World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

CLS Rémy Cointreau v. Luke Skywalker, X Wing

Case No. DCO2010-0019

1. The Parties

Complainant is CLS Rémy Cointreau of Cognac, France, represented by Nameshield, France.

Respondent is Luke Skywalker, X Wing of Hong Kong, SAR of China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <cointreau.co> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 14, 2010. On September 14, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 14, 2010, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 23, 2010. Following its customary practice the Center sent the Complaint by electronic mail to the address set forth in the contact details provided by the Registrar and dispatched a copy by courier service to the address in Hong Kong set forth in the contact details. The electronic mail to the “postmaster” address was returned undelivered, with a notation “The following organization rejected your message: cointreau.co.” The courier service returned its copy as undeliverable. The emails sent to the Registrar-confirmed email address however, appear to have been successfully transmitted.

In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 13, 2010. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 14, 2010.

The Center appointed Richard G. Lyon as the sole panelist in this matter on October 25, 2010. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted his 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 has established the following facts with competent evidence.

Complainant, which is a successor by merger to Cointreau & Cie SA, markets wine and spirits around the world. One such liquor is branded Cointreau. Complainant holds numerous trademarks for COINTREAU that are registered in many countries, including Hong Kong, SAR of China, the jurisdiction in which Respondent is located. Complainant or one of its predecessors has marketed the Cointreau liquor for over a century. Complainant owns many domain names that incorporate the word “cointreau” including <couintreau.net> and <cointreau.com>.

Respondent registered the disputed domain name in July 2010. A copy of a screen shot of the website maintained there, submitted with the Complaint, shows a page of hyperlinks, with headings (in French) under general topics, among them “Voyages” [travel] and “Education,” and a note that the disputed domain name may be for sale. When the Panel accessed the website at the disputed domain name he found links, in English, to (among other things) various alcoholic beverages, and a comparable note on possible sale.

5. Parties’ Contentions

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered COINTREAU trademarks; that Respondent lacks rights or any legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Jurisdiction

The record reveals three bases for finding that the Center discharged its duty as provider under paragraph 2(a) of the Rules in its efforts to notify Respondent of this proceeding. First, at least one of the electronic mail transmissions apparently was delivered. Second, Respondent refused actual delivery of another one of the electronic mail copies. A party may not escape a Policy proceeding by closing its door (physical or electronic) to messages it cares not to receive; in this Panel’s opinion that is the equivalent of “actual notice.” In the Panel’s view, the Center “employ[ed] the . . . measures” prescribed by paragraph 2(a) in attempting to effect service, thus expressly “discharg[ing] this responsibility” under that Rule. Respondent can blame no one but himself if he failed to receive actual notice. The Panel finds he has jurisdiction to decide this administrative proceeding.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar; Rights or Legitimate Interests; Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Having assured itself of jurisdiction to decide this proceeding, the Panel turns to the three requirements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. Complainant has met its burden of proof under each of these. The disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s registered marks, Respondent has demonstrated and the record reveals no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name to refute Complainant’s substantial prima facie case on this point, and the evidence furnished by Complainant demonstrates that Respondent falls clearly within the example of evidence of bad faith set out in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The content at the parking page to which the disputed domain name resolves has continuously since Respondent’s acquisition included links that indicate knowledge of Complainant and its COINTREAU marks, so there is no question that Respondent both registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent’s use of that mark is for commercial purposes and an obvious effort to take advantage of the goodwill attached to Complainant’s mark, a textbook case of cybersquatting.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <cointreau.co> be transferred to Complainant.

Richard G. Lyon
Sole Panelist
Dated: October 27, 2010

 

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