World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Christian Dior Couture v. Mou Jiaomei

Case No. D2013-0285

1. The Parties

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

The Respondent is Mou Jiaomei of Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 11, 2013. On February 11, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 11, 2013, 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 February 15, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 7, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 13, 2013.

The Center appointed Johan Sjöbeck as the sole panelist in this matter on March 22, 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.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant has submitted evidence that it is the owner of numerous DIOR trademarks, including:

International trademark DIOR with registration No. 611499 and registration date December 24, 1993 in class 18 for handbags. The trademark designates several countries, including China.

International trademark DIOR with registration No. 951058 and registration date August 24, 2007 in class 9 for sunglasses. The trademark designates several countries, including China.

Hong Kong, SAR of China trademark DIOR with registration No. 199602032 registered on January 18, 1994 in class 18 for hand bags.

Hong Kong, SAR of China trademark DIOR with registration No. 300887301 registered on June 7, 2007 in class 9 for sunglasses.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> on June 23, 2012.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant uses the trademark DIOR all over the world and is especially well-known for handbags sold under the above mentioned trademark. The reputation of the Complainant throughout the world of fashion has been recognized in several previous UDRP decisions. The Complainant has used the trademark DIOR since 1947. The Complainant has twelve stores in China and seven stores in Hong Kong, SAR of China. The disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> contains the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety and there is a high likelihood of confusion. The mere addition of a descriptive term to a trademark does not negate the confusing similarity between the trademark and the disputed domain name. Considering that the Complainant has stores in Hong Kong, SAR of China, the addition of the term “hong kong” to the disputed domain name increases the association with the Complainant’s trademark.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. There is no relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant. The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant and the Respondent has not obtained any authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.

On January 2, 2013 the Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to the Respondent. Despite sending a reminder, the Respondent did not reply.

The Respondent has chosen the disputed domain name in order to take advantage of the DIOR trademark and to attract the public’s attention due to the image of luxury that the trademark carries. The Respondent is actively using the disputed domain name to sell Dior handbags, purses, wallets and eyewear without authorization from the Complainant. Furthermore, on its website, the Respondent reproduces the Complainant’s own official advertising material with Marion Cotillard without authorization. The above mentioned elements increase the likelihood of confusion and the public may be misled believing that the disputed domain name belongs to the Complainant. For all the above reasons, the Complainant maintains that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and

(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant is, according to the submitted evidence, the owner of the registered trademark DIOR. The disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> incorporates the Complainant’s trademark DIOR in its entirety with the addition of the geographical location “Hong Kong”. The ability for generic words and geographic locations, such as “Hong Kong”, to distinguish the disputed domain name from the trademark of the Complainant is limited. See for example Alstom v. Yulei, WIPO Case No. D2007-0424 regarding the domain name <alstom-china.com>, in which the panel held that the suffix of the geographic location “china” created an increased level of confusion as Internet users could believe that the Respondent’s website was the Complainant’s official website devoted to its customers in China.

Having the above in mind, it is the opinion of the Panel that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and that the Complainant has proved the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant must show that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name. The Respondent may establish a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name by demonstrating in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the Policy any of the following:

(a) that it has made preparations 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 prior to the dispute; or

(b) that it is commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if it has not acquired any trademark rights; or

(c) that it intends to make a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark.

The Complainant’s trademark registration for DIOR predates the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com>. The Complainant has not licensed, approved or in any way consented to the Respondent’s registration and use of the trademark in the disputed domain name.

From the evidence in the case, it is clear that the Respondent’s commercial website, to which the disputed domain name resolves, contains direct references to the Complainant’s products and DIOR trademark. Furthermore, the Respondent has copied and reproduced the Complainant’s photographs as well as one of the Complainant’s advertising campaigns. The disputed domain name is being used by the Respondent to sell the same type of products for which the Complainant has registered its trademark. Thus, the Respondent is not making a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark.

Although given the opportunity, the Respondent has not submitted any evidence in this case to demonstrate that the Respondent is the owner of any trademark rights similar to the disputed domain name or that the Respondent is or has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

By not submitting a response, the Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances which could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Thus, there is no evidence in the case that refutes the Complainant’s submissions, and the Panel concludes that the Complainant has also proved the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, evidence of bad faith registration and use include without limitation:

(i) circumstances indicating the disputed domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name registration to the owner of a trademark or to a competitor of the trademark owner, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

(ii) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name was registered in order to prevent the owner of a trademark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding disputed domain name, provided there is a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name has intentionally been used in an attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website or location or of a product or service on that website or location.

The Complainant has submitted evidence demonstrating that the Respondent is offering handbags, purses, wallets and eyewear for sale via the Respondent’s website, to which the disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> resolves. Furthermore, the evidence in the case demonstrates that the Respondent is not only using the Complainant’s trademark DIOR on the website but also reproducing photographs and other advertising material belonging to the Complainant. By using the disputed domain name in combination with the Complainant’s trademark, photographs and marketing material, there is an increased risk of confusion as Internet users may more easily be confused or misled into believing that the disputed domain name and website belongs to or is associated with the Complainant.

Considering that the Respondent is reproducing the Complainant’s trademark, photographs and advertising material without permission and that the disputed domain name is used for the same type of products for which the trademark is registered, the Panel finds, in the absence of contrary evidence, that the Respondent knew or should have known of the Complainant’s trademark at the time the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name.

Thus, the evidence in the case before the Panel indicates that the disputed domain name has intentionally been used in an attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the websites or of a product or service on the website.

There is no evidence in the case that refutes the Complainant’s submissions.

The Panel concludes that the Complainant has proved the requirements under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy and that the disputed domain name <diorhongkong.com> has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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 <diorhongkong.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Johan Sjöbeck
Sole Panelist
Date: April 5, 2013

 

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