WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Arcelormittal (SA) v. Whois Privacy Protection Foundation / Lawrence Andrew
Case No. D2019-1538
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Arcelormittal (SA), Luxembourg, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Whois Privacy Protection Foundation, Netherlands / Lawrence Andrew, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <corporate-arcelormittal.com> is registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Openprovider (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 2, 2019. On July 2, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 3, 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 July 9, 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 July 9, 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 July 17, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 6, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 7, 2019.
The Center appointed Andrea Mondini as the sole panelist in this matter on August 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 one of the largest steel producing companies in the world and is a market leader in steel for use in automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging with operations in more than 60 countries.
The Complainant is the owner of the international trademark registration No. 947686 ARCELORMITTAL registered on August 3, 2007, in numerous classes.
The disputed domain name was registered on June 27, 2019, and is currently inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant in essence contends the following:
The disputed domain name incorporates the ARCELORMITTAL trademark in its entirety. The addition of the generic term “corporate” does not dispel confusion. Therefore, the disputed domain name <corporate-arcelormittal.com> is confusingly similar to the trademark ARCELORMITTAL.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use the ARCELORMITTAL trademark. The Respondent did not make any use of the disputed domain name since its registration, which confirms that the Respondent has no demonstrable plan to use the disputed domain name. The Respondent therefore has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, or any rights in the ARCELORMITTAL trademarks, or association with the Complainant whatsoever.
The disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith because, given the worldwide notoriety, distinctiveness and reputation of the trademark ARCELORMITTAL, it is reasonable to infer that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with full knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent used the disputed domain name in bad faith by passively holding it without a legitimate purpose. Considering that the trademark ARCELORMITTAL is so well-known internationally for metals and steel production, it is not possible to conceive of any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the domain name by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate.
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 registration for the trademark ARCELORMITTAL.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’ trademark, because it incorporates in its entirety the trademark ARCELORMITTAL. The addition of the descriptive word “corporate” does not dispel confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark. See section 1.8 of WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
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 it has not authorized the Respondent to register or use the Complainant’s trademark ARCELORMITTAL in the disputed domain name, and that there is no relationship whatsoever between the Parties. 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. Moreover, the Panel finds that the composition of the disputed domain name effectively impersonates or suggests sponsorship or endorsement by the Complainant. See section 2.5.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0. 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 Complainant has demonstrated that the ARCELORMITTAL mark is distinctive and well-known internationally. The Panel thus infers that the Respondent must have been aware of this trademark and its reputation when it registered the disputed domain name, so that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith (see ArcelorMittal SA v. Tina Campbell, WIPO Case No. DCO2018-0005).
Considering (i) the high degree of distinctiveness and international reputation of the Complainant’s trademark ARCELORMITTAL, and (ii) the inactive holding of the disputed domain name without a legitimate purpose, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <corporate-arcelormittal.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 6, 2019