WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft v. Tiphayne Decultot
Case No. D2013-1858
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft of Triesen, Liechtenstein represented by LegalBase (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka.
The Respondent is Tiphayne Decultot of Seine Maritime, France.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <swarovskicrystaljewellery.com> 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 October 31, 2013. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. Also on October 31, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming the Respondent as the registrant and provided 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 paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a) of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 13, 2013. In accordance with paragraph 5(a) of the Rules, the due date for Response was December 3, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 4, 2013.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on December 9, 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 paragraph 7 of the Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant manufactures and sells products featuring cut crystal, gemstones and created stones. It is the owner of a large number of trademark registrations for the name SWAROVSKI, including a European Community trademark registration number 3895091, which was registered on August 23, 2005. The disputed domain name was registered on May 21, 2013. The Complainant markets its products through a number of domain names, notably <swarovski.com>, registered on January 11, 1996 and <swarovski.net> registered on April 16, 1998.
5. Parties’ Contentions
This section contains the Complainant’s submissions with which the Panel may or may not agree.
The Complainant owns the world-famous SWAROVSKI trademarks, which are registered in France and globally.
The disputed domain name originally directed Internet users to an online shop offering for sale various purported Swarovski products, although there is now no active website to which the dispute domain name resolves.
The original “About Us” page of the website to which the disputed domain name previously resolved indicated that the Respondent was authorized by the Complainant to sell its products. The Complainant has never authorized the Respondent to sell its products and has never had any connection with the Respondent.
The terms “crystal” and “jewellery” in the disputed domain name do not lessen the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s marks. The Complainant is well known for the sale of its crystal jewellery products. So, the addition of these words to the Complainant’s trademark does not differentiate the dispute domain name from that mark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. He has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant.
The Respondent’s past use of the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to his website through which he purports to sell the Complainant’s merchandise and indicates that he is authorized to do so is evidence of bad faith registration and use. It indicates that, when registering the domain name, the Respondent knew about the Complainant’s trademarks and sought to use them to attract consumers seeking the Complainant’s goods to his website. The Respondent’s attempt to persuade those consumers that he is an authorized seller of the Complainant’s goods provides further evidence of use in bad faith.
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, the words “crystal” and “jewellery” and the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The word “crystal” denotes one of the Complainant’s most popular product types and “jewellery” relates to a major product area of the Complainant. The addition of “crystal” and “jewellery”, as generic words appearing to describe the Complainant’s products and the necessary gTLD to the Complainant’s trademark, does not render the disputed domain name any less confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. Accordingly, 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 “Swarovski” or anything similar and does not appear to engage in a legitimate 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 on this point, 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 screenshots, dated September 18, 2013, of the website to which the disputed domain name originally resolved showed that the Respondent was using this website to sell the Complainant’s products or what purported to be them. The “About us” page sought to indicate that the Respondent was somehow an authorized seller of the products concerned when this was not the case. The Complainant’s trademark SWAROVSKI is a made-up name with no independent meaning.
The Panel reaches these conclusions from these facts. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name knowing about the Complainant’s business and trademarks and sought to use these marks within the disputed domain name to attract consumers to the website to which it resolved. This was in order to sell to customers the Complainant’s products or products purporting to be them. All the while, the Respondent was giving the false impression to those consumers that the Respondent was a seller authorized by the Complainant.
The Panel concludes from this that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed 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 <swarovskicrystaljewellery.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 12, 2013