WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Carrefour v. Perfect Privacy, LLC / Milen Radumilo

Case No. D2019-2610

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 <carrefoure.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Domain Secure LLC (the “Registrar”) on August 27, 2019.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 24, 2019. On October 24, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 28, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 30, 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 November 4, 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 November 4, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 14, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 15, 2019.

The Center appointed Gregor Vos as the sole panelist in this matter on November 19, 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 French Company that exploits an international food retail group. The Complainant is the owner of the following trademarks (the “Trademark(s)”).

- European Union Trademark registration No. 005178371 for the wordmark CARREFOUR registered on August 30, 2007;
- European Union Trademark registration No. 008779498 for the wordmark CARREFOUR registered on July 13, 2010; and
- International Trademark registration No. 1010661 for the wordmark CARREFOUR registered on April 16, 2009.

In addition to these Trademarks, the Complainant has several domain names, including: <carrefour.com>, <carrefour.fr> and <carrefour.ro>. Both the Trademarks and the domain names predate the registration of the Domain Name of August 27, 2019.

The Respondent is a Romanian based individual that has registered the Domain Name. The Domain Name resolves to a webpage displaying pay-per-click (“PPC”) links.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Trademarks. The Trademarks are well-known trademarks and the Domain Name reproduces these Trademarks in its entirety followed by an “e”. The dominant feature of the Domain Name would therefore be the Trademarks. The generic Top Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” could be disregarded according to the Complainant.

According to the Complainant, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant argues that it appears that there are no predating rights of the Respondent. Also, the Respondent would not have a legitimate interest. The website that the Domain Name resolves to a PCC webpage, which according to the Complainant shows that the Respondent is misleadingly diverting consumers for financial gain. The Respondent would intentionally use the well-known trademark in combination with an additional letter to take advantage of the Internet users’ confusion. The addition would be a predictable typing error, which is also known as “typosquatting”. Moreover, the Respondent shows a pattern of cybersquatting.

The Domain Name would be registered and used in bad faith. The Complainant argues that the Respondent knew or should have known of the Trademarks, especially since it concerns well-known trademarks. The Complainant substantiates this with the redirection to the Complainant’s official website. Moreover, according to the Complainant the Respondent would have the duty to verify if the Domain Name would not infringe rights of any third party. In addition, the Respondent has been involved in several UDRP proceedings involving the Trademarks. The Respondent would use the Domain Name in bad faith because it uses the Domain Name that includes the well-known Trademarks to attract Internet users for commercial gain to its website.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Based on paragraph 4(a) of the UDRP, a request to transfer a domain name must meet three cumulative conditions:

(i) the 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 domain name; and

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

In the administrative proceedings, the Complainant must prove that each of these three elements is present. Only if all three elements are fulfilled can the Panel grant the remedy requested by the Complainant.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the UDRP requires two elements to be proved. A disputed domain name should be (i) identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark, (ii) in which a complainant has rights.

With respect to having rights pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the UDRP, it is noted that the Complainant is registered as the owner of the Trademarks, as can be seen from the submitted copies of the registrations of the Trademarks. Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proven that it is the owner of the Trademarks.

With regard to the assessment of identity or confusing similarity of the Domain Name with the Trademarks, it is generally accepted that this test involves a reasoned but relatively straightforward comparison between a complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name. While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing (see section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).

For the purpose of assessing confusing similarity under the Policy, the gTLD suffix (in the present case “.com”) is generally ignored in the comparison between the disputed domain name and a complainant’s trademark (see Bialetti Industrie S.p.A. v. Onno Brantjes, Stichting Taxaceae, WIPO Case No. D2016-1450; Canyon Bicycles GmbH v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Rob van Eck, WIPO Case No. D2014-0206; Zions Bancorporation v. Mohammed Akik Miah, WIPO Case No. D2014-0269).

The Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s Trademarks entirely. Additionally, an “e” is added after and the addition of an “e” to “carrefour” in the Domain Name does not alter the fact that the dominant feature of the Trademarks is recognizable in the Domain Name. The misspelling is an obvious misspelling of the Trademarks.

Considering the fact that the Domain Name consists of the Trademarks and an additional “e”, which is an obvious misspelling of the Trademarks, the Panel finds that it is likely that Internet users when confronted with the Domain Name will be under the impression that there exists a relationship between the Domain Name and the Complainant and that Internet users could be confused. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In order to fulfil the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP, a complainant has to prove that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. As this may result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, a complainant bears the burden of prima facie showing that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If a complainant succeeds in making its prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to the respondent, which will then have to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name (see section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0).

The Panel finds that the Complainant showed that there are no indications for legitimate use of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant and is not authorized to use the Trademarks. Also, the Respondent is also not known under the Domain Name, as its name does not correspond to the Domain Name.

The Domain Name resolves to a PCC webpage. The links redirect to other websites, including the official website of the Complainant. Prior panels deciding under the Policy have held that PPC links on parking pages built around a trademark do not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, nor do they constitute a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to paragraph 4(c)(iii) (see Ustream.TV, Inc. v. Vertical Axis, Inc, WIPO Case No. D2008-0598; Fontem Holdings 4, B.V. v. J- B-, Limestar Inc., WIPO Case No. D2016-0344. See also section 2.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0).

Also, the failure of the Respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good faith use is a factor that points towards a lack of rights or legitimate interests.

Based on the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has sufficiently set out its prima facie case. The burden of production on this element therefore shifts to the Respondent. As the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s allegations, the Panel finds that the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP is fulfilled.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the UDRP is broadly understood to occur where a respondent takes unfair advantage of or otherwise abuses a complainant’s mark. The mere registration of a domain name that is confusingly similar to a famous trademark by an unaffiliated entity creates a presumption of bad faith (see section 3.1.4 WIPO Overview 3.0).

The Trademarks are well-known trademarks and the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Trademarks, as explained under section 6.A. above. As the Complainant argued, the Respondent is unaffiliated to the Complainant. Furthermore, the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and it merely uses the Domain Name to cause confusion for its commercial benefit via the PCC links placed on the parked page. The fact that the Trademark is widely known also constitutes that the Respondent knew or should have known that its registration would be confusingly similar to the Trademark. This is supported by the fact that the Respondent shows a pattern of abusive registrations of domain names that include the Trademarks of the Complainant.

Considering the circumstances of this matter, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the UDRP is fulfilled.

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 Domain Name <carrefoure.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Gregor Vos
Sole Panelist
Date: December 10, 2019