WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Christian Dior Couture v. Thomas M Colman
Case No. D2013-0052
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Christian Dior Couture of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Marc Sabatier, France.
The Respondent is Thomas M Colman of Sheffield, Pennsylvania, United States of America (“US”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dioronline.net> is registered with Register.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 10, 2013. On January 10, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 24, 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 January 28, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 17, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 18, 2013.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on February 21, 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 manufactures and retails luxury goods such as handbags, sunglasses, spectacles, leather goods, shoes and other items of clothing and accessories. It is the legal owner of a number of trademarks around the world for DIOR, including US trademark registration, no. 923564, dated October 3, 1995. The disputed domain name was registered on June 25, 2012. The Complainant markets its products through <dior.com> which was registered on October 6, 1995.
5. Parties’ Contentions
This section sets out the Complainant’s contentions without expressing the Panel’s view of them.
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark DIOR and the common word “online” which is associated with the Complainant’s trademark. The Complainant is very well known for the goods it sells under the DIOR trademarks all over the world.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name in spite of the mention on the website to which the domain name resolves: “we are an official Dior online store”. No license, contract or other authorization has ever been granted by the Complainant to the Respondent authorizing it to register and use the dispute domain name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Complainant sent a warning letter requesting the voluntary transfer of the disputed domain name on October 24, 2012 to which it has received no reply. It is impossible for the Respondent to be unaware of the Complainant’s trademarks since the Complainant has used these since 1947 and has several stores in the United States. The Respondent has chosen the disputed domain name to take advantage of the notoriety of DIOR and to attract the public’s attention as a result of the image of luxury that the Complainant’s trademark carries.
The Respondent is selling on the disputed domain name’s website the Complainant’s handbags and spectacles at a significant discount without the permission of the Complainant. The website to which the domain name resolves incorrectly states that it is an authorized online store.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark and the generic word “online” which is one of the ways in which the Complainant sells and promotes its goods and the necessary standard generic top-level domain (gTLD) suffix “.com”. The addition of generic words (such as “style”) and the gTLD suffix “.com” to a trademark does not prevent the resulting domain name from being confusingly similar to the trademark concerned. This is particularly the case here where the trademark is not a word in general use and the generic word added to it is naturally associated with a way in which the Complainant uses the trademark concerned. For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called “Dior” or anything similar and does not appear to trade under that or any related name. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademarks. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response, notably one contradicting the Complainant’s claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant’s trademark is extremely well known worldwide. It is impossible, at least without a Response to the Complaint, to identify a reason why the Respondent registered the disputed domain name other than to attract business or Internet users to its site who were looking for a site connected to the Complainant’s trademark or business.
The only explanation of what has happened seems to be that the Respondent’s motive in registering the disputed domain name is either to disrupt the Complainant’s relationship with its customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name for an amount in excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith.
The Respondent’s website to which the disputed domain name resolves indicates clearly that the Respondent is well aware of the Complainant’s trademark. Through the website, the Respondent seeks to market the Complainant’s products. This is sufficient on its own to justify a conclusion that the dispute domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent knows that the Complainant has trademark rights. On top of that the website to which the dispute domain name resolves states clearly that the Respondent is an official store of the Complainant’s when all the evidence suggests otherwise.
For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent registered and is using the dispute domain name 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 <dioronline.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 24, 2013