WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund v. Patrizio De Bortoli, MediaEtCetera GmbH

Case No. D2017-0980

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund of Zürich, Switzerland, internally represented.

The Respondent is Patrizio De Bortoli, MediaEtCetera GmbH of Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <migros.blog> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with PSI-USA, Inc. dba Domain Robot (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 17, 2017. On May 17, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On May 18, 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 May 19, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 8, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 9, 2017.

The Center appointed Peter Wild as the sole panelist in this matter on June 23, 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 owner of trademarks, domain names and company names consisting of or prominently integrating the term “Migros”, e.g., Swiss Trademark Registration No. 666636 for MIGROS of November 13, 2014. The Complainant is one of Switzerland’s major retailers.

The Respondent is located in Switzerland and registered the Disputed Domain Name on November 25, 2016. The Disputed Domain Name is not associated with any active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the Disputed Domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its own, prior trademark MIGROS, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain name and that it has registered and used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith, in particular trying to sell the Disputed Domain Name to the Complainant for a compensation which was considerably higher that the Respondent’s out-of-pocket expenses. The Complainant supports this with email correspondence, especially emails by the Respondent of February 10, 2017 (“[…] is ready to sell and transfer the Domain migros.blog for a four digit amount […].”) and March 31, 2017, explicitly offering the Disputed Domain Name for CHF 1,500 - and mentioning that the costs of a UDRP or court procedure are much higher. The Complainant rejected the offer.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns registered rights in the trademark MIGROS. This trademark is fully integrated in the Disputed Domain Name. It stands prominently at the beginning of the Disputed Domain Name and is followed by the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.blog”. A gTLD is typically ignored when assessing confusing similarity and therefore the Panel is satisfied that the first element of the Policy is met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant must establish a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. Once such prima facie case is made, the Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. If the Respondent fails to do so, the Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.

The Respondent is not known under the Disputed Domain Name and claims no connection with or authorization from the Complainant. In its correspondence, the Respondent never claimed to have rights in the Disputed Domain Name, but only that “[…] interested parties in other countries […] exist”. There is no indication that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.

With the evidence on file, this Panel is satisfied that the second element of the Policy is met.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Disputed Domain Name is not connected to a website. It consists of one of Switzerland’s best known trademarks. It is simply inconceivable the Respondent was not aware of this earlier trademark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name.

Using a well-known trademark in a domain name for resale to the legitimate owner constitutes bad faith registration and use when the offered price is clearly beyond the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs and therefore creating a profit for the Respondent. Furthermore, the Respondent did not use the Disputed Domain Name in any way which would show a legitimate use or interest and threatened to sell the Disputed Domain Name to other parties. The case at hand is a simple case of UDRP paragraph 4(b)(i).

This Panel therefore comes to the conclusion that the third element of the Policy is met.

7. Decision

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, <migros.blog>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Peter Wild
Sole Panelist
Date: June 27, 2017