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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


The Procter & Gamble Company v. Domainsecrecy.net / Jonathan Bachir

Case No. D2017-2439

1. The Parties

The Complainant is The Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, represented by Cabinet BCTG Avocats, France.

The Respondent is Domainsecrecy.net of Providence, Utah, United States of America / Jonathan Bachir,


2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <whitestripsfrance.com> is registered with eNom, Inc. (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 11, 2017. On December 12, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 12, 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 December 15, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 4, 2018. The Response was filed with the Center on January 2, 2018.

The Center appointed Nicolas Ulmer as the sole panelist in this matter on January 26, 2018. 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 large multi-national corporation specializing in the manufacture and sale of consumer goods, notably health care and hygiene products, many of which are well-known brands, such as Crest, Mr. Propre and Gilette. According to the Complaint the Complainant's products are sold in in 180 countries.

The Complainant submits that it is the owner of numerous trademarks for WHITESTRIPS around the world, and that it has extensively promoted and advertised its WHITESTRIPS brand. In particular, the Complainant asserts and documents that it is the owner of the following trademarks for WHITESTRIPS in classes 3 and 5 for toothpastes and tooth cleaning products:

- French trademark No. 3310833, registered on September 2, 2004;

- European Union trademark No. 2260156, registered on September 27, 2002; and

- European Union trademark No. 2196251, registered on July 23, 2002.

Little is known about the Respondent, other than that a person identifying himself as Jonathan Bachir submitted a brief Response to the Complaint.

The disputed domain name was registered on December 20, 2016 and resolves to a website in the French language offering or purporting to offer the Complaint's WHITESTRIPS products, as well as a number of other products, for sale.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademarks and can only have been registered with knowledge of its heavily-promoted trademarks and products, and with the goal of improperly profiting from them. This is evident, inter alia, from the fact that the disputed domain name resolves to a website that sells or purports to sell the Complainant's products (which the Complainant alleges might be counterfeit) and makes use of the Complainant's brand names and colours. As the Respondent has no legitimate rights in the Complainant's trademarks the registration and use of the disputed domain name can only be in bad faith.

Whereupon the Complainant demands that the disputed domain name be transferred to it or, failing that, that it be cancelled.

B. Respondent

The substantive Response of the Respondent reads, in its entirety, as follows:

"The domain name cannot be claimed by Procler (sic) and Gamble because of the following: - CREST is a tradename. The word WHITESTRIPS is not a registered tradename. - We are not using the word WHITESTRIPS but WHITESTRIPSFRANCE. - We are not only selling Crest Whitestrips but also have other Whitestrips brands in our assortment. Which indicates that we are not an official reseller who sell (sic) exclusively Crest, but we use thd (sic) word WHITESTRIPS to let people know we sell other whitestrips brands also".

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name contains, and leads with, the entirety of the Complainant's WHITESTRIPS trademark, followed by the geographical denominator France. The addition of the suffix "France" does little or nothing to diminish the confusing similarity with the Complainant's trademarks and arguably adds to such confusing similarity by implying that it reflects a French operation or site of the Complainant's.

The Complainant has accordingly met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There is nothing in the file for this matter that suggests that the Respondent is known by the name WHITESTRIPS, or has made any legitimate or fair use of the disputed domain name or otherwise has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or the Complainant's trademarks.

Indeed, the Respondent's laconic Response, quoted above, does not contain any valid assertion that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the in the disputed domain name, but only the incorrect assertion that the Complainant cannot claim the disputed domain name because the Complainant has no registered trademark for WHITESTRIPS. Moreover, the Respondent admits that "we are not an official reseller"of the Complainant's products.

It follows that the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is established and proven.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name many years after the Complainant's trademarks for WHITESTRIPS were registered and well-known. The disputed domain name has then been used to lead to a website purporting to sell the Complainant's products as well as competing products. It is therefore not plausible that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in good faith without knowledge of the Complainant's interest therein, and it is clear that the Respondent was making use of the disputed domain name and the Complainant's heavily promoted trademarks in bad faith in order to attract Internet users for commercial gain.

It is accordingly established and proven that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 <whitestripsfrance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Nicolas Ulmer
Sole Panelist
Date: February 6, 2018