WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Areva v. Jeff Lander/Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd.
Case No. D2011-0603
1. The Parties
Complainant is Areva of Paris, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
Respondent is Jeff Lander of Panama; Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd. of Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <maileuropeareva.com> (“Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Fabulous.com (“Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 5, 2011. On April 5, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Registrar request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On April 6, 2011, Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 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. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on April 28, 2011.
The Center appointed Mark Ming-Jen Yang as the sole panelist in this matter on May 11, 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
Complainant owns and uses the AREVA trademark (the “AREVA Mark”) in connection with a wide variety of products and services relating to production, distribution and transmission of energy around the world, including Latin America. It has International Trademark Registrations for the AREVA Mark, including: Registration n° 783282 for goods and services in classes 1, 4, 6, 7, 9,11,19, 35-42, registered on November 28, 2001; and Registration n° 839880 for goods and services in classes 6, 7,9,17,35, 37-42 and 45, registered on July 16, 2004.
Complainant owns the domain name <areva.com>, created on April 13, 1998, which it uses to direct Internet users to its corporate website. There is a sub-domain name address of <maileurope.areva.com>, where Complainant’s employees can access their webmail.
Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on October 22, 20061.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends (in accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy) that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar with the AREVA Mark in which it has rights; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name; and that Respondent registered and uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions and is in default.
6. Discussion and Findings
One fundamental requirement of due process is that a respondent has notice of proceedings that may substantially affect its rights. The Policy, Rules, and Supplemental Rules establish procedures intended to assure that a respondent is given adequate notice of proceedings commenced against it and a reasonable opportunity to respond (see, e.g., Rules, paragraph 2(a)).
In this case, the Panel is satisfied that the Center took all steps reasonably necessary to notify Respondent of the filing of the Complaint and initiation of these proceedings and that the failure of Respondent to furnish a Response to the Complaint is not due to any omission by the Center. There is sufficient evidence in the case file for the Panel to conclude that the Center discharged its obligations under Rules, paragraph 2(a) (see Section 3, Procedural History, supra).
In case of default, under paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, “the Panel shall proceed to a decision on the complaint”, and under paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, “the Panel shall draw such inferences [from the default] as it considers appropriate”. Furthermore, paragraph 15(a) of the Rules provides that “[a] Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”. Since Respondent has not submitted any evidence, the Panel will render its decision on the basis of the uncontroverted evidence supplied by Complainant.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant contends that it has rights in the AREVA Mark and that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar thereto.
In particular, Complainant contends that it is, “a world leader in the energy industry, and is ranked first in the global nuclear power industry. It covers the entire nuclear cycle, and is expanding its operations in renewable energies. In 2009 revenue was Euro 8.5 billion. Today Complainant employs 48,000 persons around the world including in Latin America, and Complainant has an industrial presence on every continent prospecting for the renewable energy market in Latin America”.
The Panel accepts the preceding contentions, and the International Trademark Registrations (see above Section 4) as uncontroverted, convincing and supported by the evidence, and the Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in the AREVA Mark.
Complainant further contends that the Disputed Domain Name wholly incorporates its AREVA Mark and has only the additions of the generic term of “mail”, the geographical term of “europe” and the gLTD of “.com”, and that such generic-like additions are insufficient to add any distinctiveness, and so concludes that there is confusing similarity between the Disputed Domain Name and the AREVA Mark.
The Panel accepts the preceding contentions on confusing similarity as uncontroverted, convincing and supported by the evidence, and finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s AREVA Mark.
The Panel concludes that Complainant has met the first requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. In particular, Complainant contends that Respondent is not commonly known as “areva”, is not affiliated with Complainant in any way and nor has it been authorized by Complainant to use and register its AREVA Mark or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating its AREVA Mark.
Respondent has provided no arguments or evidence of rights or legitimate interests to counter Complainant’s preceding contentions. By virtue of the aforedescribed rights of Complainant in the AREVA Mark (see above Sections 4 and 6.A) and the fact that its International Trademark Registrations predate the registration of the Disputed Domain Name by at least several years, Complainant convincingly argues that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel, especially in the absence of any response from Respondent, considers that the circumstances described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, regarding the circumstances in which Respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, likely do not exist.
The Panel concludes that Complainant has met the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant contends that Respondent registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
In particular, Complainant contends that Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith by doing so after the AREVA Mark became known worldwide (including Latin America, where Respondent has stated its country address to be), with knowledge of its earlier International Trademark Registrations and its domain name registration of <areva.com> (see above Section 4) and its worldwide marketplace reputation (see above Section 6.A), with the intention of using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
Complainant further contends that Respondent has in fact been using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith by using it to redirect Internet users to a “parking page” that includes commercial, “pay per click” links unrelated to Complainant, thereby disrupting Complainant’s business for Respondent’s commercial gain, based on a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s AREVA Mark, all contrary to paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In particular, Complainant contends that it is “[…] very unlikely that the choice by Respondent of a domain name almost identical to a sub-domain name actively used by Complainant’s employees may have been pure coincidence. The fact that Complainant’s employees can access their web mail at the address <maileurope.areva.com> increases the probability of confusion”. Panel agrees that the only difference between the Disputed Domain Name and Complainant’s sub domain name <maileurope.areva.com> “[…] is a punctuation mark”. Panel finds this situation to be a very probative indicator of both bad faith registration and bad faith use.
The Panel accepts the preceding contentions as uncontroverted, convincing and supported by the evidence.
The Panel concludes that Complainant has met the third requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
For 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 <maileuropeareva.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Mark Ming-Jen Yang
Dated: May 16, 2011
1 According to Complainant’s uncontroverted contentions, Respondent has used “privacy shield services” and has been completely unresponsive to Complainant’s communications (including Respondent’s provision of incomplete and/or inaccurate address) to try to resolve without resort to the Center and the UDRP. Respondent’s acts (of omission and commission) to hide itself (and thereby, any relevant facts about the Disputed Domain Name) compels the Panel to deem Respondent as having registered the Disputed Domain Name on October 22, 2006, as indicated in the publicly accessible WhoIs data.