WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Société Anonyme des Galeries Lafayette v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot

Case No. D2019-2069

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Société Anonyme des Galeries Lafayette, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.

The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <editbygalerieslafayette.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 23, 2019. On August 23, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 25, 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 August 29, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 18, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 19, 2019.

The Center appointed George R. F. Souter as the sole panelist in this matter on September 25, 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 long-established operator of department stores under the name “Galeries Lafayette”, in Paris and elsewhere, with 280 stores and 16,000 employees, which receives over 1 million visitors to its stores and e-commerce websites on a daily basis.

It’s GALERIES LAFAYETTE trademark is the subject of International Registration number 553543, dating from April 12, 1990, and European Union registrations 003798147 and 012602652, inter alia.

The disputed domain name was registered on March 22, 2019, and resolves to a website in which the disputed domain name is offered for sale at a price of USD 990.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its GALERIES LAFAYETTE trademark, containing its GALERIES LAFAYETTE trademark in its entirety, with the mere addition of descriptive or non-distinctive matter.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, in particular that the Respondent has never received permission from the Complainant to use its trademark in connection with a domain name or otherwise, and there is no evidence that the Respondent is generally known by the disputed domain name.

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, and, inter alia, is being used in bad faith in connection with a website offering the disputed domain name for sale for an amount greatly in excess of the out-of-pocket expenses in registering the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements that the Complainant must prove to merit a finding that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant:

(i) the disputed 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 disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

It is well-established in prior decisions under the UDRP, with which the Panel agrees, that a generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) indicator is irrelevant when comparing a trademark with a disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel considers the “.com” indicator to be irrelevant in the circumstances of the present case, and so finds.

The Panel has no difficulty in following various decisions by panels under the UDRP in accepting GALERIES LAFAYETTE as a well-known mark.

It has been well-established in prior decisions under the UDRP that a disputed domain name which wholly contains a complainant’s well-known trademark together with the mere addition of descriptive or non-distinctive elements is insufficient to avoid a finding of confusing similarity between a trademark and a disputed domain name. In the circumstances of the present case, the Panel considers the words “edit by” to be clearly descriptive or non-distinctive. The Panel, accordingly, finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s GALERIES LAFAYETTE trademark, and that the Complainant has satisfied the test of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

It is the consensus view of UDRP panels, with which the Panel agrees, that a prima facie case advanced by the complainant will generally be sufficient for the complainant to be deemed to have satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, provided the respondent does not come forward with evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and the complainant has presented a sufficient prima facie case to succeed under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

The Panel considers the submissions put forward by the Complainant are sufficient to be regarded as a prima facie case, and the Respondent did not take the opportunity to advance any claim of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name to rebut this prima facie case.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel is of the view that the finding that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name can lead, in appropriate circumstances, to a finding of registration of a disputed domain name in bad faith. The circumstance of the present case, in which the Panel is convinced that the Complainant’s GALERIES LAFAYETTE trademark was deliberately appropriated in the disputed domain name, are such that the Panel concludes that a finding of registration in bad faith is justified, and so finds.

It is well-established in prior decisions under the Policy that the offer for sale of a disputed domain name found to be similar to a complainant’s trademark in connection with a website offering the disputed domain name for sale, for an amount greatly in excess of the respondent’s out-out-of-pocket costs in registering the disputed domain name, constitutes use of the disputed domain name in bad faith. In the Panel’s opinion, this is the situation in the circumstances of the present case, and a finding of use in bad faith is appropriate, and so finds.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of 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 <editbygalerieslafayette.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

George R. F. Souter
Sole Panelist
Date: October 15, 2019