WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Golden Goose S.p.A. v. Andy Low
Case No. D2017-1484
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Golden Goose S.p.A. of Milan, Italy, represented by Scarpellini Naj-Oleari & Partners, Italy.
The Respondent is Andy Low of Helena, Montana, United States of America ("USA").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ggdbscarpe.net> (the "Domain Name") is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 31, 2017. The Center transmitted its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on August 1, 2017. The Registrar replied on August 2, 2017, confirming that the Domain Name is registered with it, that the Respondent is the registrant, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy" or "UDRP") applies, that the Domain Name expires on April 10, 2018, and will remain locked during this proceeding subject to expiry, that the language of the registration agreement is English and that the Domain Name has been registered to the present registrant since at least April 10, 2017. The Registrar also provided the full contact details held on its WhoIs database in respect of the Domain Name.
On August 15, 2017, the Center invited the Complainant to clarify a discrepancy in the email addresses of the Respondent provided in different places in the Complaint. The Complainant replied the same day, confirming the email address in line with the WhoIs data provided by the Registrar.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the 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 August 17, 2017. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was September 6, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 8, 2017.
The Center appointed Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on September 18, 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
The Complainant designs and sells apparel, including footwear, and accessories under the brands GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND and GGDB. Its products have been favoured by leading celebrities and are sold in more than 690 retail stores around the world. They are advertised through the Complainant's website at "www.goldengoosedeluxebrand.com", by social media, and in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, L 'Officiel, Grazia, Harper's Bazar, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and GQ.
The Complainant is registered as the proprietor of the word mark GGDB in respect of various goods in the European Union, USA and China, registered on July 11, 2014 as an International Trademark with priority date of January 17, 2014 (Registration Number 1242358). The Complainant is also the proprietor of a separate Italian registration of the word mark GGDB, registered on October 7, 2014 (Registration Number 0001608971), pursuant to an application of January 17, 2014.
The Domain Name was registered on April 10, 2017. The Domain Name is directed to a website with a top banner containing the words "GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND VENEZIA" between a search field and a field for purchases with a shopping trolley icon. Underneath this banner the homepage displays a box with a picture of a lady apparently modelling earrings and/or a blouse and the words "PRIMAVERA / ESTATE SALDI FINO AL 50% DI SCONTO". Below this, smaller boxes show pictures of shoes identified as "Golden Goose" at apparently heavily reduced prices.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the mark GGDB in which it has registered rights. The Complainant points out that the Domain Name comprises the entirety of this mark together with the descriptive word "scarpe", which means "shoes" in Italian and is also used to refer to a period of time in which shops sell goods at lower prices than normal.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant states that the Respondent is not a licensee, distributor or authorized agent of the Complainant and is not known by the Domain Name. According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services, since the Respondent's website is selling counterfeit goods using pictures of the Complainant's goods copied without permission from the Complainant's website.
The Complainant alleges that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith to promote the sale of counterfeit goods. The Complainant draws attention to a number of similar cases in which it has made successful complaints under the UDRP.
The Complainant seeks a decision that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
As stated above, the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove: (i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark or marks in which it has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. It is appropriate to consider each of these requirements in turn.
In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate from the Respondent's default in failing to file a response. This includes the acceptance of plausible evidence of the Complainant which has not been disputed.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has registered rights in the mark GGDB.
The Panel further finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to this mark, from which it differs only in the addition of the word "scarpe" and the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix, ".net". The word "scarpe" is descriptive, in that it is the Italian for shoes, which the Complainant sells, and also refers to a period in which goods are sold at lower prices than normal. The Panel has no doubt that many Internet users would assume that the Domain Name locates a website of the Complainant selling shoes and/or selling the Complainant's products at discounted prices.
The first requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel accepts the Complainant's undisputed evidence that the Respondent's website is selling counterfeit products. In this regard, the Panel notes that the discounts purportedly offered on the Respondent's website are so large that the products are unlikely to be genuine merchandise. The sale of counterfeit merchandise is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. On this basis it is clear that the Respondent has not used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services.
It is also clear that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name and is not making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
On the evidence before the Panel, there is no other basis on which the Respondent could claim any right or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the second requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name is obviously confusingly similar to the Complainant's mark and such as to lead Internet users to suppose that it locates a website of the Complainant selling its products. Furthermore, as stated above, the Panel finds that the Respondent is selling counterfeit products representing that they are genuine products of the Complainant.
In these circumstances, the Panel finds that by using the Domain Name to locate his website, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to this website for commercial gain, through the sale of counterfeit goods, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source of the website and the products on it.
In accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP these circumstances constitute evidence of registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith. There is no evidence before the Panel displacing this presumption. The Panel therefore finds that the third requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
The Panel concludes that all three requirements of the UDRP are satisfied and it is appropriate to direct that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant.
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, <ggdbscarpe.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 22, 2017