WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Car & Boat Media v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0142463834 / Milen Radumilo
Case No. D2017-1107
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Car & Boat Media of Paris, France, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0142463834 of Toronto, Canada / Milen Radumilo of Bucharest, Romania.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <caradisac.com> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 6, 2017. On June 6, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, 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 June 20, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 10, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 12, 2017.
The Center appointed Stefan Naumann as the sole panelist in this matter on July 28, 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 a French company that owns and operates a website with articles and advertisements about cars and motorcycles. Although the Complainant did not provide evidence of its corporate registration, the Panel was able to confirm this with the publicly accessible database of the French Registry of Commerce and Corporations using the company registration number provided by the Complainant.
The Complainant owns three French trademarks and one European Union trade mark for or including the term “caradisiac” the oldest of which is the French word mark CARADISIAC (number 3046447) registered on August 11, 2000, and duly renewed. The European Union trade mark CARADISIAC (number 002125748) was registered on October 20, 2002. The Complainant further owns eight domain names in a number of generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLDs”) and country code Top-Level Domains (“ccTLDs”) with the term “caradisiac” the oldest of which is the domain name <caradisiac.com>, first registered on March 30, 2000. All but one of the Complainant’s domain names are currently in effect. One of the domain names shows an expiration date after the Complaint was filed and before this decision is rendered. The Panel does not need to verify the renewal of that one domain name in order to reach a decision in the present case as the evidence submitted by the Complainant fully establishes that it filed “caradisiac” trademarks and domain names before the disputed domain name <caradisac.com>, and that these rights are in effect and owned by Complainant.
The evidence shows that the website at “www.caradisac.com” contains links to websites offering used car valuations and used car sales. The website at “www.caradisac.com” specifies the following: “The Sponsored Listings displayed above are served automatically by a third party. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).” The website also indicates that the domain name is for sale.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 29, 2016.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that (i) the domain name <caradisac.com> is confusingly similar to the trademarks and domain names with the term “caradisiac” and that the omission of the single letter “i” in the last syllable of the disputed domain name is an instance of typo-squatting designed to create a risk of confusion, (ii) the use of the extension “.com” is either irrelevant for the purpose of assessing a risk of confusion or increases the risk of confusion with the Complainant’s domain name <caradisiac.com>, (iii) the Respondent, having no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, has no relationship with the Complainant and has no permission from the Complainant to use any of the Complainant’s trademarks, nor does the Respondent own a “caradisac” trademark or is commonly known under the name “Caradisac”, and (iv) the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith to redirect to a website with commercial links to websites in the automotive sector and is for sale.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The Panel notes that the Respondent was informed of the Complainant’s rights and demands, as shown by the Respondent’s email dated April 16, 2017 to the Complainant (annex 2 to the Complaint) before the latter filed the Complaint. In its email to the Complainant, the Respondent specifically contested the Complainant’s rights and demands (“We disgree [sic] with your claim. we [sic] are not familiar with your brand. The domain may be for sale here: …”).
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its claim, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to 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 has established trademark rights in the trademark CARADISIAC, as noted in section 4 above.
The disputed domain name only differs from the Complainant’s trademarks and domain names by the omission of the letter “i” in the last syllable (“caradisiac” versus “caradisac”).
Confusion can result from visual, aural or conceptual similarities.
The omission of the letter “i” in the last syllable of the disputed domain name creates a perceptible difference in the pronunciation of the two terms, as well as in their meaning, with “caradisiac” being evocative in French of “paradisiac.” However, the visual difference between the two terms is small, arguably barely perceptible, when seen or typed in a domain name. The confusion resulting from the visual similarity is such that it alone suffices to support a finding that in the present case the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks.
The Panel is satisfied that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks for the purposes of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
One would expect a legitimate business to provide information that allows it to be contacted. Here, however, Respondent has attempted to hide his identity by subscribing to a privacy protection service after being contacted by the Complainant. The privacy protection service thus formally appeared as the registrant in the publicly available whoIs. In addition, Respondent’s website at the disputed domain name makes clear that the domain name owner is not offering any services or products, has no relationship with the advertisers, and is offering the domain name for sale. The use of a privacy protection service indicates in the view of the Panel that the Respondent is not attempting to operate a business, other than that of linking to third party websites offering products and services in the same sector as those of the Complainant after confusing Internet users who misspell the domain name of the Complainant, and of selling the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has chosen not to reply to the Complaint. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, and finds no indication in the evidence that the Respondent claims or could have claimed rights or legitimate interests of its own in the term “caradisac”. Since the Respondent has no permission from the Complainant, its use of the disputed domain name is without rights or legitimate interests. In this context, the Panel notes that the Respondent’s claim that it was not familiar with the Complainant’s brand flies in the face of the commercial links on the Respondent’s website at the disputed domain name, which link to websites offering used car sales and services related to the sale of used cars.
The Panel considers that in the present case the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent’s use of a webpage with links to various websites offering products and services competing with those of the Complainant indicates that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Respondent’s use of links to third party websites in the automotive sector, specifically used car sales and services related to used car sales, indicates that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant’s trademarks. The Panel notes that one of the Complainant’s trademarks is a European Union trade mark that thus covers Romania, the country that Milen Radumilo - the person who appeared as domain name owner, responded to the Complainant before the Complaint was filed and appears as the Respondent along with the privacy protection services provider - listed as his country of residence. The Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name confirms if need be that it was registered and used in bad faith.
The Panel therefore also finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name 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 disputed domain name <caradisac.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 7, 2017