WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Confederation Nationale du Credit Mutuel v. Privacydotlink Customer 2535445 / Zhichao Yang
Case No. D2016-2439
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Confederation Nationale of Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Privacydotlink Customer 2535445 of Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland / Zhichao Yang of Hefei, Anhui, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cicm-creditmutuel.com> is registered with Uniregistrar Corp (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 1, 2016. On December 2, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 5, 2016, 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 7, 2017, 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 amended Complaint on December 8, 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 December 9, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 29, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 3, 2017.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on January 9, 2017. 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 the representative of related entity Credit Mutuel, a large and well-known banking and insurance services group that has been providing services to millions of clients in France for over a century. It owns a number of registered trademarks, including CREDIT MUTUEL, European Union Trademark No. 9943135, registered on May 5, 2011 and CICM CENTRE INTERNATIONAL DU CREDIT MUTUEL, French semi-figurative trademark No. 3783122, registered on November 18, 2010. The Complainant is also known by “CICM”, a moniker derived from the initial letters of the major words in “Centre International du Credit Mutuel”.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 16, 2016 and uses it to point to a parked page containing pay-per-click links. According to the Complainant, in the past four years alone, the Respondent has been an unsuccessful respondent in at least 63 UDRP cases involving some 605 disputed domain names.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that 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
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(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 Complainant undoubtedly has rights in the marks CREDIT MUTUEL and CICM CENTRE INTERNATIONAL DU CREDIT MUTUEL. Both marks are immediately recognizable in their market, having been in widespread use for many years to provide services to millions of individuals. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to these marks. It contains the CREDIT MUTUEL mark in its entirety, accompanied by the first part of the second mark, i.e.,CICM, and the generic Top-Level Domain “.com”, which does nothing to meaningfully distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s mark for purposes of the Policy. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on this first element of the UDRP.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant will be successful under this element of the UDRP if it makes a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and if that prima facie showing remains unrebutted by the Respondent. The Panel notes the Complainant’s assertions that using the domain name for a web page displaying pay-per-click advertisements is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Complainant also asserts that the Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name, and has not otherwise acquired any trademark rights related to the disputed domain name. These assertions establish the Complainant’s prima facie case. The Respondent has not answered the Complainant’s assertions, and, seeing no basis in the record to overcome the Complainant’s prima facie showing, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied this second UDRP element.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Because the Complainant’s marks are well-known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of those marks when it registered the disputed domain name. In the circumstances of this case, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name. Further, the Respondent has been an unsuccessful party to several previous disputes under the UDRP, in which the panels found the Respondent registered the disputed domain names therein in bad faith. The Panel finds that the Respondent’s established pattern of registering domain names in bad faith means that it is more likely than not that the current domain name has also been registered and used in bad faith. Especially given that the Respondent has declined to address the merits of the Complaint, the Panel can conceive of no use to which the disputed domain name could be put which could not be considered registration and use in bad faith. The Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith in terms of the UDRP, and finds in favor of the Complainant on this element.
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 <cicm-creditmutuel.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: January 23, 2017