WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
AREVA v. Wang Songxu
Case No. D2012-2422
1. The Parties
The Complainant is AREVA of Paris, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Wang Songxu of Weifang, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <areva-r.info>, <nc-areva.info>, <ncareva.info>, <np-areva.info>, <npareva.info>, <ta-areva.info> and <taareva.info> (collectively the “disputed domain names”) are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the ”Center”) on December 11, 2012. On December 12, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On December 12, 2012, the Registrar 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 December 18, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 7, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 8, 2013.
The Center appointed William F. “Bill” Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on January 24, 2013. 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. On December 27, 2012, the Complainant submitted a request for the inclusion of additional domain names to the Complaint. The request was granted by the Panel in its Procedural Order of February 7, 2013. However, on February 12, 2012, the Complainant subsequently abandoned this request upon learning from the Registrar that the additional domain names sought to be included had been cancelled. Upon withdrawal by the Complainant of its request for the inclusion of additional domain names, the Panel now proceeds to decide the Complaint as originally filed with the Center.
The Complainant submitted a supplemental filing on January 30, 2013. The Panel decided not to take the Complainant’s supplemental filing into consideration.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a renowned world leader in the energy industry and the global nuclear power industry. The Complainant has developed an industrial presence on virtually every continent including a substantial presence in China. The Complainant maintains eleven offices and project facilities in China. In sum, the Complainant is well known in the energy industry in China as well as worldwide. The Complainant’s reported revenues of 2011 were nearly EUR 9 billion.
The Complainant is the owner of an International Trademark Registrations designating China registered on November 28, 2001 and July 16, 2004.
The Complainant owns the following domain names all of which were registered between 1998 and 2005: <areva.com>; <arevan.net>; <areva.org>; <areva.us>; <arevata.com>; <areva-nc.info>; <arevanc.com>; <arevanp.com>; <areva-nc.info>; and <areva-np.info>.
The Respondent, on November 24 and 26 and December 2, 2012, registered the disputed domain names. The disputed domain names resolved to websites with adult content. As of the date of commencement of this proceeding, the disputed domain names do not resolve to any active websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that the Complainant’s mark AREVA has been hijacked by the Respondent to lure unsuspecting Internet users to the Respondent’s adult themed websites. The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names are likely to cause confusion with the Complainant’s mark, that the Respondent was never authorized to use the AREVA mark, that the Respondent is not engaged in any bona fide business under the name “areva”, and that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain names incorporate the Complainant’s AREVA mark in its entirety albeit providing in each case a generic letter to two as a prefix or a suffix. Such efforts are insufficient to avoid a likelihood of confusion. “In numerous UDRP decisions, panels have found that the fact that a domain name incorporates a complainant’s registered mark in its entirety is sufficient to establish confusing similarity for the purpose of the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.” AREVA v. St. James Robyn Limoges, WIPO Case No. D2010-1017 (transfer of <areva-llc.com> and <areva-llc.info>).
The Complainant has established, for the purposes of this proceeding, that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its mark AREVA.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent appears to have no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Respondent has not come forward to establish any such rights, legitimate interests, or usage. An Internet search establishes no bona fide use of the mark AREVA or the disputed domain names by the Respondent. The Complainant specifically disavows any licensing of the mark AREVA to the Respondent and any business relationship with Respondent that might give rise to some claim by the Respondent of rights or legitimate interests in the AREVA mark. Moreover, the disputed domain names resolved to explicit adult themed websites that have no connection to the Complainant’s business. Motorola, Inc. v. NewGate Internet, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0079 (transferring <talkabout.com>); E-Committee Comitato di Coordinamento dell Intrastructure per I’E-Banking v. Ivan Vogel, WIPO Case No. D2005-0136 (transferring confusingly similar domain name that resolved to pornographic website).
The Complainant has established that the Respondent, for the purposes of this proceeding, has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant’s mark is well known internationally and in China. Several UDRP panels have recognized the world-wide reputation of AREVA. See, e.g., AREVA v. Affaire a suivre, Razine Alain, WIPO Case No. D2011-1188). Even a cursory Internet search would have disclosed the AREVA mark and its extensive use by the Complainant. Thus a presumption arises that that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s AREVA mark and related domain names when the Respondent registered the disputed domain names. The Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint and efforts to contact the Respondent at the physical address provided to the Registrar failed. Additionally, the Respondent’s pattern of applying one letter or two letters as a prefix or suffix to the Complainant’s mark in the disputed domain names, all of which resolved to pornographic websites, is further evidence of bad faith. The fact that the disputed domain names are no longer active does not change the Panel’s findings in this respect.
The Complainant has met its burden and established, for the purposes of this proceeding, that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used 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 names <areva-r.info>, <nc-areva.info>, <ncareva.info>, <np-areva.info>, <npareva.info>, <ta-areva.info> and <taareva.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. “Bill” Hamilton
Date: February 24, 2013