WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Loris Azzaro B.V. v. Fraud Fighters, Inc. (DOMAIN FOR SALE)
Case No. D2013-2248
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Loris Azzaro B.V. of Apeldoorn, Netherlands, represented by Tmark Conseils, France.
The Respondent is Fraud Fighters, Inc. (DOMAIN FOR SALE) of Irvine, California, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <azzro.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 December 27, 2013. On December 27, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 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. In response to a notification by the Center regarding the registrant information, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 30, 2013.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 6, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 26, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 27, 2014.
The Center appointed Alexander Duisberg as the sole panelist in this matter on February 4, 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 owner of the US trademark AZZARO registered on October 22, 1987, for the goods “perfume, eau de toilet and toilet soaps” in Nice class 03. The Complainant is also owner of the trademark AZZARO in several other countries worldwide and has used this trademark intensively.
The disputed domain name <azzro.com> has been created on December 30, 2007. The webpage under “www.azzro.com” contains a link list with, inter alia, the categories “Azzaro Chrome”, “Designer fragrance” and links to several shops selling perfumes of the Complainant and its competitors.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims to be one of the world leaders in the field of perfumes. It has used the trademark AZZARO intensively worldwide since the first AZZARO perfume had been launched in the seventies.
The Complainant is of the opinion that the disputed domain name <azzro.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark because the disputed domain name <azzro.com> is clearly omitting the letter “A” of the well-known trademark AZZARO.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent has never been known, commonly or otherwise, by the disputed domain name or by the trademark or by any name corresponding to it, prior to the registration of the disputed domain name. The Complainant argues that the Respondent is not making a noncommercial or a fair use of the disputed domain name since it is not used in relation with a real proper website. The Respondent would only use the disputed domain name to provide Internet users to browse through sponsored links in English and French languages, some of these links enabling to buy similar goods of direct competitors of the Complainant.
The Complainant compares the case at hand to so called "typosquatting" cases and refers to previous UDRP panel decisions which state that the registration of a typosquatting domain name in and of itself constitutes bad faith registration and use. The Respondent would further be exploiting the Complainant’s trademark, in order to gain “click through” commissions from the diversion of Internet users, which the Complainant claims to be a common example of registration and use in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name <azzro.com>is confusingly similar to the trademark AZZARO of the Complainant and, thus, finds the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy to be satisfied.
The Complainant has demonstrated that it owns the trademark AZZARO in several countries for many years. The disputed domain name merely differs from the well-known trademark AZZARO in the missing letter “A”. In the view of the Panel, the deletion of one single letter does not influence the similar overall impression of the disputed domain name and the trademark as there are only minor differences in the appearance and pronunciation. The confusing similarity of the disputed domain name and the trademark has not been challenged by the Respondent. The Panel also finds that, in the case at hand, the mere omission of one letter constitutes a practice of so called “typosquatting”, which has not been disputed by the Respondent. There are sufficient previous UDRP panel decisions giving evidence that typosquatting domain names are characterized as providing “essential” or “virtual” identity respectively being confusingly similar to the trademarks that have been “squatted” (see, inter alia, Edmunds.com, Inc v. Yingkun Guo, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694; Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol¸ WIPO Case No. D2001-0489).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Respondent has failed to show any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name according to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. It remains undisputed that the Respondent has not been commonly known by the domain name. There is no indication of a non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the “typosquatting” at hand is just the opposite of a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of a domain name (see Microsoft Corporation v. Global Net 2000, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0554). The Respondent uses the link list on the website at the disputed domain name <azzro.com>to divert traffic from visitors mistyping the trademark AZZARO to websites which offer similar goods. For the same reason, the Panel finds that the link list on the website at the disputed domain name <azzro.com> is not sufficient for a bona fide offering of goods or services.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith according to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
The Panel qualifies the registration of the disputed domain name <azzro.com>which isvirtually identical to the Complainant’s well-known trademark as a case of “typosquatting”. It is well-settled by various UDRP panel decisions that the practice of typosquatting is, by itself, evidence of the bad faith registration of a domain name (see Longs Drug Stores Cal., Inc. v. Shep Dog, WIPO Case No. D2004-1069; Lexar Media, Inc. v. Huang, WIPO Case No. D2004-1039; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Longo, WIPO Case No. D2004-0816).
Moreover, the addition “(DOMAIN FOR SALE)” in the Registrant Organization field of the WhoIs excerpt indicates for the Panel that the disputed domain name has been registered by the Respondent only for the purpose of selling it to the Complainant or one of its competitors for a valuable consideration. Paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy states that such practice is sufficient to demonstrate a registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. The Panel further finds that the use to which the disputed domain name has been put constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) 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 <azzro.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 19, 2014