WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Société Air France v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, DomainsByProxy.com / Carolina Rodrigues
Case No. D2019-0578
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Société Air France of Cedex, France represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America (“United States”) / Carolina Rodrigues of Panama City, Panama.
2. The Domain Names and Registrars
The disputed domain names <airfracne.com>, <airfranceplay.com> and <airtfrance.com> (“the Domain Names”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 15, 2019. On March 15, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On March 15, 2019, 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 March 19, 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 March 22, 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 26, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 15, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 16, 2019.
The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on April 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 is the owner of, inter alia, the international trade mark no 828334 AIR FRANCE for airline services registered in 2003. The mark is well known. The Domain Names were registered in 2018 and 2019. <airfracne.com> and <airtfrance.com> have been used for pay-per-click links to third party sites. The Respondent has engaged in a pattern of conduct of registering domain names containing the trade marks of third parties and the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is the owner of, inter alia, the international trade mark no 828334 AIR FRANCE for airline services registered in 2003. The mark is well known.
The Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark. Airfranceplay.com registered in 2018 uses the whole of the Complainant’s mark adding only the term “play” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. Airtfrance.com registered in 2018 contains the Complainant’s mark in its entirety adding only the letter “t” and the gTLD “.com”. Airfracne.com registered in 2019 simply transposes the “c” and “n” in the Complainant’s mark and adds the gTLD “.com”.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Names, is not commonly known by them and is not authorised by the Complainant. The Domain Names have been used for pay-per-click links and/or malware or phishing related sites which are not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a non commercial legitimate or fair use.
Use for pay-per-click links is confusing and registration and use in bad faith. Registration of several typosquatted domain names and registration of domain names containing the marks of third parties evidence by adverse UDRP cases against the Respondent is a pattern of conduct showing bad faith registration and use and indicates the Respondent is aware of the Complainant and its rights. Use of the Domain Names for a site displaying a malware alert or a phishing site is also bad faith registration and use. Using a privacy service also indicates bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
<airfracne.com> and <airtfrance.com> consist of a misspelling of the Complainant’s AIR FRANCE mark (registered, inter alia, as an international trade mark 828334 for airline services since 2003) and the gTLD “.com”. Misspellings such as addition or transposition of a letter or letters does not distinguish domain names from a complainant’s trade mark pursuant to the Policy.
<airfranceplay.com> contains the Complainant’s trade mark in its entirety and the generic word “play” which does not distinguish this domain name from the Complainant’s mark.
The gTLD .com does not serve to distinguish the Domain Names from the Complainant’s mark.
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Domain Names are confusingly similar for the purpose to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark or misspelled versions of its mark. There is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Names.
The use of <airtfrance.com> and <airfracne.com> for third party pay per links is commercial and so cannot be legitimate non commercial fair use and is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. These domain names appear to be examples of typosquatting which is also an indications of a lack of rights or a legitimate interests. The use of <airfraneplay.com> does not give rise to rights or legitimate interests.
Phishing and malware related sites cannot be a bona fide offering of goods and services or a legitimate non commercial or fair use and there is no evidence that any of the Domain Names have been used for any other bona fide or legitimate purpose.
The fact that the Respondent has registered three domain names the subject of this Complaint targeting the Complainant and has been the subject of several adverse UDRP decisions suggests a lack of rights or legitimate interests.
As such the Panelist finds that the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interests in the Domain Names and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
<airfracne.com> and <airtfrance.com> appear to be typosquatting registrations simply adding or transposing one letter in each of these domain names. Typosquatting is evidence of relevant bad faith registration and use. These names have also been used for pay-per-click links which is evidence of bad faith registration and use under the Policy as the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the web site likely to disrupt the business of the Complainant.
It is difficult for the Panel to tell if any of the Domain Names were actually linked to malware or phishing sites from the evidence. However <airfranceplay.com> taken with the other domain names the subject of this complaint and other adverse UDRP decisions against the Respondent shows a pattern of conduct on the part of the Respondent of registering domain names contains the Complainant’s and other third party trade marks adverse or competitive to the interests of those parties. Use of a privacy service would also seem to be an indication of bad faith in the circumstances.
As such, the Panelist believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Names were registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy under para 4(b)(ii), (iii) and (iv).
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, <airfracne.com>, <airfranceplay.com> and <airtfrance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 2, 2019