WIPO ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION CENTER
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Goyard St-Honoré v. Wang Chun Rong, Wang Chun Rong, Fuzhou SanYou GongMao Trade
Case No. D2014-0232
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Goyard St-Honoré of Paris, France, represented by Lexington, France.
The Respondent is Wang Chun Rong, Wang Chun Rong, Fuzhou SanYou GongMao Trade of Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sacgoyardvip.com> is registered with Jiangsu Bangning Science & technology Co. Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 14, 2014. On February 14, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 19, 2014, 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”).
On February 19, 2014, the Center transmitted an email to both parties in Chinese and English as to the language of the proceedings. On February 20, 2014, the Complainant submitted its request that English or alternatively French be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not submit any comments within the specified due date.
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint in both English and Chinese, and the proceedings commenced on February 25, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 17, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 18, 2014.
The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on March 28, 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 a French luxury goods house, operating since 1853 under the trade name and trademark GOYARD which is the family name of its founder. Goyard St-Honore is a luxury trunk maker which designs, manufactures and markets its goods mainly hand bags, wallets, purses, luggage, trunks, etc. ‒ all over the world. The website of the Complainant is “www.goyard.com”.
The Complainant has registered the trademark GOYARD in many countries and territories of the world in class 18 and various other classes. In particular, the Complainant has registrations in Hong Kong, China and the mainland of China.
The Respondent appears to be based in China. The disputed domain name was registered on August 15, 2013.
The disputed domain name resolves to a web page where the words “GOYARD Paris” appears at the top of the page and leather goods that look alike to the Complainant’s genuine goods are offered for sale. The web page purports to be a genuine Goyard web page. The web page is entirely in French.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions are set out below.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name <sacgoyardvip.com> consists of the trademark GOYARD and the words “sac” and “vip”. The first word, “sac”, is a French word meaning “bag”. “Vip” is generally used to mean “Very Important Person”. The disputed domain name is therefore made up of generic, descriptive or laudatory words and the disputed domain name is thereby confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant further submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It is not known by the name “Goyard”. It has received no consent or license from the Complainant to use the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant further submits that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith with the intention of attracting Internet users to the website and thereby makes money by selling look-alike products.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Language of Proceedings
The language of the Registration Agreement is in Chinese. Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that:
“Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.”
The Complainant requested the language of the proceedings to be English on the grounds that the website of the Registrar was written in English. Alternatively, the Complainant requested the language of the proceedings be French because the website under the disputed domain name is written entirely in French.
The Respondent did not respond to this request.
The Center made a preliminary determination to:
1) accept the Complaint as filed in English;
2) accept a Response in either English or Chinese;
3) appoint a Panel familiar with both languages mentioned above, if available.
The final determination of the language of proceedings lies with the Panel. As a first point, the Panel does not consider the language used by the Registrar to be of any relevance to determine the language of the proceedings. The fact that the Registrar uses English as one language does not show the Respondent has any knowledge of English.
There is no clear evidence that the Respondent understands English. On the other hand, there is clear evidence from its website that the Respondent does business internationally in French. It is a reasonable inference that any company based in China with the ability to do international business in French will also have some ability in the English language. English is by far the most commonly taught and used foreign language in China. It is very unlikely that the Respondent, as a company doing international business, does not have the ability to communicate in English.
Further, the Panel decided in Zappos.com, Inc. v. Zufu aka Huahaotrade, WIPO Case No. D2008-1191, that a respondent’s failure to respond to a preliminary determination by the Center as to the language of proceedings “should, in general, be a strong factor to allow the Panel to decide to proceed in favour of the language of the Complaint.”
Further, as set out below, the Panel considers the merits of the case to be strongly in favour of the Complainant. Translating the Complaint would cause unnecessary delays in this matter.
Accordingly, the Panel determines to follow the Center’s preliminary determination. As the only pleading before the Panel is in English, the Panel will render its decision in English.
The Panel finds that this is a clear case of cybersquatting that the UDRP was designed to stop. The Panel agrees fully with the Complainant’s arguments and accordingly will make on a short decision.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <sacgoyardvip.com> is made up of the Complainant’s registered trademark GOYARD and the generic word “sac” (meaning “bag” in French) and the laudatory term “vip”. It is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark.
Paragraph 1.2 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (the “WIPO Overview 2.0”), sets out the test for determining confusing similarity. Paragraph 1.2 provides (in part):
“The threshold test for confusing similarity under the UDRP involves a comparison between the trademark and the domain name itself to determine likelihood of Internet user confusion. In order to satisfy this test, the relevant trademark would generally need to be recognizable as such within the domain name, with the addition of common, dictionary, descriptive, or negative terms … typically being regarded as insufficient to prevent threshold Internet user confusion..”
The first element of the Policy is made out.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the dispute domain name. The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Clearly, none of the circumstances in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which sets out how a respondent can prove its rights or legitimate interests, are present in this case.
The Panel finds that the second element of the Policy is made out.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the same reasons as those above, the Panel has no hesitation in finding that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
This case clearly falls within paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy which provides that a registrant has registered and is using 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 use of the website under the disputed domain name to sell look-alike products is clearly designed for commercial gain.
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 <sacgoyardvip.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: March 31, 2014