WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Amundi Asset Management v. Domain Admin, Hush Whois Protection Ltd
Case No. D2019-1494
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Amundi Asset Management, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Hush Whois Protection Ltd, Seychelles.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <amoundi-ee.com> is registered with Key-Systems GmbH (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 26, 2019. On June 27, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 28, 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 July 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 22, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 23, 2019.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on July 26, 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 company registered in France. It is a provider of asset management and other financial services.
The Complainant is the owner of International trademark registration number 1024160 for the word mark AMUNDI, registered on September 24, 2009, for various categories of financial services in Class 36.
The Complainant has for several years operated websites at “www.amundi.com” and “www.amundi-ee.com”.
The abbreviation “ee” in the second above-mentioned domain name stands for “Epargne Entreprise”, which relates to certain collective savings schemes.
The disputed domain name <amoundi-ee.com> was registered on May 31, 2017.
According to evidence submitted by the Complainant, on June 26, 2019, the disputed domain name resolved to a “parking page” website at “www.amoundi-ee.com” which included links to “Epargne Salarial”, “Account”, “EE” and “Épargne Salariale”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it is among the world’s top ten providers of asset management services, with offices in 37 countries throughout the world, over 100 million retail, institutional, and corporate clients, and over EUR 1,425 billion in assets under management.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights. It contends that the disputed domain name comprises its trademark AMUNDI with only the addition of a letter “o”, together with the suffix “-ee”, which it says is ineffective to distinguish the disputed domain name from its trademark and in fact adds to the likelihood of confusion as it stands for “Epargne Entreprise”.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. It states that it has never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark AMUNDI and that the Respondent has not commonly been known by any name corresponding to the disputed domain name. The Complainant also denies that the Respondent is making either bona fide commercial use or legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. On the contrary, the Complainant argues that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name misleadingly to attract Internet users to a website which offers links to services similar to the Complainant’s own services.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant argues in particular that, owing to the reputation of its AMUNDI trademark, it is reasonable to infer that the Respondent must have registered the disputed domain name with that trademark in mind. The Complainant further alleges that the disputed domain name resolves to a “parking page” with commercial links similar to the Complainant’s own services and that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name misleadingly to attract Internet users to that website.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Even in a case where no Response has been filed, the Complainant must still establish that each of the three above elements is present.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it is the owner of registered trademark rights in the name and mark AMUNDI and the Panel further accepts that the Complainant has used that mark extensively in commerce and that it is distinctive of the Complainant and its services. The disputed domain name <amoundi-ee.com> incorporates the whole of the Complainant’s mark together with the addition of the letter “o”. The Panel does not consider that either this or the addition of the suffix “-ee” prevents the Complainant’s mark from being recognizable within the disputed domain name and concludes, therefore, that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions referred to above give rise to a prima facie case for the Respondent to answer that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not participated in this administrative proceeding and has not provided any explanation for the registration of the disputed domain name or its use as described above, whether in accordance with any of the criteria set out in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. Having no other evidence of any rights or legitimate interests on the Respondent’s part, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar not only to the Complainant’s distinctive trademark AMUNDI but also to its domain name <amundi-ee.com> and associated website which reference the Complainant’s activities in connection with collective savings schemes. In the circumstances, the Panel infers on balance that the Respondent is likely to have registered and used the disputed domain name for the purpose of attracting Internet users to its website in the mistaken belief that it was connected in some way with the Complainant or its services. This inference is strongly reinforced by the links included on the “parking page” to which the disputed domain name resolves, including links to “Epargne Entreprise” services. The Panel finds therefore that, by using the disputed domain name, 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 mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or of products or services on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy). The Panel finds in the circumstances that the disputed 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 disputed domain name <amoundi-ee.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: August 7, 2019