The Complainant is Guccio Gucci S.p.A., Florence, Italy, represented by Studio Barbero, Italy.
The Respondent is Bravia Stoli, GuangZhou, GuangZhou, the Peoples Republic of China.
The disputed domain name <guccifragrance.com> is registered with Backslap Domains, Inc.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 3, 2009. On September 3, 2009, the Center transmitted by email to Backslap Domains, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 3, 2009, Backslap Domains, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on September 9, 2009 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on September 11, 2009. 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” 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 September 11, 2009. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 1, 2009. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 5, 2009.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on October 21, 2009. 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.
The Complainant is the owner of literally hundreds of registrations around the world of the GUCCI mark for a wide array of products principally relating to style and fashion. The Complainant's use of the GUCCI mark and various derivatives of the mark dates back nearly a century. The GUCCI brand is one of the most prominent luxury brands in the world. The Complainant also owns a number of domain names under different TLDs which incorporate the GUCCI mark. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 14, 2004.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the GUCCI mark because the disputed domain name prominently incorporates the GUCCI mark. The Complainant asserts the Respondent has never been licensed to sell, market or promote the GUCCI brand and has no legitimate rights or interests in the disputed domain name. The Complaint further contends that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith to attract Internet customers to its landing site which feature a number of “sponsored” links to competitive products for which the Respondent receives click through revenues.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant carries the burden of proof by a preponderance of evidence. Bootie Brewing Company v. Deanna D. Ward and Grabebootie Inc., WIPO Case No. D2003-0185.
The Panel finds the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's GUCCI mark. The GUCCI mark is utilized in its entirety in the disputed domain name. The addition of the word “fragrance” does little to dispel the likelihood of confusion. Indeed the addition of the word “fragrance” increases the likelihood of confusion because it names a generic product line within the ambit of the GUCCI luxury brand. Chanel, Inc. v. Cologne Zone, WIPO Case No. D2000-1809) <chanelperfumes.com>. The Complainant has satisfied its burden under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that the Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant has affirmatively asserted that the Respondent was never authorized by the Complainant to sell, promote or otherwise market GUCCI branded products or use the disputed domain name. The Respondent has failed to rebut the allegations of the Complainant. Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. Audi AG v. Dr. Alireza Fahimipour, WIPO Case No. DIR2006-0003 (<audi.ir>).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The GUCCI mark is a famous luxury brand which fact could not have reasonably escaped the Respondent's attention when registering the disputed domain name. The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. v. H. Pouran, WIPO Case No. D2002-0770 (<nasdaqtoday> and <nasdaqbiz>). The disputed domain name resolves to a landing page featuring links to competitive fragrance and beauty products. The unmistakable intent of the respondent to trade on the good will of the GUCCI brand could not be more apparent. L'Oréal, Biotherm, Lancôme Parfums et Beauté & Cie v. Unasi, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2005-0623 (<biothermcosmetics>). The respondent's bad faith is further evidenced by the Respondent's offer to sell the disputed domain name to the complainant for $2000. Benetton Group SpA v. Domain for Sale, WIPO Case No. D2001-1498 (<benettonsportsystem.com>). In short, this case presents classic indicia of bad faith registration and use. The Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <guccifragrance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. Hamilton
Dated: November 4, 2009