WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Carrefour v. Jose Gaudet

Case No. D2018-2864

1. The Parties

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

The Respondent is Jose Gaudet of Viet Nam.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <carrefour-moncompte.com> and <carrefour-moncompte.net> (the “Disputed Domain Names”) are registered with Eranet International Limited (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 17, 2018. On December 17, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Names. On December 20, 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 December 21, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 10, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 11, 2019.

The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on January 23, 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, Carrefour is a global leader in food retail with its headquarters in France. The Complainant was founded in 1958, since then it acquired considerable goodwill and renown both in France as well as worldwide in connection with supermarkets.

Moreover, the Complainant operates more than 12,300 stores and e-commerce sites in 30 countries.

Currently, the Complainant operates on three major markets: Europe, Latin America and Asia.

In addition, the Complainant offers banking and insurance services.

The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for CARREFOUR. Among others, the Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations:

- European Union Trademark CARREFOUR No. 005178371 registered on August 30, 2007,

- International trademark CARREFOUR No. 1010661 registered on April 16, 2009,

- International trademark CARREFOUR No. 563304 registered on November 6, 1990; and

- Chinese trademark CARREFOUR No. 8696287 registered on November 7, 2011.

The Disputed Domain Names <carrefour-moncompte.com> and <carrefour-moncompte.net> were registered on March 15, 2018.

The Disputed Domain Name <carrefour-moncompte.com> resolves to a parking page displaying sponsored links related to the Complainant’s activities, while the Disputed Domain Name <carrefour-moncompte.net> resolves to an inactive page.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or confusingly similar

The Complainant states that the Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR.

The addition of the generic terms “mon” and “compte”, which means “my” and “account” in English, is insufficient to give distinctiveness to the Disputed Domain Names. What is more, this addition is like to cause confusion since the Complainant operates as a bank through its subsidiary Carrefour banque which offers online accounts for its retail services to its clients.

Moreover, the addition of a hyphen in the Disputed Domain Names is insufficient to distinguish it from the Complainant’s trademarks, since the dominant portion of the Disputed Domain Names contain the CARREFOUR trademarks. Furthermore, the addition of the hyphen does not negate the confusing similarity.

Furthermore, the generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLDs”) “.net” and “com” in the Disputed Domain Names does not affect the likelihood of confusion.

Finally, the Complainant submits that it is likely that the Disputed Domain Names could mislead Internet users into thinking that they are associated with the Complainant.

Rights or legitimate interests

The Complainant further submits that the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way, nor authorized or licensed by the Complainant to use and register its trademark, or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating its trademark.

Moreover, the Respondent cannot claim prior rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Names as the Complainant’s trademark precede the registration of the Disputed Domain Names for years.

What is more, there is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by any the Disputed Domain Names.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Names. Moreover, there is no indication that the Respondent is using, or intending to use, the Disputed Domain Names in a legitimate noncommercial or fair manner.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Disputed Domain Names.

Registration and use in bad faith

The Complainant contends that it is implausible that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant when it registered the Disputed Domain Names.

Moreover, the combination of the Disputed Domain Names reproducing the Complainant’s trademark with the generic terms “mon” and “compte”, which are related to the Complainant’s activities suggest that the Respondent had in mind the Complainant’s trademark and services when registering the Disputed Domain Names.

Furthermore, the Complainant’s trademark registrations significantly predate the registration date of the Disputed Domain Names.

The Complainant submits that a quick trademark search would have revealed to the Respondent the existence of the Complainant and its trademark.

Finally, the Complainant states that the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Names to attract for commercial gain Internet users.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which the Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Disputed Domain Names in this case:

(i) the Disputed Domain Names are 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 Names; and

(iii) the Disputed Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has demonstrated that it has trademark rights over the mark CARREFOUR.

Based on the evidence submitted, the Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CARREFOUR trademark. The Disputed Domain Names wholly incorporate the Complainant’s trademark.

Furthermore, the addition of the generic terms “mon” and “compte” and the use of the hyphen do not alter the assessment of confusing similarity. Moreover, the addition of the gTLDs “.com” and “.net” does not change this finding, since the TLD is generally disregarded in such an assessment of confusingly similarity.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the first requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Names:

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, 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) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are 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 at issue.

There is no evidence of the existence of any of those rights or legitimate interests. The Complainant has not authorized, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the Disputed Domain Names or to use the CARREFOUR trademark. The Complainant has prior rights in the trademark which precede the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Names by several years.

The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any trademark rights with respect of the Disputed Domain Names or that the Disputed Domain Names are used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services.

The Respondent had the opportunity to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests, but did not do so.

As such the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent registered and subsequently used the Disputed Domain Names in bad faith.

The Complainant has used its trademarks long before the Disputed Domain Names were registered.

The Disputed Domain Names were registered on March 15, 2018, while the Complainant CARREFOUR No. 563304 was granted on November 6, 1990.

The Complainant’s trademarks are well known as it has been recognized by previous decisions under the Policy (See Carrefour v. Jane Casares, NA, WIPO Case No. D2018-0976; Carrefour v. WhoisGuard, Inc., WhoisGuard Protected / Robert Jurek, Katrin Kafut, Purchasing clerk, Starship Tapes & Records, WIPO Case No. D2017-2533; 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. Yunjinhua, WIPO Case No. D2014-0257).

In light of this, the Respondent had evidently knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the Disputed Domain Names. First, the Respondent registered the same day two domain names containing the trademark of the Complainant. Second, the addition of the terms “mon” and “compte”, which means “my” and “account” in English, to the well-known trademark CARREFOUR in the Disputed Domain Names is also evidence of this. Moreover, the Complainant offers online accounts for its retail services to its clients.

The circumstances in the case before the Panel indicates that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Names and it has intentionally created a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark in order to attract Internet users for its own commercial gain.

The Disputed Domain Name <carrefour-moncompte.net> is currently inactive. As it has been the case in several previous UDRP cases, the fact that the Disputed Domain Name is currently inactive does not prevent a finding of bad faith use and does not change the Panel’s views in this respect. While the Disputed Domain Name <carrefour-moncompte.com> resolves to a parking page containing pay-per-click links which are related to the Complainant’s businesses. This behavior indicates that the Respondent uses the Disputed Domain Name in an intentional attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet uses to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the CARREFOUR trademark as to the source, sponsorship, and affiliation of the website under the Disputed Domain Name.

In the case at hand, the fact that the Respondent’s registration of two domain names confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known trademark, the absence of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in the Disputed Domain Names and its failure to respond to the Complaint, indicate the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use.

Therefore, taking all circumstances into account and for all above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and using the Disputed Domain Names 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 Names <carrefour-moncompte.com> and <carrefour-moncompte.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Pablo A. Palazzi
Sole Panelist
Date: February 4, 2019