WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Areva v. Robert Fox

Case No. D2015-0223

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Areva of Courbevoie, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.

The Respondent is Robert Fox of British Indian Ocean Territory, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <areva-fr.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 February 11, 2015. On February 11, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 12, 2015, 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 February 13, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 5, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on March 6, 2015.

The Center appointed Mario Soerensen Garcia as the sole panelist in this matter on March 24, 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 is the French company Areva, with its head offices in Courbevoie, France. It is a global leading company in the nuclear power industry, which is expanding operations in renewable energies. The Complainant is present in the United Kingdom, where it has seven offices and client sites.

Among other registrations, the Complainant is the owner of the Community Trademark Registration No. 002478840, filed on November 27, 2001, and granted on October 29, 2004, and of the French Trademark Registration No. 3104604, dated June 8, 2001, both for AREVA.

The Complainant owns domain names comprising the trademark AREVA, such as <areva.com>, <areva.net>, <areva.info>, <areva.org> and <areva.fr>, registered from February 13, 1998 to August 1, 2005.

The Respondent is Robert Fox, from the British Indian Ocean Territory, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.

The disputed domain name was registered on October 7, 2014.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name <areva-fr.com> incorporates its trademark AREVA which is very well known. The Complainant cites precedent UDRP decisions in which its trademark was considered well known.

It highlights that the trademark AREVA is unique and associated only with the Complainant, since it has no meaning in any language.

It also claims that the element "fr" is the International Standards Organization ("ISO") country code for France and it would increase the risk of confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant, which is a French company.

The Complainant also argues that the extension ".com" is not to be taken into account when examining the disputed domain name and cites a UDRP case featuring this understanding.

In view of the above, Internet users could believe that the disputed domain name <areva-fr.com> belongs to the Complainant.

According to the Complainant, the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant and has no authorization to use its trademark or to register domain names encompassing it.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no prior rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name in bad faith to direct Internet users to a parking page displaying commercial links, among which links related to renewable energy.

The Complainant presents copies of a letter dated October 29, 2014 and subsequent emails it sent to the Respondent asking for the cancellation of the disputed domain name <areva-fr.com>. The Respondent has never responded to the Complainant's approaches, which would also corroborate the bad faith argument. Besides, it alleges that the Respondent's data in the WhoIs database is incorrect, which would also suggest that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Finally, the Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name <areva-fr.com>.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

As per paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(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 evidence presented demonstrates that the Complainant is the owner of the trademark AREVA in several countries and that its trademark is well known in Europe.

The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant's trademark AREVA followed by a hyphen and the letters "fr."

The main element of the disputed domain name is "areva", which is identical to the Complainant's trademark and trade name.

The element "-fr" should be understood by Internet users as a reference to France and, when associated with the trademark AREVA, to the origin of the Complainant.

The Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been proved by the Complainant, i.e., the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not submitted a response to the Complaint, in accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules.

The Respondent has no authorization to use the Complainant's trademark or to register domain names containing the trademark AREVA.

The Respondent is not known by the trademark AREVA.

There is inconsistency in the Respondent's data displayed in the WhoIs database. The Respondent's address used to register the disputed domain name indicates London as the city and a zip code of London, but the British Indian Ocean Territory appears as the "country" location.

For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The trademark AREVA is registered by the Complainant and is well known in Europe, including in the United Kingdom, as being the Complainant's trademark for activities related to the energy industry.

The Complainant is a French company.

The disputed domain name reproduces the trademark AREVA entirely and adds a hyphen with the letters "fr" which is the official country code for France.

The word "areva" does not have a dictionary meaning.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in using the trademark AREVA.

The Respondent's website displays links with names associated with the Complainant's activities, such as "Energy Independence", "Sustainable Energy Jobs", "Renewable Energy Jobs" and "Nuclear Plant".

In view of the above reasons, this Panel finds that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark.

This Panel finds that the Respondent's intention of taking undue advantage of the trademark AREVA as described in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy has been demonstrated.

For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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, <areva-fr.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Mario Soerensen Garcia
Sole Panelist
Date: April 2, 2015