WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
MILIPOL v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcelo Alberto Maciel Sosa
Case No. D2018-0920
1. The Parties
The Complainant is MILIPOL of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Beau de Loménie, France.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America / Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcelo Alberto Maciel Sosa of Benito Juarez, Mexico City, Mexico.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <milipolmexico.com> 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 April 25, 2018. On April 25, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 26, 2018, 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 April 27, 2018 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 April 27, 2018.
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 May 1, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 21, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 22, 2018.
The Center appointed Desmond J. Ryan as the sole panelist in this matter on June 6, 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 French Economic Interest Group established under French law which carries on business in the organization of trade shows and exhibitions relating to police equipment, civil and military security, and related services. It has been using the trade marks MILIPOL and MP MILIPOL in connection with these services since 1995. It has conducted events in France, Qatar and Singapore. The MILIPOL Paris Show of 2017 attracted almost 30,000 visitors and over 1,000 exhibitors from 53 countries. The Complainant owns many registrations of its trade mark MILIPOL and MP MILIPOL throughout the world covering countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific dating from as early as 1995. For example, International trade mark No. 1379315 MILIPOL (word) registered on September 12, 2017 and International trade mark No. 641805 MP MILIPOL (figurative) registered on August 10, 1995. No information is available in relation to the Respondent save for the address, shown in the WhoIs for the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 21, 2018 just one day after the filing by the Complainant of a complaint in relation to the domain name <milipol.online> registered by the present Respondent and the subject of the decision in MILIPOL v Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcela Alberto Maciel Sosa, WIPO Case No. D2018-0382. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions are as follows:
i. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade marks MILIPOL and MILIPOL MP in which the Complainant has rights. In considering the question of identity and confusing similarity, the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.online” is to be disregarded. The addition of the geographic name “Mexico” does not serve to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant or its mark.
ii. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant has exclusive rights in the term MILIPOL which has no meaning other than as the Complainant’s name and trade mark and as reflected in the Complainant’s domain names. The Complainant has never licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trade mark MILIPOL or to reflect it in any domain name; the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and the Respondent has not made any use of the disputed domain name in the bona fide offering of goods or services. Further, the registration of the disputed domain name is in breach of the Registrar’s terms and conditions which require the registrant of a domain name to warrant that the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party. Consequently, the Complainant submits that it has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
iii. The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant has a well-known and long established global reputation in the specialized world of internal state security. The word MILIPOL does not have any ordinary meaning in the English language and accordingly, it is improbable that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s trade mark rights when it registered the disputed domain name. Such circumstances indicate that the disputed domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant and preventing the Complainant from reflecting its trade mark in a corresponding domain name. Furthermore, the registration of the disputed domain name only one day after the filing of the Complaint involving the same parties in MILIPOL v. Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcelo Alberto Maciel Sosa, WIPO Case No. D2018-0382 is indicative of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of widespread registration of its trade marks MILIPOL and MP MILIPOL in countries throughout the world. The disputed domain name consists solely of the Complainant’s trade mark MILIPOL with the addition of the word “Mexico”. The addition of the geographic name “Mexico” does not avoid the confusing similarity with the Complainant’s MILIPOL trade mark and is to be disregarded. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade marks. The first requirement of the Policy is therefore established.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has established a strong prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has failed to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case and accordingly, the Panel finds that the second requirement of the Policy is established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The word “milipol” is an invented word. It is prima facie distinctive and the Complainant’s evidence shows that it has been widely used and publicised in relation to events sponsored by the Complainant in Paris, and elsewhere. It is thus highly improbable that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name without having the Complainant and its trade mark in mind. The fact that the disputed domain name was registered only one day after the filing of the complaint in MILIPOL v. Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcelo Alberto Maciel Sosa, WIPO Case No. D2018-0382 further suggests that the disputed domain name may have been registered with the intent of continuing to disrupt the Complainant’s business or trade off its reputation after transfer of the domain name in that case. The addition of the geographic term “Mexico” does not serve to differentiate the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s MILIPOL trade mark; rather it serves to suggest that the disputed domain name is used by the Complainant in association with its activities in or associated with Mexico. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.
At the time of filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name did not direct to an active website and did not appear otherwise to be in active use. This does not, however, mean that the disputed domain name was not in use in the sense required by paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. As noted by the panelist in Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, and cited by the panelist in MILIPOL v. Marcelo Maciel Sosa, Marcelo Alberto Maciel Sosa, WIPO Case No. D2018-0382 cited above “the concept of a domain name “being used in bad faith” is not limited to positive action; inaction is within the concept. That is to say, it is possible, in certain circumstances, for inactivity by the Respondent to amount to the domain name being used in bad faith”. Taken with the further elements indicative of bad faith discussed above, the Respondent’s passive holding of the disputed domain name amounts to use in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. The Panel therefore finds that disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The requirement of the third element of the Policy has therefore been satisfied.
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 <milipolmexico.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Desmond J. Ryan AM
Date: June 18, 2018