WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Société Air France v. hs wang mei fen / Perfect Privacy, LLC
Case No. D2014-1535
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Société Air France of Roissy CDG Cedex, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is hs wang mei fen of shjilazhueng, "Pennsylvania, United States of America" / Perfect Privacy, LLC, Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cargo-airfrance.com> is registered with Register.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 8, 2014. On September 9, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 9, 2014, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on September 12, 2014 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on September 16, 2014.
The Center verified that 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 September 17, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 7, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 9, 2014.
The Center appointed Daniel Peña as the sole panelist in this matter on October 21, 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 airline passenger and freight company known as one of the largest in the world. The company was born on October 7, 1933 from the merger of Air Union, Air Orient, Société Générale de Transport Aérien (SGTA), Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA) and Compagnie Générale Aéropostale.
As a result of the merger between Air Inter and Air France in 1997, "Compagnie Nationale Air France" becomes "Société Air France". The Complainant is also a member of the Skyteam alliance since 2000. In 2003, occurs another alliance between two pioneering companies, Air France and KLM, which forms the European's leading airline group. With a fleet of 583 airplanes, Air France serves 231 towns in 103 countries and represents 1,500 flights everyday. In 2013, Air France-KLM group carried more than 77,3 million passengers and had a 25,5 billion Euros revenue. The Complainant's freight activities for the same year reaches 10,087 RTK (Revenue tonne-kilometre).
The Complainant is operating an international web portal at "www.airfrance.com".
The Complainant is also displaying for years webpages dedicated to: its North American customers, in English. This website is available at "www.airfrance.us" and its cargo activities at "www.corporate.airfrance.com/en/la-compagnie/cargo" and "www.af-klm.com/cargo/portalb2b/home".
The Complainant has also registered many generic Top-Level Domains names ("gTLD") consisting of or incorporating the trademark AIR FRANCE. Many of these domain names redirect the Complainant's customers to the aforesaid webpages.
Société AIR FRANCE is the trade name of the Complainant, used in commerce since 1933.
The Complainant has filed many national, Community and International trademarks consisting or including the wording "Air France" which it has owns for years. The following, among others:
The International trademark AIR FRANCE (No. 828334) was registered on October 20, 2003 for the classes 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 of the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.
The trademark AIR FRANCE is also registered in many countries - including the United States of America as national trademarks and also as a international trademark (under No. 1123935, registered on May 25, 2003 for the classes 09, 16, 18, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39. of the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.
Since 2004, the Complainant has set up, activated and operates a web portal located at; the address "www.airfrance.com", by which its clients could be informed on the services The Complainant consequently owns trademark rights on the sign AIR FRANCE and rights on the domain name <airfrance.com>.
The Complainant is also the registrant of 21 domain names containing the word "cargo" and its trademark. See for instance:
All these domain names redirect to the web portal dedicated to the cargo services provided by the Complainant.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 4, 2014.
5. Parties' Contentions
The trademark AIR FRANCE is entirely reproduced in the disputed domain name.
The trademark AIR FRANCE has been recognized as wellknown by in prior WIPO UDRP decisions, notably in Société AIR FRANCE v. Alvaro Collazo, WIPO Case No. D2004-0446, Société AIR FRANCE v. Alvaro Collazo, WIPO Case No. D2003-0417and AIR FRANCE v. Kitchkulture, WIPO Case No. D20131192.
The disputed domain name combines the Complainant's famous trademark with the prefix "cargo". The wording "cargo" is commonly used in relation with airline companies because freight is a common service provided by airlines and also in the present case by the Complainant.
The combination of the trademark AIR FRANCE with the wording "cargo" in the domain name <cargo-airfrance.com> does not eliminate but rather increases the risk of confusion with the Complainant's famous trademark AIR FRANCE, which is the only distinctive element of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant claims that the domain name <cargo-airfrance.com> is confusingly similar to her trademark AIR FRANCE.
The Respondent is not related in any way to the Complainant. The Respondent is not one of its agents and does not carry out any activity for, or has any business with the Complainant. The Respondent is neither a licensee, employee, subsidiary nor a subcontractor of the Complainant.
The Respondent is not currently and has never been known by the name "air france", nor cargo", nor any combination of these words. No licence or authorization has been granted to the Respondent to make any use, nor apply for registration of the disputed domain name <cargo-airfrance.com> by the Complainant.
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to redirect to a "under construction" parking page promoting the services of the hosting provider "web.com" through a hyperlink.
The Respondent's current use of the disputed domain name may hardly be construed as the expression of a right or a legitimate interest.
In similar circumstances, UDRP panels decided that the respondents had neither rights nor legitimate interests in registering such domain names.
It is difficult to imagine that the Respondent could have ignored the well known trademark AIR FRANCE at the time it applied for registration of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has previously demonstrated the strong reputation and the widely known character of its mark AIR FRANCE throughout the world for a long time.
The disputed Domain name combines the word "cargo" with the trademark AIR FRANCE that describes one of the main activities of the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(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 Complainant has evidenced several registrations for the trademark AIRFRANCE in several countries as well as in multiple international classes.
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant's distinctive and well known trademark AIR FRANCE in its entirety. Neither the addition of the word "cargo" as preffix nor the inclusion of the gTLD ".com" alters the fact that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark. Therefore, the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, a respondent may establish rights to or legitimate interests in a domain name by demonstrating any of the following:
(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the respondent's use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain, to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
A complainant is required to make out an initial prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such prima facie case is made, respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, a complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
With respect to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, there is no evidence that the Respondent, before any notice of the dispute, used or prepared to use the domain names or a name corresponding to the domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
With respect to paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that indicates that Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
With respect to paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy, the Respondent has not made and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name and has not used the disputed domain name, or a name corresponding to it, in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
In the Panel's view, the Complainant has provided evidence that the Respondent has knowingly acted in a manner that might disruptthe Complainant's business, for its own commercial gain, by use of the disputed domain name to redirect to the public a "under construction" parking page promoting the services of the hosting provider.
The Respondent has incorporated the Complainant's trademarks in the disputed domain name for its own usewithout any authorization or license.
In the absence of a Response, the Panel accepts the arguments and evidence advanced by the Complainant and finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and that accordingly, paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under paragraph 4(b), a respondent has used and registered a domain name in bad faith if, inter alia, the respondent has used the domain name intentionally to attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the respondent's website or other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the respondent's site or of a product or service offered on the respondent's site. Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv).
The Panel finds that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name which corresponds to the trademarkto which the Complainant.has rights. Only someone who was familiar with the Complainant's mark would have registered a domain name including therein the expression "air france" as such.
In the Panel's view, the domain name is used intentionally by the Respondent to attract Internet users and divert them to the website of a third party in order to make unfair benefit of the Complainant and its AIR FRANCE mark. The Panel considers that these facts lead to the risk of deception and confusion since it could give the impression that the Respondent's website is somehow endorsed by the Complainant.
Taken together with the fact that the Respondent has not filed any Response in this proceeding, the Panel believes that the Complainant has demonstrated that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel therefore finds that the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
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, <cargo-airfrance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 4, 2014