WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Federation Francaise De Tennis v. Mahesh Shaksena
Case No. D2016-0354
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Federation Francaise De Tennis of Paris, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Mahesh Shaksena of Haryana, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <frenchopen2016livex.com> (the "Disputed Domain Name") 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 February 22, 2016. On February 22, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On February 24, 2016, 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 proceeding commenced on March 2, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 22, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on March 23, 2016.
The Center appointed Anders Janson as the sole panelist in this matter on April 1, 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 promotes and develops tennis in France and organizes major tournaments such as the International of France at stadium Roland Garros. The tournament is also known as the French Open since 1968 and it is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The Complainant sells the TV rights for the whole tournament to selected official and exclusive broadcasters all around the world.
The Complainant is the owner of the international trademark FRENCH OPEN with registration number 538170 that was registered on June 22, 1989.
The Complainant has also registered numerous domain names including the trademark FRENCH OPEN and the domain name <frenchopen2016.com> was registered on November 20, 2014 by the Complainant.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on December 10, 2015.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark since it includes in its entirety the trademark FRENCH OPEN. The addition of the generic terms "2016" and "livex" at the end of the Disputed Domain Name and of the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" is not sufficient to escape the finding that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark. The website in relation with the Disputed Domain Name makes a clear reference to the Complainant by including the Complainant's figurative trademark and official logo ROLAND GARROS RG on the main page.
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant nor authorized by the Complainant in any way to use the trademark FRENCH OPEN. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name and is not related in any way to the Complainant's business. The Respondent does not appear to be known by the name "French Open" or even the expression "French Open 2016 Livex". The main page of the website at "www.frenchopen2016livex.com" provides information in relation with the Complainant and the website displayed the Complainant's figurative trademark ROLAND GARROS RG without authorization, in order to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant.
Given the distinctiveness of the Complainant's trademark and reputation the Respondent has registered the Disputed Domain Name with full knowledge of the Complainant's trademark and used the trademark for the purpose of misleading and diverting Internet traffic. The website content displayed links named "French open live", "French open 2016 live streaming" and "French open 2016 live". It is suggested that the Respondent would like to propose livestreaming of the French Open 2016's tournament, even though the Complainant sells exclusive TV rights for the whole tournament to selected official broadcasters all around the world. The Respondent displays a "trademark disclaimer" regarding the Complainant's trademark FRENCH OPEN, and is thereby willfully violating the Complainant's rights. The Respondent has registered and used the Disputed Domain Name for the sole purpose to create a likelihood of confusion and the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Given the Complaint and evidence submitted by the Complainant and the Respondent's failure to file a Response, the Panel accepts as true the reasonable contentions of the Complainant. The Respondent's default does not however automatically lead to a transfer of the Disputed Domain Name. On the contrary, the Complainant still must establish that it is entitled to a transfer of the Disputed Domain Name under the Policy.
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:
(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 Panel finds that the Complainant does have trademark rights to FRENCH OPEN with reference to the trademark registrations submitted by the Complainant.
The Disputed Doman Name is <frenchopen2016livex.com> and therefore contains the Complainant's registered trademark in its entirety. The additional non-distinctive and generic terms and the gTLD ".com" are insufficient to avoid a finding of confusing similarity. The Panel therefore finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In this case, the Complainant has submitted convincing argumentation and enough evidence of its exclusive right concerning the FRENCH OPEN trademark, and that the Respondent is fraudulently using the Disputed Domain Name to take advantage of the Complainant's trademark. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
Therefore, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to bring forward appropriate allegations or evidence of its rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant's contentions. The failure to file a Response leaves the Panel to decide the case on the basis of the available record and the evidence provided by the Complainant. Upon consideration of the available record, the Panel is satisfied that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Complainant's trademark is widely known, and, further, that it is therefore highly unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant's trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Name. This Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name was registered in bad faith. The Complainant has stated that the Respondent has used the Disputed Domain Name to mislead and divert Internet traffic. The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant's trademark in its entirety and the Respondent owns no trademark or other rights in the FRENCH OPEN trademark. This constitutes evidence of registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. There is no material in the record which challenges this conclusion. Thus, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the third element 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, <frenchopen2016livex.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 12, 2016