WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Christophe Josse v. Perfect Privacy, LLC / Agus Informasi
Case No. D2015-2282
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Christophe Josse of Paris, France represented by LEXT AARPI, France.
The Respondent is Perfect Privacy, LLC of Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America (“United States”) / Agus Informasi of Jakarta, Indonesia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <christophejosse.com> is registered with EndeavourDomains, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 16, 2015. On December 16, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 16, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 17, 2015 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on December 28, 2015.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 December 29, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 18, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 19, 2016.
The Center appointed Luca Barbero as the sole panelist in this matter on January 22, 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 French fashion designer who presented his first couture collection in 2005 and created his own house named “Christophe Josse Paris” in 2006.
After becoming a permanent member of the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2011, the Complainant was granted the title “Haute Couture” and broadened his brand with a ready-to-wear line.
The Complainant is the owner of the French trademark No. 053357793 for CHRISTOPHE JOSSE (word mark), registered on May 9, 2005, in classes 3, 9, 18, 24 and 25, and of the Community Trademark No. 11873361 for CHRISTOPHE JOSSE (word mark), registered on October 16, 2013, in classes 3, 18 and 25.
The Complainant’s business is promoted through the website “www.christophejosse.paris”. The corresponding domain name <christophejosse.paris> was registered on December 28, 2014.
The disputed domain name <christophejosse.com> was registered on May 23, 2015, and is pointed to a Sedo parking page displaying several pay-per-click links referring to fashion-related products and an indication that the disputed domain name may be for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states that the trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE, which consists of the first name and surname of the Complainant, is entirely reproduced in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name since: i) the Respondent is not related in any way to the Complainant, is not one of the Complainant’s agents, does not carry out any activity for, or with, the Complainant and is neither a licensee, employee, subsidiary nor a subcontractor of the Complainant; ii) the Respondent is not known under the name “Christophe Josse” and no license or authorization has been granted to the Respondent to make any use of, or to register, the disputed domain name; iii) the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in connection with a pay-per-click page where the disputed domain name is also offered for sale may hardly be construed as expression of a right or legitimate interest and does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
As to the circumstances evidencing bad faith, the Complainant contends that the Respondent primarily registered the disputed domain name for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring it to the Complainant, as the Respondent, contacted through the Sedo’s brokerage service, refused to sell the disputed domain name for less than EUR 550.
The Complainant states that only someone who was familiar with the Complainant and its trademark could have registered a domain name including CHRISTOPHE JOSSE as such.
The Complainant further asserts that the Respondent is intentionally using the disputed domain name to attract Internet users and divert them to third party websites in order to make unfair benefit of the Complainant and its trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE. The Complainant concludes that the Respondent’s use leads to the risk of deception and confusion since it could give the impression that the Respondent’s website is somehow endorsed by the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules: “A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.” Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service in which the complainant has rights;
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of ownership of trademark registrations for CHRISTOPHE JOSSE in France and the European Union.
According to a review of the trademark certificates submitted by the Complainant and the trademark details published on the online databases of the competent trademark offices, the Panel is satisfied that the trademark registrations on which the Complainant relies are valid and in force. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established rights in the trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE.
As stated in paragraph 1.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), ownership of a trademark generally satisfies the threshold requirement of having trademark rights, the location of the trademark, its date of registration, and the goods and/or services for which it is registered being irrelevant for the purpose of finding rights in a trademark under the first element of the UDRP.
In addition, as indicated in paragraph 1.2 of the WIPO Overview 2.0, the top-level suffix in the domain name would usually be disregarded under the confusing similarity test, except in certain cases where the applicable top-level suffix may itself form part of the relevant trademark.
In the case at hand, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has proven the identity of the disputed domain name with its trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE, considering the top-level suffix “.com” as a mere technical requirement of registration.
In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proven that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has established rights according to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
With respect to this requirement, the complainant is required to make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests and, once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to submit appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or on any other basis, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. See Malayan Banking Berhad v. Beauty, Success & Truth International, WIPO Case No. D2008-1393; Accor v. Eren Atesmen, WIPO Case No. D2009-0701, and WIPO Overview 2.0, paragraph 2.1.
In the case at hand, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case and that the Respondent, by not submitting a Response, has failed to demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
According to the documents and statements submitted by the parties, there is no relation between the Respondent and the Complainant, the Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant, nor has the Respondent otherwise obtained an authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark or to register the disputed domain name.
In addition, there is also no indication before the Panel that the Respondent, whose name is “Agus Informasi”, might be commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Panel also finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name, identical to the Complainant’s trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE, in connection with a pay-per-click page where the disputed domain name is also offered for sale does not amount to a bona fide use of the disputed domain name in connection with any products or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has proven that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name according to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, a complainant must prove that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE, which is highly distinctive as it corresponds to the full name of the Complainant and, to the best of the Panel’s knowledge, has no meaning in any language. Based on the documents and statements submitted by the Complainant, the Complainant has registered and used the trademark CHRISTOPHE JOSSE since 2005 and registered the domain name <christophejosse.paris> in December 2014.
In view of the above, the Panel finds it highly unlikely that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, in May 2015, without intention to refer to the Complainant’s trademark. Moreover, the Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint and to provide a plausible explanation as to the reason why it decided to register and use the disputed domain name.
The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect users to a website displaying several pay-per-click links relating to clothing and fashion and indicating that the disputed domain name may be for sale supports the conclusion that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the purpose of attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website and the websites linked thereto, according to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In light of the above, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was 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 <christophejosse.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 8, 2016