WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Credit Industriel et Commercial v. Sangsun Lee
Case No. D2017-0394
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Credit Industriel et Commercial of Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Sangsun Lee of Icheon, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <cicvotremobile.com> and <cicvotremobile.net> are registered with Megazone Corp., dba HOSTING.KR (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 27, 2017. On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On February 28, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent's contact details and informing that the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean.
On February 28, 2017, the Center notified the Parties in both English and Korean that the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain names is Korean. On March 1, 2017, the Complainant requested for English to be the language of the proceeding. On March 6, 2017, the Respondent requested for Korean to be the language of the proceeding.
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, in both English and Korean, and the proceedings commenced on March 7, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 27, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties about the commencement of panel appointment process on March 28, 2017.
The Center appointed Ik-Hyun Seo 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.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Panel found it necessary to extend the due date for the decision to May 9, 2017, and the Parties were so notified.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a financial services group, also known by the acronym CIC. The Complainant was founded in France in 1859, and currently has more than 2,000 offices in France and 38 offices worldwide, including in the Republic of Korea. The Complainant owns trademark registrations for CIC (e.g., French trademark registration No. 1358524, registered on June 10, 1986) and CIC MOBILE (e.g., European Union trademark registration No. 3760948, registered on January 14, 2011) and has used the CIC MOBILE mark in connection with mobile phone services since 2008.
The Respondent appears to be a Korean individual with a residence in the Republic of Korea.
The disputed domain names were registered on July 5, 2016. The disputed domain names resolve to the Registrar's parking page with the message "coming soon!"
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to the mark CIC MOBILE which the Complainant has owned in France since 2011. Specifically, the additional term "votre" is non-distinctive since it simply means "your" in French, and the remaining elements are confusingly similar to the mark CIC MOBILE.
The Complainant also contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, and confirms that it has not authorized or licensed rights to the Respondent in any respect.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain names were registered and used in bad faith.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain names were registered specifically to cause confusion with the Complainant and the Complainant's services, noting that the disputed domain names incorporate a French term. Further, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain names since their creation in 2016 and that this non-use is another indication of the Respondent's bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Language of the Proceeding
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that the language of the proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, subject to the authority of the panel to determine otherwise. In this case, the language of the Registration Agreement is Korean, and both Parties have had an opportunity to argue their position on this point. The Center issued a notice in Korean and English stating that it would accept the Complaint filed in English, and that the Response would be accepted in either Korean or English. The Respondent subsequently chose not to submit a response.
Given the fact that the Complainant is based in France and the Respondent is based in the Republic of Korea, English would appear to be the fairest neutral language for rendering this decision. Furthermore, both Parties were given the opportunity to submit arguments in the language of their preference, and the language in which to render the decision is reserved for the Panel in accordance with paragraph 11 of the Rules. The Panel also notes that the website at the disputed domain names resolve to some text in English "coming soon".
Under these circumstances, the Panel finds it proper and fair to render this decision in English.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated with supporting evidence that it holds various trademark registrations for CIC and CIC-based marks in several jurisdictions, including CIC MOBILE in France. The disputed domain names entirely incorporate the Complainant's mark CIC MOBILE and simply adds the possessive pronoun "votre" which is non-distinctive. Accordingly, the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
For the reasons mentioned above, the Panel finds that the first element has been established.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
On the basis of the present record, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made the required allegations to support a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such a prima facie basis has been established, the Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. However, the Respondent in this case has chosen to file no substantive Response to these assertions by the Complainant, and there is no evidence or allegation in the records, that would warrant a finding in favor of the Respondent on this point.
For the reasons provided above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the second element has been established.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that there are sufficient reasons to find bad faith registration and use in this case.
First, the Complainant uses the mark CIC MOBILE in connection with its mobile phone service. In addition, the term "votre" is French, which is also the nationality of the Complainant and the Complainant's main customers. Also considering that "cic" has no particular meaning, the Respondent's registration for the disputed domain names should be viewed as more than mere coincidence. Rather, the combination of these particular terms strongly suggests that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its services, and registered the disputed domain names in order to financially benefit from the confusing similarity. Further, up to the present day, the Respondent has made no bona fide use of the disputed domain names and, in fact, has made no use whatsoever. Passive holding does not as such prevent a finding of bad faith, especially in light of the similarity of the disputed domain names with the Complainant and its services.
For the reasons given above, the Panel finds that the third and final element has been sufficiently established.
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 names <cicvotremobile.com> and <cicvotremobile.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 9, 2017