World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Christian Dior Couture v. Dzone Inc./ Whois Privacy Services PTY

Case No. D2011-2201

1. The Parties

Complainant is Christian Dior Couture of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Marc Sabatier, France.

Respondents are Dzone Inc. of Gwangju, Republic of Korea and Whois Privacy Services PTY of Fortitude Valley, Australia.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <diorwatches.net> is registered with Fabulous.com.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 14, 2011. On December 14, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Fabulous.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 14, 2011, Fabulous.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 December 22, 2011, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 26, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 11, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 31, 2012. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on February 1, 2012.

The Center appointed Eduardo Machado as the sole panelist in this matter on February 10, 2012. 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 is a very famous company in the fashion business, selling different products under the trademark DIOR, including watches.

Complainant is the owner of the trademark DIOR, registered in several countries, as provided in the annexes to the complaint.

Complainant is also the titleholder of several domain names including it trademark DIOR, featuring <diorwatches.com>, <watches-dior.com> and <dior-watches.com>.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is very similar to the trademark DIOR and quasi-identical to the domain names <diorwatches.com>, <watches-dior.com> and <dior-watches.com>, which belong to Complainant. Consequently, there is a high likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark.

Complainant argues that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests on the disputed domain name. No license, contract or other authorization was granted to it to authorize it to register and use the disputed domain name. Complainant contends that the respondent is not commonly known under the disputed domain name.

Complainant informs it has sent a warning letter and a reminder to Respondent in order to request the voluntary transfer or the cancellation of the disputed domain name. After several reminders, Respondent finally answered and proposed to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant. Complainant refused this proposal.

Complainant argues that Respondent was aware of Complainant’s rights over the trademark DIOR, when it registered the disputed domain name, which is an evidence of bad faith registration. Furthermore, Complainant states that Respondent continued using the disputed domain name, even after receiving a cease and desist letter from Complainant.

Moreover, Complainant argues that Respondent indicates that the disputed domain name is for sale on the website. Complainant further contends that Respondent is seeking to make money with the disputed domain name, infringing Complainant’s rights. Complainant informs that the disputed domain name is active and is used for a search engine. Moreover, the website under the disputed domain name proposes some links which directs Internet users towards other websites, which sell bags, shoes and sunglasses branded DIOR.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Pursuant to the Policy, Complainant is required to prove the presence of each of the following three elements to obtain the remedy it has requested: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; (ii) 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, Policy, paragraph 4(a).

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s DIOR trademark and to Complainant’s <diorwatches.com>, <watches-dior.com> and <dior-watches.com> domain names. The Panel finds that the addition of a generic word, such as “watches” is not enough to escape a finding of confusing similarity. In fact, adding a word that corresponds to one of Complainant’s products is likely to increase the risks of confusion amongst consumers. Also, under the Policy the addition of the “.com” top level domain is immaterial when considering the issue of confusing similarity between a complainant's trade mark and a domain name.

The Panel, therefore, finds that Complainant has established the first condition of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant has alleged that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name at issue that contains in its entirety Complainant’s DIOR trademark.

Complainant has made a prima facie case in support of its allegations and, therefore, the burden of proof shifts to Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimates interests in the disputed domain name, according to paragraph 4(a) (ii) of the Policy. Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions and, therefore, did not submit any evidence of rights or legitimate interests over the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, there is no evidence that Respondent, before any notice of the dispute, used or prepared 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.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that indicates that Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy, Respondent has not made and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name and has not used the disputed domain name, or a name corresponding to it, in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. At the time this decision was issued, the disputed domain name was used to host a website showing pay-per-click advertising, directing Internet users to websites selling Complainant’s goods, as well as competing goods.

In view of the above, the Panel finds that Complainant has established the second condition of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name, which totally reproduces Complainant’s famous trademark DIOR. By the time the disputed domain name was registered, it is unlikely that Respondent did not have knowledge of Complainant’s rights on the trademark DIOR.

Complainant’s allegations of bad faith are not contested. The evidence provided by Complainant confirms that it had long been using its DIOR registered trademark when the disputed domain name was registered. The Panel finds that Respondent must have been aware of Complainant’s rights in the mark and, further, that Respondent knowingly infringed Complainant’s trademark, when it registered the disputed domain name.

Also, under the Policy, it is evidence of bad faith that, “by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your 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 your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”, Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv).

At the time this decision was issued, the disputed domain name was used to host a website showing pay-per-click advertising, directing Internet users to websites selling Complainant’s goods as well as competing goods. This is evidence of the intention by Respondent to attract Internet users for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondents’ website or of a product or service on Respondents’ website.

In light of these, the Panel finds Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith. Complainant has established the third element of the Paragraph 4(a) 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 disputed domain name <diorwatches.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Eduardo Machado
Sole Panelist
Dated: February 24, 2012

 

Explore WIPO