WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour v. Zhuhai Yingxun Keji Limited
Case No. D2019-0590
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour of Massy, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Zhuhai Yingxun Keji Limited of Zhuhai, Guangdong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <carrefour-espaceclient.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Eranet International Limited (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 18, 2019. On March 18, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 26, 2019, 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 April 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 22, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 24, 2019.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on May 2, 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 well-known food retailer based in France and founded in 1958. It operates over 12,300 stores and e-commerce sites in more than 30 countries and regions around the world, including China (since 1995) where one of its stores was awarded “Best Store in China in 2015”. The Complainant employs more than 370,000 people worldwide and in 2017 generated sales of EUR 88.24 billion. It receives 1.3 million unique visitors per day across all its websites, including “ www.carrefour.com”.
The Complainant is the proprietor of numerous registered trademarks around the world in respect of CARREFOUR including China trademark number 789820 registered on November 7, 1995, France trademark number 1487274 registered on September 2, 1988, and European Union trademark number 5178371 registered on August 30, 2007.
The Domain Name was registered on March 26, 2018 and does not appear currently to resolve to an active website. It previously resolved variously to a variety of retail websites and to a parking page comprising pay‑per-click links to third party websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its CARREFOUR trademark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in its CARREFOUR trademark (the “Mark”), both by virtue of its trademark registrations and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the Mark for over 50 years. The Domain Name comprises the entirety of the CARREFOUR mark, with the addition of the French language words “espace client” which may be translated as “customer area”. In the view of the Panel, the addition of these words does not detract from the confusing similarity of the Domain Name to the Mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not authorized by the Complainant to use its Mark. The Respondent has used the Domain Name not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, but to redirect to third party retail websites and for a website comprising pay-per-click links to the websites of third parties. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the nature of the Domain Name, comprising as it does the well-known trademark CARREFOUR, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. Carrefour is primarily the name of a well-known retailer rather than a product brand. The Panel cannot therefore conceive of any legitimate use to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name with its reference to the Complainant’s “customer area”. The landing page to which the Domain Name resolves comprises click-through links to third party websites. To that extent, the Panel considers that the Respondent is likely using the Domain Name in a manner that takes unfair advantage of the Complainant’s well-known trademarks by attracting Internet users to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the affiliation or endorsement of the website. The Panel considers that the obvious inference is that the use of a domain name for such activity is with a view to commercial gain.
However, to the extent that the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name may be said to amount to non-use, the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) points out at section 3.3 that panelists have consistently found that this does not prevent a finding of bad faith. Factors that panelists take into account, whilst looking at all the circumstances, include “(i) the degree of distinctiveness or reputation of the complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use, (iii) the respondent’s concealing its identity or use of false contact details (noted to be in breach of its registration agreement), and (iv) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the domain name may be put.”
In this case, the Mark is undoubtedly distinctive and well known; there has been no response by the Respondent; and the Panel has indicated that it is unable to conceive of any good faith use of the Domain Name by the Respondent.
In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been 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 Domain Name <carrefour-espaceclient.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 13, 2019