WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour v. Mert Akarslan
Case No. D2018-0638
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Mert Akarslan of Istanbul, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ceptecarrefoursa.com> is registered with FBS Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 22, 2018. On March 22, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 23, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
Pursuant to the Complaint submitted in English and the registrar verification sent by the Registrar stating that Turkish is the language of the registration agreement of the disputed domain name, on April 3, 2018, the Center sent a request in English and Turkish for the Parties to submit their comments on the language of the proceeding. On April 4, 2018, the Complainant submitted its request for English to be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not submit any comment on the language of the proceeding.
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 in English and Turkish of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 9, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 29, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 1, 2018.
The Center appointed Dilek Ustun Ekdial as the sole panelist in this matter on May 8, 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 leading food retailer with nearly 12,000 stores in more than 30 countries. Together with its Turkish partner Carrefour SA, it also runs many stores in Turkey since 1993.
The Complainant has registered the word and figurative trademark CARREFOUR mainly in classes 9, 35 and 38 in numerous jurisdictions, including Turkey. According to the case record, the first trademark covering protection in Turkey was registered in 1989, with registration number 107597.
The Complainant is in particular, among many others, the owner of the following trademark registrations:
- International trademark CARREFOUR No. 1010661, registered on April 16, 2009, designating, inter alia, Turkey and covering services in class 35;
- European Union Trademark CARREFOUR No. 005178371, registered on August 30, 2007, duly renewed and covering services in classes 9, 35 and 38.
The Complainant and its affiliates operate, among many others, the following domain names reflecting its trademark:
<carrefour.com> registered on October 25, 1995;
<carrefoursa.com> registered on May 12, 2013.
The disputed domain name was registered on August 5, 2017 and resolves to a website indicating in Turkish that the disputed domain name is offered for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges the following:
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark CARREFOUR.
According to the Complainant; the disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR which previous UDRP panels have considered to be “well-known” or “famous” (Carrefour v. Ali Fetouh, Fasateen, WIPO Case No. D2017-0089; Carrefour v. Tony Mancini, USDIET Whoisguard, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2015-0962; Carrefour v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2015-0769; Carrefour v. Park KyeongSook, WIPO Case No. D2014-1425; Carrefour v. Yujinhua, WIPO Case No. D2014-0257; Carrefour v. Karin Krueger, WIPO Case No. D2013-2002; Carrefour S.A. v. Patrick Demestre, WIPO Case No. D2011-2248; Carrefour v. groupe Carrefour; WIPO Case No. D2008-1996; Carrefour SA v. Eric Langlois, WIPO Case No. D2007-0067; Carrefour v. Jan Everno, The Management Group II, WIPO Case No. D2017-0586).
The Complainant also adds that a previous UDRP panel found that the trademark CARREFOUR is well known in a number of jurisdictions worldwide, including Turkey (Carrefour v. Suayp Ozbey, WIPO Case No. D2017-1653).
Furthermore the Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name links the Complainant’s well-known trademark CARREFOUR to the descriptive terms “cepte” (meaning “mobile” in Turkish) and “sa”. The generic portion “sa” may be perceived either as a part of name of the Complainant’s Turkish affiliate “Carrefour SA” or as common abbreviation for “société anonyme”, i.e. the legal form of the Complainant.
Complainant also alleges the following:
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way and has not been authorized by the Complainant to use and register its trademark or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating said mark.
Furthermore, the Respondent has no prior rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant adds that the Respondent did not demonstrate use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
Since the disputed domain name resolves to a webpage in Turkish that advertises the sale of the disputed domain name; it cannot be inferred that the Respondent is making a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
According to the Complainant, it appears that the main reason why Respondent has registered the disputed domain name is for the purpose of selling it to the Complainant. The Parties had exchanged a communication and the Respondent admitted that it had registered the disputed domain name “for commercial purposes” which is a clear evidence that there is no legitimate interest for registration and use of the disputed domain name.
Finally, it is argued that the Respondent has 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
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules requires the Panel to decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of showing:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Language of the Proceeding
Although the language of the Registration Agreement of the disputed domain name is Turkish, the Panel determines in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 11(a) that the language of this administrative proceeding shall be English. The Panel finds that it would be inappropriate to conduct the proceeding in Turkish and request a Turkish translation of the Complaint, noting that the Respondent has failed to raise any objection with regard to the language of the proceeding, or to respond in any way to the Complaint, despite having received all communications from the Center in Turkish and in English.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <ceptecarrefoursa.com> contains the Complainant’s well-known trademark CARREFOUR with the descriptive terms “cepte” (meaning “at mobile” in Turkish) and “sa”. See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”). The addition of these terms does not avoid the confusing similarity.
The extension “.com” is not to be taken into consideration when examining the identity or similarity between the Complainant’s trademarks and the disputed domain name.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark CARREFOUR in which Complainant has rights, satisfying the condition of the Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not provided any evidence of the type specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or any other circumstances giving rise to a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. It is clear that the Respondent has not demonstrated any bona fide offering of goods and services by its using the disputed domain name. Nor has the Respondent shown that it has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. Rather, the evidence of the Complainant suggests that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name in an attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant also showed, inter alia, that the Respondent has neither a license nor any other permission to use the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name or otherwise.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, and the Respondent has failed to demonstrate such rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel is of the opinion that when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name it knew that CARREFOUR was the trademark of the Complainant, and accordingly finds that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The disputed domain name resolves to a webpage in Turkish that advertises the sale of the disputed domain name. So the Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name with the intention to sell it to the Complainant or third parties.
The Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent on October 11, 2017. The Respondent replied that the disputed domain name was registered for “commercial purposes” and that it is for sale.
In view of the Panel, the statement “domain satılıktır”, which means “domain is for sale” in Turkish, indicates that the Respondent expected a fee which goes beyond the out-of-pocket costs for registering and maintaining the disputed domain name.
There is no suggestion that the Respondent had any intention of legitimate use, that it enjoys a legitimate connection to the disputed domain name or that there is conceivable good faith use for the disputed domain name. After examining all circumstances surrounding the registration and use of the disputed domain name, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Accordingly the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on the third element 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 <ceptecarrefoursa.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dilek Ustun Ekdial
Date: May 24, 2018