WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Le Cordon Bleu International B.V. v. Atulan Bhattacharjee
Case No. D2015-1857
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Le Cordon Bleu International B.V. of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, represented internally.
The Respondent is Atulan Bhattacharjee of Chittagong, Bangladesh, self-represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cordonbleubd.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on October 19, 2015. On October 19, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 20, 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 26, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 15, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 16, 2015. Following the Notification of the Respondent's default, the Center received an email by the Respondent on November 16, 2015, claiming that the disputed domain name had been cancelled. On November 17, 2015, the Complainant requested the suspension of the proceedings which were suspended until December 18, 2015. On December 11, 2015, pursuant to a request by the Complainant, the Center reinstituted the proceedings. On December 13 and 14, 2015, the Center received two email communications from the Respondent.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on January 4, 2016. 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 culinary and hospitality education company which operates worldwide and was founded 120 years ago. It is present in 20 countries with more than 50 schools.
The Complainant has registered various CORDON BLEU trademarks in numerous countries dating back to 1973.
The disputed domain name was registered on June 14, 2015, and is linked to a parking site.
5. Parties' Contentions
In summary, the Complainant contends the following:
The disputed domain name fully incorporates the Complainant's trademark CORDON BLEU followed by the letters "bd", which are generally being understood as an abbreviation for Bangladesh. The combination of a trademark with a geographical term is common practice for many domain names and does not exclude confusing similarity. Therefore, the disputed domain name could be considered virtually identical and/or confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademarks.
In view of the Complainant's trademark rights, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The information known to the Complainant does not show that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the disputed domain name is linked to a parking site. There is no indication that the Respondent is making a legitimate use of the disputed domain name or is using it in connection with a bone fide offering of goods or services.
Finally, it is clear that the Respondent registered an identical and/or confusingly similar domain name to take advantage of the confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark rights for the CORDON BLEU mark for commercial gain.
The Respondent did not reply in substance to the Complainant's contentions, but simply claimed in its emails that it had already cancelled the disputed domain name.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has proven to have trademark rights in CORDON BLEU.
According to the consensus view of UDRP panels, the addition of geographical terms such as "bd" (a common abbreviation for Bangladesh, the domicile of the Respondent) to a trademark in a domain name is normally insufficient in itself to avoid a finding of confusing similarity (WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0"), paragraph 1.9).
The Complainant has thus fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name.
Based on the Complainant's contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Respondent was most likely aware of the Complainant's trademark rights at the time of registering the disputed domain name.
As per the evidence submitted by the Complainant, this Panel is satisfied that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to divert Internet traffic to an unrelated parking website where software-related products and services are apparently promoted or provided, for the likely purpose of achieving commercial gain. Such conduct constitutes bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Complainant has also satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <cordonbleubd.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 14, 2016