WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour v. Maria Gaillard
Case No. D2018-0315
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Maria Gaillard of Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America ("United States").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <carrefour-banque.org> is registered with Todaynic.com, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 13, 2018. On February 13, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 22, 2018, 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 February 27, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 19, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on March 26, 2018.
The Center appointed Fabrizio Bedarida as the sole panelist in this matter on April 11, 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, Carrefour, is a global leader in food retail and operates nearly 12,000 stores and e−commerce sites in more than 30 countries. Carrefour is a group that employs more than 380,000 people worldwide and generated total sales of EUR 103.7 billion under its banners in 2016. Every day, Carrefour welcomes 13 million customers around the world.
With 11,935 stores in more than 30 countries, Carrefour is a major player in global retail with strong roots in its local communities. Currently operating in mainland France and its overseas territories, and in Europe, Latin America and Asia, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East, the Group relies on a network of integrated and franchised stores, along with the stores it runs with local partners.
As a banking subsidiary of the Carrefour group, Carrefour Banque has for more than thirty years offered a wide range of products: MasterCard PASS card, current account, revolving credit, personal loan, car and home insurance, complementary health insurance etc.
Carrefour Banque manages total outstanding loans of EUR 2.9 billion and a total of EUR 2.3 billion held for its customer savers.
The strength and renown of the Complainant's CARREFOUR trademark has already been recognized by previous UDRP panels.
The Complainant has proven to be the owner of the CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR trademarks, which enjoy protection through numerous registrations worldwide.
The Complainant is, inter alia, the owner of:
International trademark CARREFOUR No. 351147, registered on October 2, 1968, duly renewed, covering goods in classes 1-34;
International trademark CARREFOUR No. 1010661, registered on April 16, 2009, covering services in class 35;
European Union Trademark CARREFOUR No. 005178371, registered on August 30, 2007, duly renewed and covering goods and services in classes 9, 35 and 38;
French trademark BANQUE CARREFOUR No. 3585968, registered on July 2, 2008, covering services in class 36.
In addition, the Complainant operates, among many others, the following domain names:
- <carrefour.com> registered on October 25, 1995; and
- <carrefour-banque.fr> registered on October 7, 2009.
The disputed domain name domain name <carrefour-banque.org> was registered on October 14, 2017. In accordance with the evidence submitted with the Complaint, the disputed domain name initially resolved to a website showing information about a football club, and it subsequently resolved to an inactive website.
The Complainant's trademark registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests whatsoever with respect to the disputed domain name; and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order for the Complainant to obtain a transfer of the disputed domain name, paragraphs 4(a)(i) – (iii) of the Policy require that the Complainant must demonstrate to the Panel that:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; 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 Complainant has established rights in the CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR trademarks.
The disputed domain name <carrefour-banque.org> reproduces Complainant's trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR in their entirety.
This Panel agrees with the previous UDRP decisions, namely that confusing similarity is generally established when the domain name incorporates the complainant's trademark in its entirety, and the addition of generic prefixes and suffixes does not avoid confusing similarity. This is even more true where, as in the present case, the disputed domain name incorporates not one but two of the complainant's trademarks.
Therefore, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR trademarks in which the Complainant has rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
This Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the name "Carrefour" or by any similar name. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant's trademarks. The Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, nor any use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In fact, it appears from the document available, that the disputed domain name, at present unavailable, was used for a certain period for a web presentation of a football club with no apparent connection with the Complainant. Finally, the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant's contentions, claiming any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel, on the basis of the evidence presented, accepts and agrees with the Complainant's contentions that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith.
The CARREFOUR trademark has been registered and used for several years all over the world, it enjoys a widespread reputation and high degree of recognition as a result of its fame and renown and thus the CARREFOUR mark is not one that traders could legitimately adopt other than for the purpose of creating the impression of an association with the Complainant.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent knew of the Complainant's marks and intentionally intended to create an association with the Complainant and its business at the time of registration of the disputed domain name.
Further inference of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name is given by the fact that the Respondent has never replied to the contentions made in the Complainant's cease-and-desist letter. The Respondent has not denied the assertions of bad faith made by the Complainant in the pre-action communications and in this proceeding, so it is therefore reasonable to assume that if the Respondent had legitimate purposes for registering and using the disputed domain name, it would have responded to these assertions.
In addition, the Panel finds that the Respondent's use of the disputed domain name constitutes a disruption of the Complainant's business and qualifies as bad faith registration and use under the Policy. The fact that the disputed domain name does not currently resolve to an active website does not preclude a finding of bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds, on the basis of the evidence presented, that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Therefore, the Complainant has satisfied 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 <carrefour-banque.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 16, 2018