WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Sidel Participations v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2018-1448
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sidel Participations of Octeville sur Mer, France, represented by Valea AB, Sweden.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sidelgroup.com> is registered with Domain.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 29, 2018. On June 29, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 29, 2018, 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 6, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 26, 2018. On July 19, 2018, the Center received an email communication from the named Respondent stating that her name and address were used by a third party without her knowledge to register the disputed domain name. The Center acknowledged receipt of the email and indicated that the email would be brought to the Panel’s attention and it is the Panel’s role to decide her claim regarding identity theft.
On July 27, 2018, the Center informed the Parties that it did not receive any formal Response by the specified Response due date and it would proceed to panel appointment.
The Center appointed Keiji Kondo as the sole panelist in this matter on August 3, 2018. 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 Sidel Group is a leading provider of equipment and services in the packaging business with nearly 170 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees and 50 locations worldwide.
Since 2003, the Sidel Group is part of the Tetra Laval Group (together with other independent members as Tetra Pak and De Laval). The Tetra Laval Group is world leading within development, production and sale of equipment and processing plants for making, packaging and distribution of foods and accessories.
The Sidel Group is the owner of the SIDEL trademark which enjoys thorough protection through numerous national and international registrations worldwide, including, but not limited to, European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) Registration no. 004332086, registered on May 23, 2006. The Complainant, the French subsidiary of the Sidel Group, is the registered owner of the International trademark, Registration no. 858530, registered on May 6, 2005.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 15, 2018 and resolves to a parked page. Fraudulent emails were distributed under the disputed domain name in the name of a member of the Sidel Group’s management team.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name <sidelgroup.com> is identical to the trade name Sidel Group and confusingly similar to the trademark SIDEL as the disputed domain name contains the name “Sidel Group” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The addition of the generic term “group” to the SIDEL trademark is not sufficient to exclude confusing similarity, nor is the addition of the gTLD “.com.”
Bearing in mind in particular the following factors, (a) the widespread reputation and high degree of recognition of the Complainant’s SIDEL marks and (b) the lack of distinguishing factors between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s mark and trade name, the disputed domain name should be considered as confusingly similar to the SIDEL mark and the Sidel Group trade name in which the Complainant has rights.
Based on above there is no question that the disputed domain name <sidelgroup.com> is visually, phonetically and conceptually confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known trademark SIDEL and to the company name Sidel Group.
The Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name based on the Complainant’s continuous and long prior use of its trademark and trade name SIDEL and Sidel Group. The Respondent is not affiliated or related to the Complainant in any way, or licensed or otherwise authorized to use the SIDEL mark in connection with a website or for any other purpose. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of goods or services, is not generally known by the disputed domain name and has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights in that name or mark.
The Respondent has not established any website to which the disputed domain name resolves. The Respondent has made no use of the disputed domain name, other than to impersonate the Complainant and obtain financial gain by fraudulent correspondence.
The trademark SIDEL and the company name Sidel Group are highly distinctive and have little or no inherent meaning. There is no apparent reason or justification for the Respondent acquiring the disputed domain name, for any possible legitimate reason.
The Respondent has intentionally registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The disputed domain name bears no relationship to the Respondent’s name or its business. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide commercial offering nor for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, as it is parking at iPage.
Fraudulent emails were distributed under the disputed domain name in the name of a member of the Sidel Group management team. This evidence clearly shows that the disputed domain name was only registered to create these fake emails. The Respondent is not only using the confusingly similar email address, but purported to be someone in the highest management team of Sidel Group.
The use of the trademark by email suggests that the Respondent is well aware of the Complainant and its business, including the members of the management team. The disputed domain name has been used in a way likely to confuse people into believing it is registered by or connected to the Complainant.
Subsequently, it must be established that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name <sidelgroup.com> 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 name <sidelgroup.com> consists of “sidel”, “group”, and “.com”, where “group” is a dictionary term and “.com” is the gTLD. The portion “sidel” is identical to the Complainant’s trademark SIDEL. The addition of the dictionary term “group” and the gTLD “.com” does not avoid confusing similarity.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has no affiliation with the Complainant, nor is granted a license to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of goods or services. There is no reason to assume that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no developed website under the disputed domain name. For reasons discussed in more detail below, the Panel finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is in fact clearly illegitimate.
Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Fraudulent emails were distributed from an email address with the disputed domain name. The name of an actual member of the Sidel Group management team, was shown as the sender of the emails. No one without the knowledge of the Complainant would use that person’s name as the sender of fake emails. Therefore, the Respondent should have been aware of the Complainant and its business when registering the disputed domain name, including the members of the management team.
Sending such fraudulent emails naturally disrupts the business of the Complainant. Since no one would have legitimate reason for sending such fraudulent emails, even though the Respondent may or may not be a competitor of the Complainant, the Respondent should have intended to obtain illegitimate benefits by disrupting the business of the Complainant. Such an act, although not squarely falling into the category of paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy if the Respondent is not a competitor of the Complainant, evidences bad faith of the Respondent.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is 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 name <sidelgroup.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 7, 2018
The Respondent appears to have used the name and contact details of a third party when registering the disputed domain name. In light of the potential identity theft, the Panel has redacted the Respondent’s name from this decision. However, the Panel has attached as Annex 1 to this decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain name, which includes the name of the Respondent. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, and has indicated Annex 1 to this decision shall not be published due to the exceptional circumstances of this case. See Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788.