WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Carrefour v. Jane Casares, NA

Case No. D2018-0976

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Carrefour of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.

The Respondent is Jane Casares, NA of Gun Barrel City, United States of America (“United States”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <mabanque-carrefour.net> is registered with Eranet International Limited (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 3, 2018. On May 3, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 4, 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 May 9, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 29, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 30, 2018.

The Center appointed Mario Soerensen Garcia as the sole panelist in this matter on June 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 Carrefour, a French company that operates more than 12,300 stores and e-commerce sites in more than 30 countries, employing around 38,000 people worldwide, including China.

Carrefour Banque is a banking subsidiary of the Carrefour Groupe, which offers products adapted to the needs of its consumers and customers, such as current account, personal loan, credit redemption, savings etc., in agencies, by phone, on the site “www.carrefour-banque.fr” and on mobile applications.

The Complainant owns several trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions for the trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR, including the following:

- international trademark CARREFOUR, No. 1010661, registered on April 16, 2009, in class 35;

- European Union trademark CARREFOUR, No. 005178371, registered on August 30, 2007, in classes 9, 35 and 38;

- French trademark BANQUE CARREFOUR, No. 3585968, registered on July 2, 2008, in class 36.

The Complainant also owns numerous domain names consisting of CARREFOUR and “banque”, including the domain names <carrefour.com>, registered in 1995, <carrefour-banque.fr>, registered in 2009, and <banque-carrefour.fr>, registered in 2009.

The disputed domain name was registered on February 1, 2018 and resolves to an inactive page.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant argues that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 1, 2018 without authorization and that it entirely reproduces the Complainant’s marks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR, in addition to the French generic term “ma,” which means “my” in English. Since “banque” means “bank” in English, the risk of confusion is enhanced because it might lead Internet users into wrongly believing that the disputed domain name is associated to the Complainant.

According to the Complainant, the Respondent is not affiliated with and has not been authorized or licensed to use and register its trademarks or any domain name incorporating its trademarks.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the registrations of CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR preceded the registration of the domain names for many years.

The Complainant mentions that it is impossible that the Respondent did not have the trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR in mind while registering the disputed domain name.

The Complainant argues that reproducing famous trademarks in a domain name to attract Internet users to an inactive website cannot be considered as fair use or use in good faith.

Finally, the Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

As per paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(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 evidence presented demonstrates that the Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations for CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR around the world, including the international trademark CARREFOUR, No. 1010661, registered on April 16, 2009, in class 35, and the French trademark BANQUE CARREFOUR, No. 3585968, registered on July 2, 2008, in class 36, in addition to many domain names consisting of CARREFOUR and BANQUE, such as <carrefour.com>, registered in 1995, <carrefour-banque.fr>, registered in 2009 and <banque-carrefour.fr>, registered in 2009.

The Complainant’s trademarks and domain names predate the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR. Indeed, the addition of the French generic term “ma” (“my” in English) does not avoid confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks and even enhance it, since “banque” means “bank” in English, so the expression “ma banque” means “my bank”. Such an expression might increase chances of leading Internet users into wrong association and/or confusion between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s marks and activities related to bank services.

As numerous prior UDRP panels have recognized, the incorporation of a trademark in its entirety or a dominant feature of a trademark is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered mark. See section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

The Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been proved by the Complainant, i.e., the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not submitted a response to the Complaint.

There is no evidence that the Respondent has any authorization to use the famous Complainant’s trademarks or to register domain names containing the trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR.

There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.

There is no evidence that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name or that before any notice of the dispute the Respondent has made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The trademarks CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR are registered by the Complainant in several jurisdictions and are considered as well-known marks by the consumers around the world. Also, the Complainant registered many distinct domain names consisting of the terms CARREFOUR and BANQUE CARREFOUR. The mentioned trademark protections owned by the Complainant predate the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name is comprised by the terms “carrefour” and “banque” and the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in it.

The Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark is widely known and has a strong online visibility. Thus, the fact that the disputed domain name comprises such a mark associated with the French expression for “my bank” is itself evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith, as it is impossible that the Respondent did not know the Complainant’s marks on the occasion of the registration of the disputed domain name.

Taking also into account that the domain name resolves to an inactive page, this Panel finds under the circumstances that the Respondent has intentionally targeted the Complainant’s trademarks in the disputed domain name.

For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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 <mabanque-carrefour.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Mario Soerensen Garcia
Sole Panelist
Date: June 21, 2018