WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Golden Goose S.p.A. v. Klaus Hertzog
Case No. D2017-0862
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Golden Goose S.p.A. of Milan, Italy, represented by Studio Scarpellini, Italy.
The Respondent is Klaus Hertzog of Ehingen, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ggdboutlet2017.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Openprovider (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on April 28, 2017. On April 28, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 2, 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. An amendment to the Complaint was filed with the Center on May 2, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 May 3, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 23, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 24, 2017.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on June 6, 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 Italian company founded in 2000. It is in the business of apparel and accessories and markets its products under the trademarks GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND and GGDB. It operates a substantial sales network around the world, involving more than 500 prestigious retail stores in cities including Milan, Paris, New York City and Hong Kong. The Complainant also operates a successful online store through its website at "www.goldengoosedeluxebrands.com". As a result of its marketing, sales, distribution channels and client base, the Complainant's trademarks are well-known around the world.
The Complainant is the proprietor of a number of registrations of its trademarks, including International Trademark number 881244 GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND registered on December 12, 2005, Italy trademark number 0001608971 GGDB, registered on October 7, 2014, and International Trademark number 1242358 GGDB registered on July 11, 2014.
The Domain Name was registered on December 19, 2016 and at the time of the filing of the Complaint resolved to a website offering what the Complainant contends to be counterfeit products of the Complainant.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its GGDB trademark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the 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 Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the GGDB trademark, both by virtue of its trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the Mark over a number of years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com", the Domain Name comprises the entirety of the trademark together with the dictionary word "outlet" and the year "2017". In the view of the Panel, the addition of these elements does not detract from the distinctiveness of the GGDB mark. Furthermore, this Panel finds that, given the Respondent's use of the Domain Name for a website selling purported GGDB products, the addition of the word "outlet" adds to the confusing similarity of the Domain Name to the Complainant's GGDB mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has used the Domain Name not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, but for a website offering what the Complainant claims to be counterfeit products of the Complainant. The Panel notes from the copy webpages put in evidence by the Complainant that the Respondent's website is offering products for sale at what purport to be very substantially discounted prices, which is consistent with the products in question being counterfeit. There is no suggestion that the Respondent has ever been known by the Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complainant or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Since the Respondent has used the Domain Name for a website selling what purport to be the Complainant's goods, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the GGBD mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. In the absence of any response by the Respondent, the Panel has no reason to doubt that the Respondent was offering counterfeit goods of the Complainant on the website to which the Domain Name resolved, particularly given the very substantially discounted prices at which the website was purporting to sell the goods. In the Panel's view, the use of a domain name for such activity, clearly with a view to commercial gain, amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <ggdboutlet2017.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 9, 2017