WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Salomon S.A.S. v. zhangxiaoping

Case No. D2014-2212

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Salomon S.A.S. of Metz-Tessy, France, represented by LegalBase (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka.

The Respondent is zhangxiaoping of Putian City, Fujian Province, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <salomonchaussures.com> is registered with Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology Ltd. dba dns.com.cn (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 18, 2014. On December 19, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 22, 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.

On December 23, 2014, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both English and Chinese regarding the language of the proceeding. On the same day, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding by email to the Center. The Respondent did not submit any comments within the specified due date.

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 in both English and Chinese, and the proceeding commenced on December 30, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 19, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on January 20, 2015.

The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on January 29, 2015. 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, which was founded in 1947, designs, manufactures and sells winter sports equipment, clothing and footwear. The Complainant is the registered proprietor of the trademark SALOMON in China and France. The Complainant also has Community Trademark Registrations.

The disputed domain name <salomonchaussures.com > was registered on June 4, 2013. The website to which the disputed domain name resolves is written almost entirely in French (with some English words). It prominently features the trademark SALOMON and sells apparently counterfeit SALOMON products.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or confusingly similar

The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name <salomonchaussures.com> is made up of the registered trademark SALOMON to which the generic term "chaussures" (meaning shoes in French) has been added. It is therefore confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark SALOMON.

No rights or legitimate interests

The Complainant submits that the Respondent has not been known by the disputed domain name and the Respondent has no connection with the Complainant or any of its affiliates and has never sought or obtained any trademark registrations for SALOMON.

Further the Complainant submits that the website to which the disputed domain name resolves is been used to sell products that are most likely counterfeit but which also bear the SALOMON trademark.

Registered and used in bad faith

The Complainant submits that there is no doubt that before registration of the disputed domain name the Respondent knew of the Complainant's rights in the SALOMON trademark. The unauthorized sale of products by the Respondent on the website at the disputed domain name <salomonchaussures.com> that gives the impression of being a genuine website is clearly use in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

This is a very simple case of clear domain name hijacking for the purposes of commercial gain which the UDRP was designed to stop.

A. Language of Proceedings

The language of the Registration Agreement is 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 proceeding be English on the grounds that the website under the disputed domain name is written in French and English and, therefore, the Respondent appears to operate multinationally in a number of languages.

The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant's request.

The Panel determines that English shall be the language of the proceedings. The website under the disputed domain name is written almost entirely in French and designed to do business worldwide in French. There is some English on the website. The Respondent is based in China where the principal foreign language is English. Given it is engaged in international trade, it is very likely that the Respondent will have staff who are capable of doing business in English. The Panel considers that the Respondent has the capability to handle the proceeding in English.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name <salomonchaussures.com> is made up of the registered trademark SALOMON and the descriptive term "chaussures" (shoes in French). The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark SALOMON. The first part of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests.

The use made by the Respondent of the website under the disputed domain name <saolomonchaussures.com> where the Complainant's trademark features prominently and apparently counterfeit products are sold make it hard to imagine that the Respondent could ever establish any rights or legitimate interests.

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.

D. 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 <salomonchaussures.com> was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.

This case falls with 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."

7. Decision

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 <salomonchaussures.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Douglas Clark
Sole Panelist
Date: February 3, 2015