WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Car & Boat Media v. Host Master, 1337 Services LLC

Case No. D2019-0912

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Car & Boat Media, France, represented by Passa Varet, France.

The Respondent is Host Master, 1337 Services LLC, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <pimplacentrale.com> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 23, 2019. On April 23, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 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 the Complainant on April 24, 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 amendment to the Complaint on April 25, 2019.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 30, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 20, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 21, 2019.

The Center appointed Andrea Mondini as the sole panelist in this matter on May 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

The Complainant owns the French trademark registration no. 3036751 filed on June 23, 2000, and the European Union trademark registration no. 1919182 filed on October 24, 2000, both for the word mark LA CENTRALE, in classes 16, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42 and 45 and in particular for “newspapers and periodicals of classified ads for bringing people into contact concerning the acquisition and/or transfer of movable property” in class 16 and on-line advertising in class 35.

The Complainant operates the website “www.lacentrale.fr” to publish on-line classified ads for used cars and to estimate the price of second-hand vehicles.

The disputed domain name was registered on November 1, 2018, and resolves to a website describing its services as “La Centrale but better” and purporting to help users to “buy the best car deal or that allows you to find your ideal selling price on La Centrale”.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant in essence contends the following:

The Complainant uses the LA CENTRALE trademark to publish on-line classified ads for used cars and to estimate the price of second-hand vehicles.

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark because it incorporates the Complainant’s trademark LA CENTRALE in its entirety. The addition of the verb “pimp” suggests that that the Respondent offers an improved version of the Complainant’s service and therefore does not dispel confusion, considering that the Respondent exploits the disputed domain name for services identical or highly similar to those covered by the trademark LA CENTRALE.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant is not affiliated with the Respondent and has not licensed or permitted the Respondent to use its trademark in any way.

The disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith because it is clear that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name to take advantage of the Complainant’s services and goodwill by offering services derived from the Complainant’s database and denigrating the Complainant’s services by purporting that the Respondent’s services are like “La Centrale, but better”.

The Complainants requests the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, a complainant must establish each of the following elements:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the 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 shown that it holds a French and a European trademark registration for LA CENTRALE, inter alia, for on-line classified ads (see section 4, above).

The English verb “to pimp” (e.g. a car) is a colloquial expression meaning “to make something look fashionable or impressive, usually by adding things to it” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/pimp).

The Panel thus finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’ trademark, because it incorporates in its entirety the trademark LA CENTRALE, whereas the addition of the verb “pimp” does not dispel confusion because it suggests that the Respondent offers an improved version of the Complainant’s services.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant contends, credibly, that there is no relationship whatsoever between the Parties. Rather, the evidence provided by the Complainant suggests that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name in an attempt to trade off for commercial gain the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s trademark.

In the absence of any Response, the Panel concludes that the Respondent was not authorized or licensed to use the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name and that there is no indication of any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith because the evidence shows that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name to target the Complainant’s website operated under the trademark LA CENTRALE in order to offer similar services.

Further evidence of registration in bad faith is the fact that the Respondent provided false contact information when registering the disputed domain name, because it is obvious that the Respondent’s first name is not “Host” and the last name not “Master”.

The Respondent used the disputed domain name in bad faith by taking advantage of the Complainant’s goodwill and offering on its website services derived from the Complainant’s database and denigrating the Complainant’s services by purporting that the Respondent’s services are like “La Centrale, but better”.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the Complainant has also satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <pimplacentrale.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Andrea Mondini
Sole Panelist
Date: June 5, 2019