WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Société d’Exploitation et de Gestion de Spectacles de Music Halls Internationaux v. Tuhaoge Tuhaoge
Case No. D2015-1214
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Société d’Exploitation et de Gestion de Spectacles de Music Halls Internationaux of Paris, France, represented by Areopage, France.
The Respondent is Tuhaoge Tuhaoge of China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lido888.com> 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 July 14, 2015. On July 14, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 15, 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 proceeding commenced on July 27, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 16, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 17, 2015.
The Center appointed Douglas Clark as the sole panelist in this matter on August 27, 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 a French company which owns and operates the famous Lido caberet in Paris, France. The Complainant is the registered proprietor of the trademarks LIDO, LE LIDO or LIDO and various devices in various countries in numerous classes, including International Registrations No. 1,008,297 designating China, registered on January 7, 2009, in, inter alia, Class 41 for entertainment services.
The Respondent is an individual with an address in China. The disputed domain name <lido888.com> was registered on January 13, 2015. The website to which the disputed domain name resolves provides advertising links (all in simplified Chinese) to various casinos and entertainment venues in Macau, China. There are also links apparently advertising prostitution services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Identical or confusingly similar
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name <lido888.com> is made entirely up of the registered trademark LIDO and the numbers “888” to which generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” has been added. It is therefore confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks incorporating LIDO.
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 LIDO or marks incorporating LIDO.
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 LIDO trademark and registered the disputed domain name to attract business to its website. The Complainant relies on a number of UDRP decision that have found that the use of a domain name for pornographic website or for websites offering adult services or material amounts to registration and use in bad faith. These decisions include: ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. v. Quicknet; WIPO Case No. D2003-0215; America Online v. Viper; WIPO Case No. D2000-1198; MatchNet PLC v. MAC Trading, WIPO Case No. D2000-0205; America Online, Inc. v. East Coast Exotics, WIPO Case No. D2001-0661 and ESPN, Inc. v. XC2, WIPO Case No. D2005-0444.
The Respondent did not respond to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <lido888.net> is made up of the word “lido”, the numerals “888” and the gTLD “.com”. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks in that it incorporates LIDO as its main element. The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint to assert any rights or legitimate interests. Paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) provides:
“While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.”
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. 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 second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The key issue in this case is whether the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant relies on 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 Complainant argues in particular that the registration of a disputed domain name incorporating a well-known mark and use of that domain name for a pornographic website or for websites offering adult services or material amounts to registration and use in bad faith. The cases relied on by the Complainant have been cited above.
This latter argument is particularly important in this case. The content of the website does not appear to make or suggest any direct link to the Complainant. Nevertheless, no explanation has been offered by the Respondent as to why the disputed domain name <lido888.com> was chosen, nor is it apparent from the website at the disputed domain name. The conclusion must be that the Respondent is in someway trying to trade off the Complainant’s goodwill.
The advertising of gambling and prostitution related services will certainly tarnish the reputation and goodwill of the Complainant. The Panel considers that a trademark owner such as the Complainant should be able to control the services with which its trademark is associated. The fact that the site at the disputed domain name is written in simplified Chinese (Macau uses traditional Chinese characters) strongly suggests it is targeted at Internet visitors based in Mainland China, where the Complainant has trademark rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is therefore 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 <lido888.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 31, 2015