WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour v. Kimo Nile
Case No. D2017-0259
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Kimo Nile of Giza, Egypt, self-represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <carrefourofferstoday.com> 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 10, 2017. On February 10, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 13, 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 February 14, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 6, 2017. An email communication was sent by the Respondent to the Center on February 15, 2017. On February 16, 2017, the Complainant forwarded a request for suspension of the proceeding to the Center. The proceeding was suspended by the Center on February 17, 2017. The proceeding was reinstituted at the request of the Complainant on March 16, 2017. The due date for Response was extended accordingly to April 2, 2017. No formal Response was filed with the Center. The Center notified the parties the commencement of the Panel Appointment process on April 3, 2017.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on April 11, 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 one of the best known retailers in Europe and has developed strong rights in its mark CARREFOUR. The Complainant has expanded its market into the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt (where the Respondent is located). It owns numerous registrations for its CARREFOUR mark, including International trademark CARREFOUR, No. 563304, registered on November 6, 1990, duly renewed, protected in Egypt and covering goods and services in classes 1 to 42.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 30, 2014, and has used the disputed domain name to establish a website that provides advertising links to websites for various goods and services. The Complainant has never authorized the Respondent to use the CARREFOUR mark.
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 file a formal Response. However, the Respondent sent an email communication to the Center on February 15, 2017, with the following message:
First sorry for this problem.
and sure you can take this domain without any problems .
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 mark CARREFOUR, as evidenced by its trademark registrations referred to above. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to this mark. It contains the mark in its entirety, accompanied only by the descriptive terms "offers" and "today" and the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com", all of which do nothing to meaningfully distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's mark for purposes of the UDRP. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on this first element of the UDRP.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant may succeed 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. In this case, there are several indicators concerning the Respondent's lack of rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor is there any evidence in the record showing the Respondent's use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services before any notice of the dispute. Joining with numerous previous UDRP panels, this Panel finds that in circumstances such as the ones of this case, the use of the disputed domain name to establish a web page with advertising links to websites for other products is not a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor is it a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of 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 mark is so well known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of the CARREFOUR mark when it registered the disputed domain name. It is among the most recognizable retail brands in the world, having been in widespread use for many years, including in Egypt, where the Respondent is located. In the circumstances of this case, the evidence is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name. Bad faith use is clear from the Respondent's activities of using the disputed domain name to link website visitors to the sale of products on other websites (see paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy). For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully met this third UDRP 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 <carrefourofferstoday.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: April 24, 2017