appear to have any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Complainant has indicated that it has not endorsed the Respondent in any way, the Respondent’s business has no obvious connection with the designation “sanofi-aventis”. As such the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four non exclusive criteria which shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith including “by using the domain name, [the Respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its 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 its web site or location or of a product or service on [its] web site or location.” (paragraph 4(b)(iv)).

The Domain Names have been used to link to third party commerical sites with no connection to the Complainant. Accordingly, it appears that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its web site, by creating confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of products or services presented on its web site. The Panel, therefore, finds that bad faith has been demonstrated under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <cgatesanofi-aventis.com> be cancelled.

Dawn Osborne
Sole Panelist
Dated: May 16, 2011

 

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