WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A., Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel v. Nobile Ansser, Daniel Vidalzaluc, Katalina Slounig

Case No. D2018-2820

1. The Parties

The Complainants are Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A. and Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel of Paris, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.

The Respondents are Nobile Ansser of Tuxtla Chico, Mexico; Daniel Vidalzaluc of Apodaca, Mexico; and Katalina Slounig of Veracruz, Mexico.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain names <confirmationmobile-creditmutuel-fr.info>, <mobile-cic-fr.info>, and <mobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 11, 2018. On December 11, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On December 12, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 12, 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 December 17, 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 December 18, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 7, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 8, 2019.

The Center appointed W. Scott Blackmer as the sole panelist in this matter on January 16, 2019. 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 Crédit Industriel et Commercial S.A. (“CIC”) is a limited company established under French law, registered in France, and headquartered in Paris. The Complainant Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel (“CNCM”) is an association established under French law, registered in France, and headquartered in Paris. Both Complainants are part of the Crédit Mutuel CM11 Group (or “Groupe CM11”) of federated retail and private banks, insurers, and other financial services companies (see the group website at “www.becm.fr” and the French Wikipedia article on “Groupe Crédit mutual – CM11”). According to the Complaint, the Complainant CIC is the oldest French depository bank, established in 1859. It now has more than 4.7 million clients, served by 2,000 branch offices in France and 38 abroad, with an electronic banking website at “www.cic.fr”. Since 2008, CIC has also become a telecommunications services provider, offering mobile telephone services under the trademark CIC MOBILE and using the dedicated website “www.cic-mobile.fr”.

The Complainant CNCM is the central policymaking and administrative body of the Crédit Mutuel banking and insurance services group, which has been in business for more than a century and collectively serves 12 million clients through a network of more than 3000 offices in France organized in eighteen regional federations. CNCM operates web portals at “www.creditmutuel.com” and “www.creditmutuel.fr”. CNCM has also developed telecommunications services offered under the trademark CREDIT MUTUEL MOBILE, using a website at “www.creditmutuelmobile.fr”.

The Complainants hold the following relevant trademarks, among others:




Registration Number

Registration Date

CIC (word)




June 10, 1986

CIC (word)


European Union


March 5, 2008





August 18, 2010



European Union


February 10, 2010

CREDIT MUTUEL (words and design)




July 8, 1988

CREDIT MUTUEL (words and design)


International Trademark


May 17, 1991





December 3, 2008



European Union


October 20, 2011

According to the Registrar, the Domain Names were all registered in November 2018 as follows:

Domain Name

Registration Date



November 11, 2018

Nobile Ansser


November 18, 2018

Katalina Slounig


November 21, 2018

Daniel Vidalzaluc

The Complainants discovered the registration of the Domain Names through routine monitoring with software used to detect spam and phishing attacks. The Doman Name <mobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> resolved to a blank page at that time, but the Domain Names <confirmationmobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> and <mobile-cic-fr.info> resolved to exact copies of the Complainants’ websites, as demonstrated by screenshots attached to the Complaint. These counterfeit websites included login screens that appeared to be those of the Complainants. Thus, it appears that the counterfeit websites associated with two of the Domain Names were designed as part of a phishing scheme to trick the Complainants’ customers into entering their login credentials, presumably in furtherance of identity theft and fraud. The Respondents’ web hosting provider suspended all three sites after the Complainants reported the infringing content, and none of the Domain Names resolves to an active website at the time of this Decision.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainants

The Complainants assert that the Domain Names are confusingly similar, respectively, to their CIC and CREDIT MUTUEL trademarks, which the Respondents have no permission to use and in which they otherwise have no rights or legitimate interests.

The Complainants argue that the Respondents must have been aware of the Complainants’ well-known and long-established marks and sought to exploit them in bad faith by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Domain Names, most likely for illegal purposes.

B. Respondents

The Respondents did not reply to the Complainants’ contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to divest a respondent of a disputed domain name, a complainant must demonstrate each of the following:

(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.

Under paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, “A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”

6.1. Multiple Complainants and Respondents

The Rules, paragraph 3(c), contemplate that a complaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain names are registered by the same person, while paragraph 10(e) also gives panels the authority to consolidate multiple domain name disputes. In assessing whether a complaint may be filed by multiple complainants, as in this proceeding, panels consider whether (i) the complainants have a specific common grievance against the respondent, or the respondent has engaged in common conduct that has affected the complainants in a similar fashion, and (ii) it would be equitable and procedurally efficient to permit the consolidation. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 4.11.1.

Similarly, when a complaint is filed against multiple respondents, as is the present instance,“panels look at whether (i) the domain names or corresponding websites are subject to common control, and (ii) the consolidation would be fair and equitable to all parties. Procedural efficiency would also underpin panel consideration of such a consolidation scenario.” WIPO Overview 3.0, section 4.11.2.

In such cases, the WIPO Overview offers helpful guidance drawn from prior decisions:

“Panels have considered a range of factors, typically present in some combination, as useful to determining whether such consolidation is appropriate, such as similarities in or relevant aspects of (i) the registrants’ identity(ies) including pseudonyms, (ii) the registrants’ contact information including email address(es), postal address(es), or phone number(s), including any pattern of irregularities, (iii) relevant IP addresses, name servers, or webhost(s), (iv) the content or layout of websites corresponding to the disputed domain names, (v) the nature of the marks at issue (e.g., where a registrant targets a specific sector), (vi) any naming patterns in the disputed domain names (e.g., <mark-country> or <mark-goods>), (vii) the relevant language/scripts of the disputed domain names particularly where they are the same as the mark(s) at issue, (viii) any changes by the respondent relating to any of the above items following communications regarding the disputed domain name(s), (ix) any evidence of respondent affiliation with respect to the ability to control the disputed domain name(s), (x) any (prior) pattern of similar respondent behavior, or (xi) other arguments made by the complainant and/or disclosures by the respondent(s).”

Both Complainants in this proceeding are part of the Groupe CM11 of French financial services companies, with CNCM performing certain policymaking and administrative functions for the group. They share the technical services, for example, that discovered the apparent phishing scheme in this instance and the legal services seeking redress. While the three Domain Names were registered in the names of three different individual registrants, all in Mexico, all used the same Registrar and hosting service and the registrations were made within a period of ten days. Two of the Domain Names were promptly used in precisely the same manner, for counterfeit websites copying the Complainants’ websites, while it does not appear that the third Domain Name had yet been employed. The coincidence of the timing, location, service providers, and pattern of use strongly suggest coordination if not identity. No Respondent has come forward to argue otherwise or to assert any hardship in proceeding by consolidation.

The Panel finds that the Complainants have a common grievance against the Respondents and that it is equitable and efficient to permit the consolidation of their complaints in this proceeding

6.2. Substantive Issues

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The first element of a UDRP complaint “functions primarily as a standing requirement” and entails “a straightforward comparison between the complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name”.

The Complainant CIC indisputably holds registered CIC and CIC MOBILE trademarks. The Domain Name <mobile-cic-fr.info> incorporates the CIC mark in its entirety and inverts the CIC MOBILE mark. The addition of the characters “fr” does not avoid confusion, as “fr” is the standard ISO abbreviation for France, where CIC is headquartered and does most of its business. The Complainant CNCM holds trademark registrations for the marks CREDIT MUTUEL and CREDIT MUTUEL MOBILE. The Domain Names <confirmationmobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> and <mobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> both incorporate the mark CREDIT MUTUEL in its entirety and merely change the order of the words in the mark CREDIT MUTUEL MOBILE. Both add the characters “fr”, commonly used to denote the country France, which is not distinguishing for the reasons mentioned above. The Domain Name <confirmationmobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> also adds the term “confirmation”. This is also not distinguishing, since the word is commonly used in both French and English websites and mobile applications to verify or confirm an online registration or entry. As in most cases, the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.info” is not a distinguishing feature in any of the Domain Names. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.7.

Accordingly, the Panel finds all three Domain Name confusingly similar to the Complainants’ registered trademarks cited above.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives non-exclusive examples of instances in which the Respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, by demonstrating any of the following:

(i) before any notice to it of the dispute, the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

Since a respondent in a UDRP proceeding is in the best position to assert rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, it is well established that after a complainant makes a prima facie case, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence of its rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1. Here, the Complainants have grounded their prima facie case by establishing trademark rights, confusing similarity, and the lack of permissive use, a corresponding business or brand name, or other evident legitimate interests. This shifts the burden to the Respondents. The Respondents have made patently infringing and probably illegal use of two of the Domain Names and have not come forward to assert any claims to fair use or other legitimate interests.

The Panel accordingly concludes that the Complainants have established the second element of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Policy, paragraph 4(b), furnishes a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that “shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith”, including the following (in which “you” refers to the registrant of the domain name):

“(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”

The Respondents have offered no explanation for their appropriation of the Complainants’ distinctive and well-established marks. Using two of the Domain Names with fraudulent websites exactly copying the Complainants’ websites suggests nothing but illicit motives and is consistent with the Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv). The very fact that they copied the Complainants’ websites demonstrates the Respondents’ awareness of the Complainants and their marks, which are prominently signaled on those copied pages. In the case of the one Domain Name not yet employed for such deception, no alternative, legitimate purpose can be reasonably imagined, and the Panel finds that instance one in which the doctrine of passive holding would suffice to warrant a finding of bad faith. See WIPO Overview 3.0, paragraph 3.3.

The Panel concludes that the Complainants have established the third element of the Complaint.

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 Domain Names <confirmationmobile-creditmutuel-fr.info>, <mobile-cic-fr.info>, and <mobile-creditmutuel-fr.info> be transferred to the Complainants.

W. Scott Blackmer
Sole Panelist
Date: February 4, 2019