WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Sodexo v. DomainJet, Inc., Jack Sun
Case No. D2013-2187
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sodexo of Issy-Lesmoulineaux, France, represented by Arépage, France.
The Respondent is DomainJet, Inc., Jack Sun of Mountain View, California, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sodexogroup.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 17, 2013. On December 17, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 19, 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 7, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for response was January 27, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 28, 2014.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on February 13, 2014. 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 one of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world, with 420,000 employees in 80 countries, and holds various registrations for its trademark SODEXO (and the formerly used trademark SODEXHO) dating back to October 15, 2001, designating among other countries the United States, where the Respondent is domiciled.
The disputed domain name was created in April 2009 and is connected to a website offering links, inter alia, to competitors of the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In summary, the Complainant contends the following:
The addition of the word “group” in the disputed domain name is inoperative to distinguish it from the Complainant’s marks, because in the disputed domain name <sodexogroup.com>, the sign “Sodexo”" remains dominant. The risk of confusion is all the higher since the Complainant describes itself as “Sodexo Group” on its main website.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as it has no rights in “Sodexo” as corporate name, trade name, shop sign, mark or domain name that would have any priority to the Complainant’s rights. The Respondent is not commonly known under the disputed domain name, does not have any affiliation, association, sponsorship or connection with the Complainant and has not been authorized, licensed or otherwise permitted by the Complainant to register or use the disputed domain name.
Due to the well-known character and reputation of the SODEXO mark, it is very unlikely that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name without knowing of the existence of the Complainant and its trademarks. It cannot be excluded that when registering and using the disputed domain name, the Respondent’s purpose was plainly to transfer it to the Complainant or one of the Complainant’s competitors for valuable consideration. Furthermore, the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert Internet traffic to unrelated websites offering competing and similar services to those of the Complainant, for the purpose of achieving commercial gain, which constitutes bad faith registration and use. Finally, it seems that the Respondent has been involved in several UDRP procedures, because the Respondent is used to register well-known trademarks as domain names. This can also be considered as demonstrating the Respondent’s bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is comprised of the Complainant’s well-known trademark SODEXO and the suffix “group”. UDRP panels have consistently held that the addition of merely generic or descriptive terms to a trademark in a domain name would be insufficient in itself to avoid a finding of confusing similarity under the first element of the UDRP (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 1.9). This is all the more true here because the Complainant describes itself as “Sodexo Group” on its main website “www.sodexo.com”.
The Complainant has thus fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name.
Based on the Complainant’s contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made a prima facie case which remains unrebutted, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert Internet traffic to unrelated websites offering competing and similar services to those of the Complainant, for the purpose of achieving commercial gain. Such conduct constitutes bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Complainant has also satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <sodexogroup.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 26, 2014