WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Banque Pictet & Cie SA v. [Name Redacted]
Case No. D2016-1255
1. The Parties
Complainant is Banque Pictet & Cie SA of Carouge, Switzerland, represented by B.M.G. Avocats, Switzerland.
Respondent is [Name Redacted].
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Name <pictetbkandtrust.com> is registered with Domain.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 21, 2016. On June 21, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On June 21, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 24, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 14, 2016. On July 13, 2016 and July 14, 2016, the Center received email communications from a third-party related to Respondent. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties of the commencement of the panel appointment process on July 15, 2016.
The Center appointed Flip Jan Claude Petillion as the sole panelist in this matter on July 19, 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
Complainant's group of companies is one of the leading wealth and asset managers in Europe. Complainant holds various trademarks, including the following:
- word mark PICTET, registered with the Swiss Trademark Registry on August 17, 2000 under No. P-478932 in class 36;
- word mark PICTET, registered as an international trademark on November 24, 2000 under No. 748934 in class 36 with designation of multiple countries;
- word mark PICTET, registered with the USPTO on October 16, 2001 under No. 2498316 in class 36.
Complainant uses its PICTET trademarks in connection with financial and monetary affairs.
The Disputed Domain Name <pictetbkandtrust.com> was registered on March 10, 2016. The Disputed Domain Name does not resolve to an active webpage.
On March 16, 2016, Complainant's authorized representative sent a cease and desist letters to Respondent by email and by registered mail, copying the Registrar. Complainant received no answer to this letter, nor to its reminder of April 11, 2016.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant considers the Disputed Domain Name to be confusingly similar to trademarks and service marks in which it claims to have rights. Complainant further claims that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. According to Complainant, Respondent has not used the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a legitimate use. Also, according to Complainant, Respondent has not been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name. Finally, Complainant claims that the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions. However, the Center received email communications from a third party, claiming to be Respondent's wife. According to these communications, her husband's debit card number had been stolen and was used to set up the Disputed Domain Name.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15 of the Rules provides that the Panel is to decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
The onus is on Complainant to make out its case and it is apparent, both from the terms of the Policy and the decisions of past UDRP panels, that Complainant must show that all three elements set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been established before any order can be made to transfer a domain name. As the proceedings are administrative, the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities.
Thus for Complainant to succeed, it must prove, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy and on the balance of probabilities that:
i. the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
ii. 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.
The Panel will deal with each of these requirements in turn.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element, Complainant must first establish that there is a trademark or service mark in which it has rights. Complainant has clearly established that there is a PICTET trademark in which it has rights. The trademark has been registered and used in various countries.
The Disputed Domain Name <pictetbkandtrust.com> reproduces Complainant's trademark PICTET in its entirety, but adds the letters "bk" – which appears to be short for "bank" – and the generic terms "and" and "trust". The Panel is of the opinion that the mere addition of non-distinctive text to a complainant's trademark constitutes confusing similarity, as set out in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy (See Karen Millen Fashions Limited v. Akili Heidi, WIPO Case No. D2012-1395, where the domain name <karenmillenoutlet-australia.com> was held to be confusingly similar to the KAREN MILLEN trademark; Belstaff S.R.L. v. Jason Lau, Sharing, WIPO Case No. D2012-0783, where the domain name <belstaffjacken-outlet.info> was held to be confusingly similar to the BELSTAFF trademark; Lime Wire LLC v. David Da Silva/Contactprivacy.com, WIPO Case No. D2007-1168, where the domain name <downloadlimewirenow.com> was held to be confusingly similar to the LIME WIRE trademark, especially with addition of the word "download" because users typically download complainant's software.)
Accordingly, Complainant has made out the first of the three elements of the Policy that it must establish.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, a complainant has the burden of establishing that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.
It is well established under the Policy that it is sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in order to shift the burden of production to the respondent. See Champion Innovations, Ltd. v. Udo Dussling (45FHH), WIPO Case No. D2005-1094; Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110.
The Panel notes that Respondent has not apparently been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name and that Respondent does not seem to have acquired trademark or service mark rights. Respondent's use and registration of the Disputed Domain Name was not authorized by Complainant. There are no indications that a connection between Complainant and Respondent existed.
In fact, Respondent is not making any use of the Disputed Domain Name and disclaims being the registrant. Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has established that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant must prove on the balance of probabilities both that the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith (see, e.g., Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003; Control Techniques Limited v. Lektronix Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2006-1052).
In the instant case, the Panel finds that Respondent must have had knowledge of Complainant's rights in the PICTET trademark at the moment it registered the Disputed Domain Name, since Complainant's trademark is a widely known trademark. Complainant has valid trademarks and offers services around the world. The Panel therefore finds that Respondent's awareness of Complainant's trademark rights at the time of registration suggests bad faith (see Red Bull GmbH v. Credit du Léman SA, Jean-Denis Deletraz, supra; Nintendo of America Inc v. Marco Beijen, Beijen Consulting, Pokemon Fan Clubs Org., and Pokemon Fans Unite, supra, where POKÉMON was held to be a well-known mark of which the use by someone without any connection or legal relationship with the complainant suggested opportunistic bad faith; BellSouth Intellectual Property Corporation v. Serena, Axel, WIPO Case No. D2006-0007, where it was held that the respondent acted in bad faith when registering the disputed domain name, because widespread and long-standing advertising and marketing of goods and services under the trademarks in question, the inclusion of the entire trademark in the domain name, and the similarity of products implied by addition of telecommunications services suffix ("voip") suggested knowledge of the complainant's rights in the trademarks).
Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name. The passive holding of the Disputed Domain Name may amount to bad faith when it is difficult to imagine any plausible future active use of the Disputed Domain Name by Respondent that would be legitimate and not infringing Complainant's well-known mark or contrary to unfair competition and consumer protection legislation (see Inter-IKEA v Polanski, WIPO Case No. D2000-1614; Inter-IKEA Systems B.V. v. Hoon Huh, WIPO Case No. D2000-0438; Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, supra). The fact that a complainant's trademark is widely known and the absence of any evidence whatsoever of any actual or contemplated good faith use are further circumstances that may evidence bad faith registration and use in the event of passive holding (Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, supra).
In the present case, the Panel is of the opinion that Complainant's PICTET trademark is widely known, which makes it difficult to conceive of any plausible legitimate future use of the Disputed Domain Name by Respondent.
Finally, a third party, claiming to be Respondent's wife, submits that her husband's contact details and debit card were abused to register the Disputed Domain Name. If this allegation is true, no good faith registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name is conceivable. If this allegation is false such a false defense would also be demonstrative of the bad faith registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name.
In view of the above, the Panel finds that, on the balance of probabilities, it is sufficiently shown 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, <pictetbkandtrust.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Flip Jan Claude Petillion
Date: August 9, 2016