WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Richemont International S.A. v. Lubos Novak
Case No. D2014-1576
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Richemont International S.A. of Bellevue-Geneva, Switzerland, represented by Winston & Strawn LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Lubos Novak of Prague, Czech Republic.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jaegerlecoultreblog.com> (the "Domain Name") 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 September 12, 2014. On September 15, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On September 15, 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").
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 18, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was October 8, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 9, 2014.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on October 16, 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 leading provider of luxury wrist watches and clocks marketed and sold under the trade name Jaeger-LeCoultre. It was founded in 1833 and has been a hallmark of craftsmanship and design since then. The Complainant offers its luxury watches across the world through a network of Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques and over 800 authorized Jaeger-LeCoultre retailers.
The Complainant is the proprietor of a substantial number of registered trademarks around the world in respect of the JAEGER-LECOULTRE word mark or stylized word mark. These include Community trademark No. 012196168 registered on July 3, 2014, United States trademark no. 1339139 registered on June 4, 1985, and Swiss trademark No. 311357 originally registered under No. 190762 on June 6, 1942.
The Domain Name was registered on April 19, 2014 and at the date of the Complaint was being used for a website whose home page was headed "Jaeger-LeCoultre Blog" and comprised an incomprehensible series of headings and references to what may be different Jaeger-LeCoultre models. It also comprised tabs marked "JAEGER-LECOULTRE USED" and "JAEGER-LECOULTRE WHERE TO BUY" whose web pages solicit Internet users to provide their name and email address by way of an invitation to "Leave a Reply". The latter web page also includes advertising links to third party websites.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to its JAEGER-LECOULTRE trademark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Complainant asserts that the website to which the Domain Name resolves publishes advertising links to third party websites selling products that compete directly with the products of the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has undoubted, uncontested rights in the trademark JAEGER-LECOULTRE both by virtue of its various trademark registrations and as acquired through widespread use in many countries of the world for very many years. Ignoring the ".com" suffix for this purpose, the Domain Name comprises the trademark JAEGER-LECOULTRE, without the hyphen, together only with the dictionary word "blog". The addition of this word does not detract from the distinctiveness of the JAEGER-LECOULTRE mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark or marks in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent can have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not authorised in any way by the Complainant to use the JAEGER-LECOULTRE mark as part of its domain name. As the Complainant points out, the Domain Name is being used for a website with advertising links including to competitors of the Complainant. The Panel considers that the website to which the Doman Name resolves is not operating any bona fide or legitimate business, is certainly not what could properly be described as a blog, and may exist to phish for names and email addresses.
The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to put forward any explanation as to what rights or legitimate interests it may have in the Domain Name or to dispel the prima facie case made out by the Complainant. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In the Panel's view there can be no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the notorious JAEGER-LECOULTRE mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. The Panel equally finds it inconceivable that the Respondent could have had any legitimate reason for registering the Domain Name, particularly given the use to which it has been put. In the absence of any Response from the Respondent, the obvious inference is that the Respondent registered and has used the Domain Name with a view to commercial gain, and has intentionally created a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Domain Name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used 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 <jaegerlecoultreblog.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 29, 2014