WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français - SNCF v. PrivacyProtect.org / Telecom Tech Corp.
Case No. D2011-1796
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français – SNCF of Paris, France, represented by SCP Clairmont, France.
The Respondent is PrivacyProtect.org of, Queensland, Australia / Telecom Tech Corp. of Panama City, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <gareenmouvement.com> is registered with Bargin Register Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 20, 2011. On October 20, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Bargin Register Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 26, 2011, Bargin Register Inc. 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 November 4, 2011 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 amended Complaint on November 9, 2011.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 November 15, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 5, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 6, 2011.
The Center appointed Richard Hill as the sole panelist in this matter on December 9, 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 owns various registered trademarks for the term GARES EN MOUVEMENT.
The Complainant uses those well-known marks to market transportation services.
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to point to a website containing links to various services, including some that compete with the Complainant.
The Respondent does not have any license or other authorization from the Complainant to use the Complainant’s marks.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant in this administrative proceeding is the French State railway company which operates all of France’s passenger railway system. It alleges that it owns French and international trademarks for the term GARES EN MOUVEMENT. Those trademarks are used in connection with transport services and related goods.
The Complainant states that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark except for the deletion of the letter “s” at the end of the word “gare”. This difference is not significant and the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent has no rights or interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not been licensed or otherwise authorized by the Complainant to use its marks.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name leads to a parking page in French, which contains links to various sponsored activities directly related to those of the Complainant, in particular travel and transportation. There are links related to trains, which are part of the Complainant’s core business.
Further, says the Complainant, the Respondent obtains a financial gain from the sponsored links. This circumstance is evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name provides a link to the website <voyages-sncf.com>, an online travel agency owned by the Complainant. This proves that the Respondent is well aware of the Complainant and its activities and that that it has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks and subsidiary regarding its source or sponsorship.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <gareenmouvement.com> is obviously confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. See for example paragraph 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”).
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent does not have any license or other authorization to use the Complainant’s mark. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to operate a website offering click-through advertising links to competitors of the Complainant.
The Panel finds that the Respondent is redirecting Internet users interested in the Complainant’s products and services to its own website for commercial gain and that such use does not fall within the parameters of a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy. See The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Direct Line Insurance plc, and Privilege Insurance Company Limited v. Demand Domains, c/o C.S.C., NAF Claim No. 0714952 (finding that the operation of a commercial web directory displaying various links to third party websites was not a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(c)(iii), as the respondent presumably earned “click through” fees for each consumer it redirected to other websites) and Asian World of Martial Arts Inc. v. Texas International Property Associates, WIPO Case No. D2007-1415; see also Donald J. Trump v. Mediaking LLC d/b/a Mediaking Corporation and Aaftek Domain Corp., WIPO Case No. D2010-1404 and Damien Persohn c/o CPPD SAS / Têtu v. Joshua Lim c/o Webxel Consulting Pte Ltd, NAF Claim No. 0874447 (finding that the respondent was not using a disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use by redirecting Internet users to a commercial search engine website with links to multiple websites that may be of interest to the complainant’s customers and presumably earning “click through fees” in the process).
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is clear that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s marks when it registered and started using the disputed domain name because its website refers to the Complainant’s products and to one of its subsidiaries.
The Respondent, who did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, has not presented any plausible explanation for its use of the Complainant’s mark. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 14(b), the Panel shall draw such inferences from the Respondent’s failure to reply as it considers appropriate. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent did not have a legitimate use in mind when it registered the disputed domain name.
Indeed the Respondent’s actual use of the disputed domain name, as noted above, is clearly not bona fide, because the Respondent operates a website that offers links to competitors of the Complainant. This indicates that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name to take advantage of the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s mark in order to profit from the goodwill associated with the mark in bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. See Zee TV USA, Inc. v. Aamir Siddiqi c/o DotCorner.com, NAF Claim No. 0721969 (finding that the respondent engaged in bad faith registration and use by using a domain name that was confusingly similar to the complainant’s mark to offer links to third party websites that offered services similar to those offered by the complainant) and Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. v. Vadim Krivitsky, WIPO Case No. D2008-0396; see also McDonald’s Corporation v. ZusCom, WIPO Case No. D2007-1353 and The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. v. This Domain Name My Be For Sale c/o Legend .name, NAF Claim No. 0857581 (holding that the respondent’s use of the disputed domain names to maintain pay-per-click websites displaying links unrelated to the complainant and to generate click through revenue suggested bad faith registration and use under Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv)).
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <gareenmouvement.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: December 16, 2011