WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Natixis v. Domain eRegistration / ID Shield Service, Domain ID Shield Service CO., Limited
Case No. D2016-2289
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Natixis, Paris, France, represented by INLEX IP, France.
The Respondent is Domain eRegistration of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("United Kingdom") / ID Shield Service, Domain ID Shield Service CO., Limited of Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <natix-lu.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 10, 2016. On November 10, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On November 11, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on November 15, 2016 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amended Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 16, 2016.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 November 28, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 18, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 19, 2016.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on December 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 international corporate, investment management and financial services company, with headquarters in Paris, France. The company name Natixis was registered in 1954.
The Complainant owns several French, European Union ("EU") and International trademarks composed of the term "natixis" registered since 1996, for example French trademark registration NATIXIS no. 3416315 filed on March 14, 2006, EU trademark registration NATIXIS no. 005129176 registered on June 21, 2007, and International trademark registration no. 1071008 registered on April 21, 2010.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on March 12, 2015. The Domain Name previously resolved to a website allegedly used for scam purpose and it currently resolves to an inactive website. The Complainant has registered several domain names, such as <natixis.com> and <natixis.fr>, prior to the registration of the Domain Name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant provides trademark registrations, and submits that the NATIXIS trademark is well-known. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademarks. The Domain Name consists of "natix" and of the country code "lu" for Luxembourg. "natix" is close to the Complainant's trademark NATIXIS as it reproduces a large part of the word "natixis". As the consumer is generally more attentive to the beginning of the sign, it is likely to get confused. The addition of the country code "lu" may only be perceived as an indication of the origin of the services offered.
The Complainant argues further that the Respondent is not affiliated or related to the Complainant in any way, or licensed or otherwise authorized to use the NATIXIS mark in connection with a website or for any other purpose. The Respondent is not using the Domain Name in connection with any bona tide offering of goods or services, is not generally known by the Domain Name, and has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights in that name or mark. The Domain Name <natix-lu.com> has been identified as a website used for scam purpose and it is therefore obvious for the Complainant that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of Domain Name.
Finally, as to bad faith, the Complainant argues that Domain Name is clearly a typosquatting variation with the aim of taking advantage of the reputation of the well-known trademark NATIXIS and of the credibility of the Complainant. This is further evidenced by the fact that the Domain Name is used for scam purposes.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark NATIXIS.
The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name consists of the dominant part of the Complainant's trademark NATIXIS, with the addition of the country code "lu" for Luxembourg. The addition of the country code "lu" is descriptive as an indication of the origin, and it adds to the confusion rather than reduces the risk of confusion.
For the purposes of assessing confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com".
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register a domain name containing its trademark or otherwise make use of its mark.
Based on the evidence, the Respondent is not affiliated or related to the Complainant in any way, and the Respondent is not using the Domain Name in connection with any bona tide offering of goods or services. The Respondent is not generally known by the Domain Name, and has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights in that name or mark.
Taking into account that the Domain Name <natix-lu.com> has been identified as a website used for fraudulent purposes, the Panel considers that the Respondent uses the Domain Name to misrepresent that the Domain Name is connected and/or associated with the Complainant.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant's trademark and its business when he registered the Domain Name. It is likely that the Respondent's intention for registering the Domain Name has been to use it for financial gain, evidenced by the fact that the Domain Name has been identified as a website used for fraudulent purposes.
The Panel finds that on the balance of probabilities the Respondent registered and has used the Domain Name with the intention of confusing Internet users into believing that the Domain Name is associated with the Complainant. This is supported by the fact that the Respondent has not replied to the Complaint.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the 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 Domain Name, <natix-lu.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 3, 2017