WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Natixis v. Poisson Marc
Case No. D2019-0138
1. The Parties
Complainant is Natixis of Paris, France, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
Respondent is Poisson Marc of Paris, Israel.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <natixis-france.com> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 22, 2019. On January 23, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 24, 2019, 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 Complainant on January 25, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on January 28, 2019.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 31, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 20, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on February 21, 2019.
The Center appointed Lawrence K. Nodine as the sole panelist in this matter on February 27, 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
Complainant is an international corporate, investment, and financial services company headquartered in France. Complainant is a subsidiary of the BPCE Group, the second-largest banking group in France and operates in 38 countries with over 20,000 employees. Complainant operates under the trademark NATIXIS and owns several registrations for the mark, including, for example, French Registration No. 3,416,315, registered on March 14, 2006, and International Registration No. 1,071,008, registered on April 21, 2010. Complainant also owns the domain names <natixis.com> and <natixis.fr>.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name <natixis-france.com> on January 15, 2019. According to the Registrar, Respondent purports to be from Paris, Israel. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.
On January 17, 2019, a third party reportedly received an email incorporating the disputed domain name and the misspelled name of a BCPE employee ([employee.name]@natixis-france.com). In French, the subject of the email referred to a change of banking details. The body of the email, also written in French, informed the recipient that new bank details needed to be used for future payments.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that it has established rights in the mark NATIXIS and that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its mark, merely adding the geographically descriptive designation “France” to the end of Complainant’s mark. According to Complainant, consumers are likely to perceive the disputed domain name as associated with Complainant given that Complainant’s headquarters are in France.
Complainant also asserts that Respondent has no trademark rights in the NATIXIS mark and that it has not authorized Respondent to use its mark.
Regarding bad faith, Complaint contends that its mark is well-known in France and around the globe. Given Complainant’s international reputation, Complaint argues, it is unlikely that Respondent was unaware of Complainant and its rights in the NATIXIS mark at the time he registered the disputed domain name. Complainant alleges that Respondent provided a false address to the Registrar and used the disputed domain name in bad faith to send fraudulent emails to Complainant’s clients for the purpose of misappropriating payments.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that Complainant’s trademark registrations establish its rights in the NATIXIS trademark. The disputed domain name <natixis-france.com> is confusingly similar to the NATIXIS trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates the NATIXIS mark in full. The inclusion of a hyphen followed by the geographical term “France” does not dispel the likelihood of confusion. Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Nelia Andrade, WIPO Case No. D2018-0098; BHP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd. v. Oloyi, WIPO Case No. D2017-0284.
Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has presented a prima facie case for Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, which Respondent has failed to rebut. The record shows that Respondent has used the disputed domain name in an attempt to pass itself off as Complainant in scam emails to mislead the recipients for its own benefit. Use of a domain name to perpetuate phishing scams is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. Datamatics Global Services Limited, CIGNEX Datamatics Technologies Limited v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy LLC / Avinash Gupta, WIPO Case No. D2017-2595. The Panel finds that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name in bad faith. Respondent’s January 17, 2019, email makes clear that Respondent was aware of Complainant and its NATIXIS mark at the time it registered the disputed domain name. The email, sent two days after Respondent registered the disputed domain name, falsely purported to be sent by an employee (“the Assistant Clientèle”) of Natixis Factor, Complainant’s parent company.
The record supports the finding that Respondent sought to use the disputed domain name to create a false association with Complainant to promote a phishing scam. The incorporation of the entirety of Complainant’s NATIXIS mark, along with the name of the country where Complainant has its headquarters, indicates an attempt to trick email recipients into responding to Respondent’s emails in the mistaken belief that they are communicating with Complainant. This evidences bad faith. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 3.1.4.
Respondent also provided a false address to the Registrar. LYMI, Inc. d.b.a. Reformation v. Host Metro, Hostmetro, WIPO Case No. D2016-2549; Realm Entertainment Limited v. Ahmet Turk, WIPO Case No. D2015-0965 (use of a false address was evidence of bad faith registration and use).
Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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, <natixis-france.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lawrence K. Nodine
Date: March 13, 2019