WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
E. Remy Martin & Co. v. Global Domains Corp LLC
Case No. D2017-1119
1. The Parties
The Complainant is E. Remy Martin & Co. of Cognac, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Global Domains Corp LLC of San Marino, San Marino.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <remymartin.reviews> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 8, 2017. On June 8, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 9, 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 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 13, 2017. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was July 3, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 4, 2017.
The Center appointed Brigitte Joppich as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 paragraph 7 of the Rules.
4. Factual Background
Founded in 1724, the Complainant is a France-based company engaged in producing and distributing alcoholic beverages, especially cognacs, worldwide.
The Complainant first registered the trademark REMY MARTIN in France in 1877 and today owns numerous trademark registrations worldwide for REMY MARTIN, mainly covering beverages, including international registration no. 508092 REMY MARTIN, registered on December 1, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as the “REMY MARTIN Mark”). In addition, the Complainant owns several domain names including the REMY MARTIN Mark, inter alia, <remymartin.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on April 16, 2017 and is used to redirect Internet users to a website featuring pay-per-click links to third-party websites, some of which directly compete with the Complainant’s business.
The Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent prior to filing the Complaint in the present proceeding, which remained unanswered.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that each of the three elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is given in the present case.
(1) The disputed domain name is identical to the REMY MARTIN Mark as it contains the REMY MARTIN Mark without any additional letter or word and as the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) does not affect the disputed domain name for determining whether it is identical or confusingly similar.
(2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name as it is not related in any way to the Complainant, as the Complainant does not carry out any activity for, nor has any business with the Respondent, as neither license nor authorization has been granted to the Respondent to make any use of the REMY MARTIN Mark, as it is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, as the website available at the disputed domain name is a parking page with pay-per-click links in relation to the Complainant and its activity, which is no bona fide offering under the Policy, and as it did not reply to the cease-and-desist letter sent by the Complainant.
(3) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. With regard to bad faith registration, the Complainant states that the REMY MARTIN Mark is well known and so recognized all over the world, and has been used for so many years that the Respondent was necessarily aware of the Complainant at the moment of the registration of the disputed domain name. With regard to bad faith use, the Complainant contends that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in connection with a parking page with pay-per-click links in relation to the Complainant and its activity makes it clear that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name in bad faith by deliberately trading on the goodwill of the Complainant, by attracting Internet users and diverting Internet traffic intended for the Complainant to the Respondent’s website for the purpose of monetary gain.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the following three elements is present:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; 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 disputed domain name fully incorporates the Complainant’s REMY MARTIN Mark and is therefore identical or confusingly similar to such mark.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Even though the Policy requires the complainant to prove that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, it is the consensus view among UDRP panelists that a complainant has to make only a prima facie case to fulfill the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. As a result, the burden of production will then shift to the respondent.
The Complainant has substantiated that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and so the burden of production has been shifted to the Respondent.
The Respondent did not deny these assertions in any way and therefore failed to come forward with any allegations or evidence demonstrating any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Based on the evidence before the Panel, the Panel cannot find any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent either. In particular, the fact that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with a monetized parking page does not, in the present case, constitute rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proven that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name under paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and 4(c) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with full knowledge of the Complainant and its rights in the REMY MARTIN Mark as such trademark has been used in commerce for more than a century, is highly distinctive and very well established, and as the Respondent used the disputed domain name in connection with a website featuring advertising links for products directly competing with products of the Complainant.
Moreover, the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in connection with a monetized parking page including links for products competing with those offered by the Complainant constitutes bad faith as set forth in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy (see Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. v. North West Enterprise, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2006-0951).
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith and that the Complainant satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <remymartin.reviews> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 15, 2017