WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Credit Industriel et Commercial v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Laurence Chiri

Case No. D2019-2182

1. The Parties

Complainant is Credit Industriel et Commercial, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.

Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Laurence Chiri, Côte d'Ivoire.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <cicparticulier.info> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 5, 2019. On September 9, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 9, 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 Complainant on September 11, 2019 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on September 13, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 20, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 10, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 11, 2019.

The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on October 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

Complainant is the oldest deposit bank in France. It was set up in 1859 by an imperial decree signed by Napoleon III. Complainant currently has more than 4.7 million clients, and more than 2,000 branches in France and abroad. Complainant operates a website at “www.cir.fr”, through which clients have access to their bank accounts through a secured interface. Complainant also owns the following domain names: <cic.fr>, <cic.eu>, <cicbanque.info>, <cicbanques.com>, <cicbanques.org> and, through its subsidiary, <cicbanques.net> and <cicbank.com>.

Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations consisting of or including the acronym “CIC” in France and abroad, including the following:

CIC

French trademark registration No. 1358524, registered on June 10, 1986

CIC

European Union Trademark registration No. 005891411, registered on March 5, 2008

CIC

European Union trademark registration No.011355328, registered on March 26, 2013

CIC BANQUES

International Trademark registration No. 585099, registered on April 10, 1992

CIC BANQUES

French trademark registration No. 1691423, registered on September 5, 1991

CIC BANQUES

International trademark registration No. 585098, registered on April 10, 1992

CIC BANQUES

French trademark registration No. 1682713, registered on July 24, 1991

Complainant’s CIC trademark has been recognized as a well-known trademark by several prior WIPO panels, including Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A., Banque Fédérative du Credit Mutuel v. Headwaters MB, WIPO Case No. D2008-1892, for <ciccms.com>; Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A. v. Jeongyong Cho, WIPO Case No. D2013-1263, regarding <cicstart.com>; Credit Industriel et Commercial v. Mao Adnri, WIPO Case No. D2013-2143, regarding <cic-particuliers.com>.

The disputed domain name was registered on July 3, 2019. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s CIC trademarks, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and

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

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide a complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has established that it has strong trademark rights in the mark CIC. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety and adds the word “particulier” which means “private individuals”, such as Complainant’s individual clients, as opposed to professional clients. This descriptive term does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as Complainant’s mark is recognizable within the disputed domain name. See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant contends that Respondent is not related in any way to Complainant or its business. He is not one of Complainant’s agents and does not conduct any activity or business for Complainant. There is no evidence in the record indicating that Respondent has ever been known by the term “cic” or “cic particulier.” There is no evidence in the record that Respondent has any use of the term “cic” in connection with a bona fide business.

Complainant has not licensed Respondent to make any use of or apply for registration of the disputed domain name.

Respondent has not submitted any evidence to rebut Complainant’s contentions.

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

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In view of the well-known status of Complainant’s mark, it is highly likely that Respondent was aware of Complainant’s mark at the time of registering the disputed domain name and did so for the purpose of selling it to Complainant or to one of its competitors, or intended to use it in a way to attract users to the website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark, or intended to disrupt the business of Complainant.

Noting the reputation of Complainant’s mark, the failure of Respondent to submit a response, Respondent’s concealing its identity, and the implausibility of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put, the Panel finds that the non-use of the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith. See section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

The Panel finds that Respondent has 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 <cicparticulier.info> be transferred to Complainant.

Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Sole Panelist
Date: November 8, 2019