WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Remy Cointreau v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1241530508 / Raphael Grisoni
Case No. D2017-1462
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Remy Cointreau of Cognac, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1241530508 of Toronto, Ontario, Canada / Raphael Grisoni of San Anselmo, California, United States of America ("United States").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <remy-c0intreau.com> is registered with Google Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 28, 2017. On July 28, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 28, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on August 7, 2017 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on August 7, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 August 15, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 10, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 13, 2017.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on September 25, 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 manufactures various alcoholic drinks. It is the proprietor of an international trademark for the name REMY COINTREAU, No. 895405, registered on July 27, 2006.
The disputed domain name was created on July 14, 2017. It does not resolve to an active website. The Complainant conducts its business through a number of domain names, notably <remy-cointreau.com> registered on October 7, 1996.
5. Parties' Contentions
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark REMY COINTREAU. The substitution of the letter "o" by the number "0" in the word "Cointreau" is not sufficient to exclude the likelihood of confusion existing since they look very similar. A domain name that contains a common or obvious misspelling of a trademark will normally be found to be confusingly similar to such a trademark where the misspelled trademark remains the dominant or principal component of the disputed domain name. The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" does not change the overall impression.
The Respondent is not affiliated to the Complainant or authorized by it in any way to use the Complainant's trademarks. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name.
On July 18, 2017, fraudulent emails were sent from an email address connected to the disputed domain name suggesting that the domain name was only registered to usurp the Complainant's identity and creating a likelihood of confusion. Typosquating indicates bad faith registration.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed 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 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 consists of the Complainant's trademark REMY COINTREAU ("the Complainant's trademark") with the letter "o" replaced by the number "0" and the addition of the gTLD ".com". The term "Cointreau" in the Complainant's trademark clearly denotes a specific alcoholic drink. The insertion of the "0" fails to transform the dispute domain name into something with a meaning independent of the Complainant's trademark. The impression remains that the disputed domain name is just a misspelling of that trademark. For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called "Remy", "Cointreau" or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever had any connection to the Respondent prior to this Complaint being made. For these reasons and, in the absence of any response on this point, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant's well-known trademark, very slightly misspelt and the gTLD ".com". The Respondent must have known or been put on notice of the need to check whether the Complainant owned trademark rights with respect at least to the name "Cointreau". The Respondent's email of July 18, 2017, describing himself as the Managing Director of Mount Gay Distilleries Limited, makes it clear that he knew that the Complainant was involved in making alcoholic drinks. In the circumstances, there appears to have been no reason for the Respondent to register the disputed domain name except to reflect the Complainant's trademark.
Without a substantive response to the Complaint, it is impossible to know exactly why the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. In this Panel's view, one is left with three possible motives for the Respondent's decision to register and use the disputed domain name: to disrupt the Complainant's relationship with their customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name from him for an amount in excess of the Respondent's out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith. The Respondent's motivation may have been more than one of these and perhaps all three. In the circumstances, it is unnecessary to deal with the Complainant's other allegations. The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was 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 disputed domain name <remy-c0intreau.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 26, 2017