WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center



Groupe Auchan, SA v. Tiziana Pini

Case No. D2008-0729

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Groupe Auchan, Croix, France, represented by Cabinet Dreyfus & Associés, France.

The Respondent is Tiziana Pini, Milan, Italy, represented by Studio Legale Maggio, Italy.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <auchanviaggi.com> is registered with Tucows.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 7, 2008. On May 13, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Tucows a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On the same date, Tucows transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on May 23, 2007. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), 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 May 26, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 15, 2008. The Response was filed with the Center on June 15, 2008.

The Center appointed David Perkins as the sole panelist in this matter on June 27, 2008. 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.

In its Response dated June 15, 2008 the Respondent asserted that her company, M&CS Travel, was expressly authorized by the Complainant’s affiliate, Auchan SpA, to register the disputed domain name in the context of an agreement with Auchan SpA whereunder the Respondent’s company would offer Auchan’s hypermarkets in Italy travel packages for the employees and customers of Auchan SpA.

Notwithstanding, the Respondent says that she agreed not to renew the disputed domain name after its renewal date of March 22, 2008. However, according to the Respondent, the Registrar’s procedure for deleting the disputed domain name or for transferring it to the Complainant is currently blocked as a result of this Administrative Proceeding.

The Complainant by email of June 27, 2008 announced its intention to make a Submission in answer to the Respondent. On June 20, 2008, the Center advised the Complainant that the admissibility of such additional Submission is at the sole discretion of the Panel.

In a Preliminary Panel Direction of July 1, 2008, the Panel stated that, if there is a clear and unambiguous agreement between the parties that the Respondent will transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant, then pursuant to paragraphs 10 and 15 of the Rules the Panel can proceed immediately to make an Order for Transfer without a reasoned Decision dealing with the elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. Accordingly, the Panel requested the Parties to inform the Center within 5 working days whether they both consent to transfer of the disputed domain name on that basis.

On July 3, 2008, the Respondent stated that she agreed to transfer the disputed domain name and requested the Center to proceed on that basis. The Complainant has not responded but, in the circumstances, the Panel will proceed upon the basis that there is the requisite consent to the making of a Decision ordering transfer.

4. Factual Background

4.1 The Complainant

4.1.1 The Complainant is in the business of the distribution of goods and services. Its first store was opened in 1961 in Roubaix, France. Its first hypermarket was opened in 1967 in Rouq, also in France. Then in the 1980’s, the Complainant began to expand internationally and today carries on business in 12 countries including Italy.

4.1.2 The Complainant’s business in Italy began in 1989. The Respondent is also located in Italy. The Complainant currently operates 45 “Auchan” hypermarkets and some 1,500 supermarkets in Italy, which are either wholly owned (267) or franchised (1,200) and which appear to be operated under a number of names, for example, “Simply Market”, “Sma” and “Cityper”. The Complainant employs some 1,860 staff in Italy.

The AUCHAN trademark

4.1.3 The Complainant is the proprietor of the following registered trademark for AUCHAN.


Trademark No.



When filed / registered

European Community

CTM 000283101

AUCHAN & device

1 to 42

May 31, 1996

August 19, 2005

European Community

CTM 004510707

AUCHAN & device

35 and 38

June 27, 2005

January 1, 2007

International Trademark Registration



3, 9, 11, 25, 29 & 32

June 5, 1964

International trademark Registration


AUCHAN & device

35 to 42

January 24, 1967

International Trademark Registration



3, 9, 11, 25, 29 & 32

November 22, 1988

International Trademark Registration



3, 9, 11, 25, 29 & 32

May 11, 1992

International Trademark Registration



1 to 42

October 19, 1994

International Trademark Registration



2 to 5, 8, 9,. 11, 16, 18, 21, 25, 29, 30, 32, 36 and 37

October 31, 1994

International Trademark Registration



1, 6, 7, 10, 12–15, 17, 19, 20, 22-24, 26-28, 31, 32-35 and 38-42

July 29, 1996

International Trademark Registration



29 – 31

June 3, 1999

International Trademark Registration



3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29 to 33, 35, 36, 238 and 42

February 28, 2001

International Trademark Registration



3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29 to 33, 35, 36, 238 and 42

February 28, 2001

International Trademark Registration



9, 16, 35 to 38 and 41-42

November 28, 2006




35, 39, 41 and 42

April 14, 1998

All the above listed Community and International Trademark Registrations include Italy, where the Respondent is located. Further, all the above AUCHAN registered trademarks were registered prior to the disputed domain name, which was created on March 22, 2007.

The AUCHAN domain names

4.1.4 The Complainant is the registrant of the following domain names, all of which comprise or include the AUCHAN mark.

Domain Name

Date Registered


February 11, 1997


November 19, 2001


November 29, 2007


August 24, 2001


December 10, 2001


August 17, 2000


November 29, 2007


November 23, 2000


November 19, 2007


December 10, 2001


December 11, 2001


March 8, 2002

Prior UDRP Complaints

4.1.5 The Complainant has brought the following successful complaints under the Policy in relation to its AUCHAN trademark.

WIPO Case No.

Disputed Domain Name










<auchan-france.biz> and 9 other “auchan” prefixed domain names








<auchan.mobi >

4.2 The Respondent

4.2.1 The Respondent is the proprietor of M&CS Travel, which is located in Italy and which provides travel and holiday packages. In February 2006, the Respondent received from the Complainant’s operating company in Italy a proposal to provide holiday packages for its employees and customers of its Italian hypermarkets.

4.2.2 The disputed domain name <auchanviaggi.com> is Italian for “auchanvoyages” and, says the Respondent, was registered by her with the express authorization of the Complainant’s Italian company, Auchan SpA.

5. Parties’ Contentions

5.1 The Respondent says that from the outset she agreed that the disputed domain name would only be used with explicit authorisation from the Complainant. Further, when a dispute arose between the Parties, the Respondent says that she immediately agreed not to renew the disputed domain name when it fell due for renewal on March 22, 2008. Indeed, she says that the disputed domain name was not renewed on that date and that, as explained in Section 3 above, delay in deleting the domain name is by reason of the Registrar’s procedures for deletion and, latterly, by the domain name currently being locked as a result of this administrative proceeding. As noted above, the Respondent has consented to transfer of the disputed domain name.

5.2 In the circumstances, it is not necessary to recite the Complainant’s contentions under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

6. Discussion and Findings

A number of decisions under the Policy dealing with transfer by consent are recited in the Preliminary Panel Decision in BHP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd. v. OS Domain Holdings IV LLC., WIPO Case No. D2008-0488. Suffice it to say that where, as in this case, the Respondent consents to transfer of the disputed domain name and the Complainant acquiesces, there is no requirement that the Panel should give a reasoned Decision in relation to whether the requirements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied. Indeed, to do so would be superfluous.

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 domain name <auchanviaggi.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

David Perkins
Sole Panelist

Dated: July 15, 2008

1 “Oushang” is Chinese for “auchan”