WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour v. Ali Fetouh, Fasateen
Case No. D2017-0089
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Ali Fetouh, Fasateen of Talkha, Egypt.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <carrefouroffers.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on January 18, 2017. On January 18, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 19, 2017, 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 proceedings commenced on January 20, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 9, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 10, 2017.
The Center appointed Nayiri Boghossian as the sole panelist in this matter on February 20, 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 an international retailer with more than 11,500 stores in more than 30 countries. It owns international trademark registration no. 563304 registered on November 6, 1990 as well as international registration no. 1010661 registered on April 16, 2009 for the trademark CARREFOUR, both inter alia covering Egypt. The Complainant has also registered a number of domain names which include the trademark CARREFOUR.
On March 18, 2015, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, which resolves to a website that displays the Complainant's products, offered for sale in various Arab countries and sponsored third-party links.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or at least confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark CARREFOUR. The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for the trademark CARREFOUR including two international registrations which cover Egypt. The disputed domain name reproduces the well-known trademark CARREFOUR in its entirety. This alone is sufficient to meet the test of being identical or confusingly similar. The disputed domain name incorporates the term "offers", which is a generic term and hence does not eliminate confusing similarity. On the contrary, in the case at hand, the use of the term "offers" increases the chances of creating confusing similarity as the Complainant is in the retail business. The generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" should be ignored when making an assessment on this point.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant did not authorize the use of its trademark by the Respondent who is not affiliated with the Complainant. As the trademark is well-known and has been used by the Respondent without authorization, a bona fide use of the disputed domain name cannot be envisaged. Furthermore, the website to which the disputed domain name resolves includes sponsored links. In addition, the Respondent did not respond to the cease-and-desist letter of the Complainant.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The disputed domain name was registered in bad faith as the Respondent knew or must have known of the Complainant's trademark. This must be the case given the reputation of the Complainant and its trademark CARREFOUR around the world. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name in bad faith as the trademark CARREFOUR is well-known and it is being used by the Respondent without the authorization of the Complainant. Furthermore, the Respondent is using the Complainant's trademark to attract Internet users to its website which displays commercial links. In addition, the Respondent is likely to have registered the disputed domain name to prevent the Complainant from using its trademark in the disputed domain name. Lastly, the Respondent did not respond to the Complainant's letter.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant owns two international trademark registrations for the trademark CARREFOUR, inter alia designating in Egypt. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark CARREFOUR.
The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant's trademark CARREFOUR combined with the descriptive term "offers" which does not eliminate the confusing similarity with the trademark CARREFOUR. In fact, it is the Panel's view that the use of the term "offers" creates the impression of being affiliated with the Complainant as the Complainant operates in the retail sector.
The gTLD ".com" should typically be ignored when assessing confusing similarity as established by prior UDRP decisions.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, particularly by asserting that it never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark as part of the disputed domain name.
The Panel further finds that the Respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods and services as he is not only offering the Complainant's products for sale on the website the disputed domain name resolves to, but further displaying sponsored links to third-parties' websites.
The Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the types specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances, giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirement under the Policy of showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The trademark CARREFOUR is a well-known trademark worldwide among the retail industry. Consumers in the Middle East North Africa region are very likely to be familiar with the trademark CARREFOUR. Hence, this Panel is of the opinion that the Respondent must have been fully aware of the Complainant and its trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. Such knowledge is also evident from the Respondent's offering of the Complainant's products on its website. The bad faith use of the disputed domain name is clear from the fact that the trademark CARREFOUR is being used by the Respondent with the aim of attracting Internet traffic to its website with the intent of commercial gain. Further evidence of bad faith, as held by previous UDRP panels, is the failure of the Respondent to respond to the cease-and-desist letter sent by the Complainant.
Such conduct falls squarely within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, and accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied 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 disputed domain name <carrefouroffers.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 27, 2017