WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bureau Veritas v. Robert Sigal, Interstellar Team, Inc.
Case No. D2018-2883
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bureau Veritas of Neuilly sur seine, France, represented by Novagraaf France SA, France.
The Respondent is Robert Sigal, Interstellar Team, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bureauveritas.group> is registered with Gransy, s.r.o. d/b/a subreg.cz (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 18, 2018. On December 18, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 19, 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 December 20, 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 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 December 27, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 16, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 21, 2019.
The Center appointed Fabrizio Bedarida as the sole panelist in this matter on January 25, 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 in this proceeding is Bureau Veritas, a French company, a leading provider of testing, inspection and quality control services.
The Complainant has proven to be the owner of the BUREAU VERITAS mark.
The Complainant is, inter alia, the owner of the following trademarks:
BUREAU VERITAS, International trademark registration No. 1289458, registered on December 23, 2015;
BUREAU VERITAS, International trademark registration No. 763643, registered on March 29, 2001;
BUREAU VERITAS, International trademark registration No. 311819, registered on April 12, 1966;
BUREAU VERITAS, European Union trademark registration No. 004518544, registered on June 1, 2006.
Moreover, the Complainant is also the owner of, among others, the following domain names:
<bureauveritas.com> created on June 20, 1996
<bureauveritas.eu> created on April 4, 2006
<bureauveritas.net> created on October 20, 2006
<bureauveritas.org> created on July 30, 2008
<bureauveritas.fr> created on February 13, 2001.
The disputed domain name <bureauveritas.group> was registered on October 4, 2018.
The Complainant’s trademark and domain name registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
The website under the disputed domain name <bureauveritas.group> is inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests whatsoever with respect to the disputed domain name; and that the Respondent 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
In order for the Complainant to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name, paragraphs 4(a)(i) – (iii) of the Policy require that the Complainant must demonstrate to the Panel 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 Complainant has established rights in the BUREAU VERITAS trademark.
The disputed domain name is clearly identical to the Complainant’s BUREAU VERITAS trademark, save for the <.group> generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) indicator.
Owing to the fact that the gTLD suffix is generally disregarded under the test for confusing similarity for the purposes of the Policy, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <bureauveritas.group> is identical to the BUREAU VERITAS trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
This Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, nor any use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In addition, the Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the name “Bureau Veritas” or by a similar name. Moreover, the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, alleging any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel, on the basis of the evidence presented, accepts and agrees with the Complainant’s contentions that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith and has been used in bad faith.
Indeed, the Complainant gives several bases for his contention that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith.
Particularly relevant are the Complainant’s unchallenged assertions (which the Panel accepts) that:
- the Respondent could not be unaware of the existence of the Complainant’s renown trademarks when registering the disputed domain name;
- the Respondent is passively holding the disputed domain name;
- the Respondent concealed its identity, and finally, the fact that;
- if the Respondent did have legitimate purposes in registering and using the disputed domain name, it could have responded to the allegations made by the Complainant in this proceeding.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <bureauveritas.group> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 1, 2019