WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Jeanne Lanvin Company v. Yinglang Hua
Case No. D2013-2009
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Jeanne Lanvin Company of Paris, France, represented by Hoche Societé d'Avocats, France.
The Respondent is Yinglang Hua of Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lanvinsneakersoutlet.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 November 25, 2013. On November 25, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 25, 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 November 29, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 19, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 20, 2013.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on December 27, 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 sells shoes, handbags and other fashion goods. It is the owner of a large number of trademark registrations for the name LANVIN, including a United States of America trademark registration number 1422935, which was registered on December 30, 1986. The disputed domain name was registered on September 26, 2013. The Complainant markets its products through a number of domain names, notably <lanvin.com>, registered on June 8, 1996.
5. Parties’ Contentions
This section contains the Complainant’s submissions with which the Panel may or may not agree.
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark and descriptive terms “sneakers” and “outlet”. The association of these words to the Complainant’s trademark reinforces the likelihood of confusion as the disputed domain name refers to the activity of selling products similar to those that the Complainant sells. Descriptive terms do not serve to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademarks.
The Respondent has not been known by the disputed domain name is using it for commercial purposes although he has no right to do so. The Respondent is not an authorized seller or licensee of the Complainant’s products.
The Complainant has enjoyed a widespread reputation for its products bearing the LANVIN trademark for over 50 years. It is inconceivable that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name. Such is its worldwide fame, the LANVIN trademark is a trademark that traders could not legitimately adopt other than for the purpose of creating an impression of an association with the Complainant.
The Respondent’s website to which the disputed domain name resolves (the “Respondent’s website”) sells counterfeit goods. It markets products with the Lanvin name which do not exist within the Complainant’s collection and are not made to same standard as their nearest equivalents in the Complainant’s range of products. The Respondent’s website reproduces the Complainant’s “eLanvin Paris” logo which is an unauthorized copy of the Complainant’s registered trademark.
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.
The Panel has a preliminary concern over the name of the Complainant in this case. The Complainant relies on trademark registrations in the name of Jeanne Lanvin SA and Jeanne Lanvin joint stock company, the latter being an exact translation into English of the former. A chart of the Complainant’s legal group submitted with the Complainant makes no reference to the Complainant’s name as it appears on the Complaint. Nevertheless, the address on the Complaint is identical to that of Jeanne Lanvin SA. While expressing concern about this, the Panel accepts that Jeanne Lanvin SA and the Complainant are the same entity and proceeds on that basis.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark, the words “sneakers” and “outlet” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The word “sneakers” denotes one of the Complainant’s product types, shoes and “outlet” indicates that the disputed domain name is used for selling the Complainant’s products. The addition of these generic words appearing to describe the Complainant’s products and activity of selling them and the necessary gTLD to the Complainant’s trademark, does not distinguish the disputed domain name from 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 “Lanvin” 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
LANVIN is a world-famous trademark. The Respondent has used it to sell products of the type sold by the Complainant. From that, one can infer that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its rights to the LANVIN trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. The Complainant’s trademark is the name of a French fashion designer who founded the Lanvin fashion house and is otherwise a made-up name with no independent meaning.
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.
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 <lanvinsneakersoutlet.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 6, 2014