World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel v. Simo Madridoxi

Case No. D2012-0813

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel of Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.

The Respondent is Simo Madridoxi of Italy.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <creditmetuel.com> and <lecreditmutuel.com> are registered with Tucows Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 17, 2012. On April 18, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to Tucows Inc a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On the same date, Tucows 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 April 26, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 16 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May18, 2012.

The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on May 24, 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

The Complainant is the governing body of the banking group Crédit Mutuel. The Complainant owns trademark registrations for the trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL, registered for example as a Community Trade Mark No. 009943135 filed on May 5, 2011. The disputed domain names were registered on February 5, 2012.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant is one of France’s leading financial institutions with office in several countries. The trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL is a well-known trade mark in the financial sector. The Respondent has given false contact information as the address indicated does not exist.

The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade marks. The pronoun “le” does not avoid likelihood of confusion in respect with the disputed domain name <lecreditmutuel.com> and the disputed domain name <creditmetuel.com> merely amounts to typosquatting.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has proven that it holds valid trade mark rights to the trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL that predate the registration of the disputed domain names. It is therefore for the Panel to asses the similarity between the domain names and the trade marks in question.

The disputed domain name <lecreditmutuel.com> merely adds the pronound “le”, equivalent to the English pronoun “the” in front of the Complainant’s trade mark. Bearing in mind the non-disputed reputation of the Complainant’s trade mark, the overall impression is that the disputed domain name <thecreditmutuel.com> is confusingly similar to the complainant’s trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL.

As regards the second disputed domain name, <creditmetuel.com>, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the disputed domain name is merely a typo of the Complainant’s trade mark and hence amount to nothing more than typosquatting.

Accordingly, the Complainant has established the first element of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has stated that it has not authorized the Respondent to use the disputed domain names and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.

The Respondent has chosen not the challenge these contentions. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.

The Complainant has therefore satisfied the second element of the Policy.

C. Registered and used in Bad Faith

The Complainant has put forward evidence of the reputation of its trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL.

The Respondent has not disputed this evidence. The Panel hence accepts that is it a well-known trade mark within the financial and banking sectors.

It is therefore unlikely that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s trade mark when registering the disputed domain names.

Even though it is conceivable that someone could use the French words “credit” and “mutuel” in their descriptive manner, the Respondent has not put forward any evidence to establish a connection with banking or financial services.

It is therefore evidence for the Panel that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain names with the Complainant’s well-known trade mark in mind. The Panel finds that this constitutes registration in bad faith.

Turning to use in bad faith, the disputed domain names lead to “under construction” websites. The Panel agrees with the Complainant and previous UDRP panels that passive holding of a domain name can per se constitute bad faith use of the domain name.

As held by the panel in the case Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel v. Bryna Cytrynbaum, WIPO Case No. D2010-0165, “the concept of a domain name being used in bad faith is not limited to positive action; inaction is within the concept”.

In this case, the Complainant has established the reputation of its trade mark CREDIT MUTUEL. The Respondent has chosen not to provide any reason for its right to use the disputed domain names. The Panel finds that it is impossible to conceive any plausible bona fide use of the disputed domain names, especially as the Respondent has offered none.

Hence, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are registered and being used in bad faith and that the Complainant has satisfied the third element 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 names <creditmetuel.com> and <lecreditmutuel.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tuukka Airaksinen
Sole Panelist
Dated: June 5, 2012

 

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