WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Jeanne Lanvin Company v. Opnqkfe Opnqkfe
Case No. D2013-1141
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Jeanne Lanvin Company of Paris, France, represented by Hoche Societé d’Avocats, France.
The Respondent is Opnqkfe Opnqkfe of New Yours, North Carolina, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lanvinsneakersstore.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 26, 2013. On June 26, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 27, 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 July 2, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 22, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 23, 2013.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on July 26, 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 is a corporation registered in France. It is a fashion house selling goods including clothing, shoes and bags in numerous countries throughout the world.
The Complainant is the owner of registrations for the trademark LANVIN in numerous jurisdictions.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on May 27, 2013.
At the date of the Center’s formal compliance verification, July 2, 2013, the Domain Name resolved to a website at “www.lanvinsneakersstore.com” which offered shoes and bags for sale online under the LANVIN mark.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it is the owner of registrations for the trademark LANVIN dating back to 1961. It exhibits evidence of registrations including:
(a) French trademark number 1509885 for LANVIN, registered on August 3, 1961 in International Classes 14, 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26, for goods and services including shoes.
(b) French trademark number 063412207 for LANVIN, registered on February 24, 2006 in International Classes 3, 8, 9, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 25, for goods and services including handbags.
(c) United States trademark number 1422935 for LANVIN, registered on December 11, 1985 in International Class 25 for goods and services including shoes.
(d) International trademark number 362475 for LANVIN registered on September 18, 1969 in International Classes 14, 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26 for goods and services including clothing and footwear, and having application in 46 territories in Europe and elsewhere.
The Complainant states that the fashion house Lanvin was created in 1889 and is the oldest French fashion house still in existence. It has continuously used the name and mark LANVIN since that date in connection with the sale of items including clothes, shoes and bags.
The Complainant states that it is part of an international group of companies all trading under the name and mark LANVIN, operating in locations including the United States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, China and Japan. It contends that by virtue of these longstanding commercial activities it enjoys a significant reputation throughout the world.
The Complainant submits that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights (paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy).
The Complainant submits that the Domain Name consists of its distinctive trademark LANVIN together with the terms “sneakers” and “store”, both of which are descriptive and do not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s trademark. Furthermore, the two terms are descriptive of the activities in which the Complainant itself is engaged, thereby adding to the confusing similarity of the Domain Name.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name (paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy).
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is unable to satisfy any of the criteria set out under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy which may demonstrate that it has any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. In particular, the Respondent has not been commonly known by the Domain Name, nor is the Respondent making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. Furthermore, as the Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to make any use of the Complainant’s trademark LANVIN, the commercial use that the Respondent is making of the Domain Name (see below) cannot be regarded as bona fide.
The Complainant submits that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy).
The Complainant submits evidence of a website at “www.lanvinsneakersstore.com” to which the Domain Name has resolved. The website makes prominent use of the mark LANVIN and offers various items of footwear and other items including handbags for sale online by reference to that mark. The Complainant contends that the website also reproduces other images that are exclusively associated with the Complainant, such as its “mother and daughter” figurative mark, for which the Complainant also exhibits a Community Trade Mark registration.
The Complainant contends that it is inconceivable that the Respondent was unaware of its trademark LANVIN in registering and using the Domain Name, or that the website to which the Domain Name resolves is intended to do anything other than to create a misleading impression that it is authorized by or connected with the Complainant.
The Complainant further alleges that the products offered by the Respondent on its website under the mark LANVIN are counterfeit products. The Complainant specifies a number of products offered on the Respondent’s website under the LANVIN mark which it states are not products within its own collection or which correspond to any genuine Lanvin products. It refers, for example, to “Lanvin Patent Ballet Flats Black”, “Lanvin Amalia Shoulder Bag Quilted Leather” and “Lanvin Amalia Evening Clutch Brown”.
The Complainant relies in particular on paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, which states that it shall be evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith where:
“by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”
The Complainant contends that the circumstances described above constitute clear evidence of both registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Complainant seeks a transfer of the Domain Name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Even in a case such as this where the Respondent has failed to file a Response, the Complainant must still establish all three of the above matters.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated that it is the owner of registrations in numerous jurisdictions of the trademark LANVIN, for goods and services including footwear and handbags. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) “.com”, the Domain Name comprises the Complainant’s trademark LANVIN together with the terms “sneakers” and “store”. The Panel agrees that these generic or descriptive terms do not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s trademark and finds, accordingly, that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant’s submissions referred to above give rise to a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Panel accepts that the Complainant’s evidence concerning the use to which the Domain Name has been put is not suggestive of any rights or legitimate interests and would tend instead towards an opposite conclusion.
While it was open to the Respondent to reply to the Complainant’s allegations, the Respondent has chosen not to do so and there is no other evidence of rights or legitimate interests available to the Panel in this case. On the contrary, on the basis of the Complainant’s submissions, which the Respondent has not disputed, it appears to the Panel that the only plausible explanation for the Respondent’s registration and use of the Domain Name was to impersonate the Complainant and to sell counterfeit goods under the Complainant’s trademark, which is not a basis for any rights or legitimate interest.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel has accepted the Complainant’s submissions concerning the registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith, which have not been disputed by the Respondent. The Panel infers that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark LANVIN and the reputation and goodwill attaching to that trademark and registered and is using the Domain Name for the purpose of profiting from that goodwill. In particular, the Panel finds for the purposes of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy that the website to which the Domain Name has resolved is intended to confuse visitors into believing that it is operated or authorized by the Complainant. The Panel further finds on the preponderance of the evidence that the goods offered by the Respondent on that website are not the Complainant’s genuine goods but are counterfeit goods.
The Panel concludes in the circumstances that the 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 Domain Name <lanvinsneakersstore.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: August 5, 2013