WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Carrefour v. Perfect Privacy, LLC / Milen Radumilo

Case No. D2019-2000

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Carrefour, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.

The Respondent is Perfect Privacy, LLC, United States of America / Milen Radumilo, Romania.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <carreffour.com> is registered with Zinc Domain Names LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 15, 2019. On August 15, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same day, 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 August 16, 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 August 21, 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 August 22, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 11, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 12, 2019.

The Center appointed Christos A. Theodoulou as the sole panelist in this matter on September 16, 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 retail company registered in France. It operates in many countries and has more than 12,000 stores, according to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant. It employs more than 360,000 people worldwide and, according to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant, generated in 2018 EUR 84.91 billion sales including VAT.

The Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations:

European Union Trademark CARREFOUR No. 005178371, filed on June 20, 2006, and registered on August 30, 2007, duly renewed and covering goods and services in classes 9, 35 and 38.

European Union Trademark CARREFOUR No. 008779498, filed on December 23, 2009, and registered on July 13, 2010, covering services in class 35.

International trademark CARREFOUR No. 353849, registered on February 28, 1969, duly renewed and covering services in class 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42.

In addition, the Complainant is the owner of the following domain names:

<carrefour.com> registered on October 25, 1995;
<carrefour.fr> registered on June 23, 2005.

The disputed domain name <carreffour.com> was registered on March 31, 2019, and it resolves towards a parking page displaying commercial links related to Complainant’s field of activities.

It is alleged by the Complainant that CARREFOUR is a well-known or famous trademark.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks or service marks in which the Complainant has rights, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Before engaging in the threefold discussion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel will briefly address the procedural issue relating to the default of the Respondent. The implications of a default in this case are telling since the Complainant has the burden of proof, according to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy (“In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present”). As such, the Panel cannot merely grant the Complainant’s request automatically due to the default, but it has to examine instead the evidence presented to determine whether or not the Complainant has proved its case, as required by the Policy. See FNAC v. Gauthier Raymond, WIPO Case No. D2004-0881; Sonofon A/S v. Vladimir Aleksic, WIPO Case No. D2007-0668; Gaudi Trade SpA v. Transure Enterprise Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2009-1028.

The Panel shall now proceed to the analysis of the evidence in this case, based on the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has presented evidence to demonstrate that it owns registered trademark, company and domain name rights in CARREFOUR.

The mere fact that the Respondent has added the letter “f” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” does not this Panel affect the essence of the matter: the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and, in the circumstances of this case, is by itself sufficient to establish the criterion of identity or confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy, as many previous UDRP panels have found. See e.g., Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. v. K. Harjani Electronics Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2002-1021; DFDS A/S v. NOLDC INC, WIPO Case No. D2006-1070; American Automobile Association, Inc. v. Bladimir Boyiko and Andrew Michailov, WIPO Case No. D2006-0252.

In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has discharged its burden of proof on this point and holds that the disputed domain name <carreffour.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances which, if found by a panel to be proved based on its evaluation of the evidence presented, shall demonstrate a registrant’s right to or legitimate interest in a domain name. These examples are discussed in turn below, with regard to the specific facts of this case:

(i) Use or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to the dispute:

The Respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods.

(ii) An indication that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark rights:

In this case, there is no such indication from the present record.

(iii) Legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademarks at issue:

Again, in this case there is no such indication from the record.

Moreover the Respondent does not seem to have any trademark registrations including the term “carrefour”. Additionally, it is to be noted that the Respondent did not present evidence of any license by the Complainant, with whom there seems to exist no relationship whatsoever.

As a conclusion on this point, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established an uncontested, prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraphs 4(b)(i) to 4(b) (iv) of the Policy mention circumstances in order to demonstrate bad faith registration and use of a disputed domain name.

According to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith, in order to capitalize on the goodwill of the trademark of the Complainant and attract commercial gain. The Respondent seems to want to create an impression of association with the Complainant without permission from the latter (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).

Furthermore, the Respondent must have known of the existence of the mark because of inter alia, the use by it of the Complainant’s website, according to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant, to divert Internet traffic to its own website. Further, according always to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant, the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a webpage displaying pay-per-clicks links which are likely to generate revenues. Further, it is alleged by the Complainant that an email server is associated to the disputed domain name and thus, there is a risk that the Respondent is engaged in a phishing scheme.

Finally, the default of the Respondent in the present circumstances seems to “reinforce the inference of bad faith registration and bad faith use” (The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited v. Bill Lynn, WIPO Case No. D2001-0915).

As a consequence of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

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 <carreffour.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Christos A. Theodoulou
Sole Panelist
Date: September 18, 2019