WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Boursorama S.A. v. sabine jeane
Case No. D2019-0422
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Boursorama S.A. of Boulogne Billancourt, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is sabine jeane of France.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <b-sorama-group.com> is registered with Hostinger, UAB (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 22, 2019. On February 22, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 22, 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 the Complainant on February 27, 2019 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 February 27, 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 1, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 21, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 22, 2019.
The Center appointed Isabelle Leroux as the sole panelist in this matter on April 3, 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 is a French corporation, founded in 1995. It is a pioneer and leader in France and in Europe in its three core businesses i.e. online brokerage, financial information on the Internet and online banking.
In France, the Complainant is one of the online banking references with over 1,500,000 customers.
The Complainant has registered several BOURSORAMA trademarks (the “Marks”), such as the European Union trademark BOURSORAMA No. 001758614, registered on October 19, 2001 and the French trademark BOURSORAMA BANQUE (with design) No. 4138952 registered on March 27, 2015.
The Complainant is the registrant, of the disputed domain name <boursorama.com>, registered since February 28, 1998, among many others, which directs to its official website.
The disputed domain name <b-sorama-group.com> was created on January 5, 2019 and while active, displayed an account service connection page highly similar to the Complainant’s official website (Annex 6 of the Complaint). The disputed domain name is currently inactive and redirects to an error page (Annex 7 of the Complaint).
5. Parties’ Contentions
(i) The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name <b-sorama-group.com> is confusingly similar to the Marks of the Complainant and consists of the abbreviation of the Complainant’s Marks and trade name.
(ii) The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
(iii) The Complainant submits that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith as it is using the disputed domain name to lure Internet users into the mistaken belief that the Respondent is, or is associated with, the Complainant.
(iv) The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to be entitled to a transfer of the disputed domain name:
(i) The 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 domain name; and
(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
These elements will be examined in turn below.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The relevant part of the disputed domain name is <b-sorama-group> as the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) “.com” is not relevant in determining confusing similarity and has to be analyzed without a legal significance.
In this regard, previous UDRP panels have regularly ruled that the gTLD, such as “.com”, is not to be taken into consideration when examining the identity or similarity between the Complainant’s trademarks and the disputed domain names (CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Worldwide Webs, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0834).
The Complainant provided evidence that it has prior rights on the BOURSORAMA trademarks well before the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. This satisfies the Panel that the Complainant has registered rights on BOURSORAMA trademarks for the purposes of the Policy.
The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name <b-sorama-group> almost identically reproduce the Complainant’s Marks and consists of their abbreviation along with the word “group”, that is frequently used by the Complainant to identify itself (Groupe Boursorama) (Annex 8 of the Complaint).
The addition of the term “group” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. According to Section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) the addition of other terms to a trademark that is recognizable within the disputed domain name would not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.
However, the Panel finds that the pronunciation of the disputed domain and the Complainant’s Marks is the almost the same as the absence of the vowels “O” and “U” does not alter the pronunciation of the trademark BOURSORAMA.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Marks on which it has prior rights, and the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has not been authorized by the Complainant to use its Marks and that there is no business relationship whatsoever existing between the Complainant and the Respondent.
It appears the Respondent is not commonly known under the disputed domain name or the name “BOURSORAMA GROUP”. In addition, the disputed domain name resolved to a website displaying the Complainant’s trademark, logo and color scheme, which is a proof of the absence of use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent for a bona fide offering of goods and services or legitimate noncommercial or fair use. Moreover, this disputed domain name is now resolving to an error page.
Accordingly, the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Since the Respondent has not replied to the Complaint and, thus, has not presented any other evidence or elements to justify any rights or legitimate interests in connection with the disputed domain name, the Panel finds no indication that any of the circumstances described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy could apply to the present matter.
Therefore, given the circumstances described above, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and thus the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the UDRP Policy sets out examples of circumstances that will be considered by an Administrative Panel to be evidence of bad faith registration and use of a domain name, as follows:
(i) Circumstances indicating that the domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the domain name registrant's out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) The domain name was registered in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the domain name registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) The domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) By using the domain name, the domain name registrant intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the registrant’s website 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 the registrant’s website or location or of a product or service on the registrant’s website or location.
It has been proved to the Panel’s satisfaction that the Complainant’s BOURSORAMA Marks are well known in France and in Europe, and the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent, apparently being a French citizen, could not reasonably ignore the Complainant’s trademarks and activities.
Previous UDRP panels have regularly ruled that bad faith was found where a domain name is so obviously connected with a well-known trademark that its use by someone, with no connection to the trademark, suggests opportunistic bad faith. See LEGO Juris A/S v. store24hour, WIPO Case No. D2013-0091 and Carrefour v. Jean-Claude Bot / Albert Pierre, WIPO Case No. D2017-0969.
Besides, in accordance with the evidence submitted by the Complainant (Annex 6), the disputed domain name used to resolve to a website displaying the Complainant’s trademark, logo and color scheme. The Panel concurs with the Complainant that the connection of the disputed domain name with a website reproducing the Marks and the Complainant’s logo and website’s color scheme enhances a likelihood of confusion. This connection therefore presents a risk that the Respondent is engaged in a fraudulent scheme and intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s Marks.
Accordingly, this Panel finds that the Respondent’s bad faith and his intention to take undue advantage of the Complainant’s trademark rights has been demonstrated.
In the absence of a response, the Respondent offered no information on the intention of the registration and use of the disputed domain name.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, and thus the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied.
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 <b-sorama-group.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 17, 2019