WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Ruggero Bauli S.p.A. v. Bauli Online Services, Bauli Online Services Ltd.

Case No. D2020-0457

1. The Parties

Complainant is Ruggero Bauli S.p.A., Italy, represented by Perani Pozzi Associati, Italy.

Respondent is Bauli Online Services, Bauli Online Services Ltd., Costa Rica.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <bauli.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 26, 2020. On February 26, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On February 27, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 4, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 24, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default March 25, 2020.

The Center appointed Robert A. Badgley as the sole panelist in this matter on April 2, 2020. 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

Formed as a bakery in Verona, Italy in 1922, Complainant describes itself as “a leading and well-known Italian food company” that specializes in baked goods and confectionary items. Complainant sells its products to countries around the world, including Costa Rica (Respondent’s country). In 2018, Complainant’s sales were EUR 472.6 million.

Complainant holds various trademark registrations for the BAULI mark in various jurisdictions worldwide, including: International Reg. No. 484400 registered March 5, 1984; International Reg. No. 570999 registered May 28, 1991; Costa Rica Reg. No. 111090 registered December 18, 1998; United States of America Reg. No. 1414389 registered October 21, 1986; and European Union Reg. No. 507376 registered November 16, 1999.

Moreover, Complainant is also the owner, among the others, of several domain names incorporating the BAULI mark, including <bauli.it>, <bauli.fr>, and <bauli.de>.

The Domain Name was registered on May 6, 2001. The Domain Name resolves to a parking page containing several hyperlinks unrelated to the products Complainant manufactures and sells. According to a March 21, 2009 screenshot of Respondent’s website annexed to the Complaint, however, at that time Respondent’s parking page contained links to competitors of Complainant.

Complainant provided evidence, including the verification from a lawyer in Costa Rica, that neither Bauli Online Services nor Bauli Online Services Ltd. (the names used for the Domain Name registration) exists as actual business entities in Costa Rica.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that it has satisfied all three elements required under the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to Domain Name:

(i) the 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 in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in the mark BAULI through registration and use demonstrated in the record. The Panel also finds that the Domain Name is identical to that mark.

Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:

(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you [Respondent] are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

The Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Respondent has not come forward explain its bona fides with respect to the Domain Name. The Panel notes further that Respondent’s name does not appear, based on the undisputed record in this case, to correspond to an actual business entity within Costa Rica. Finally, the Panel notes that, at one point in time at least, Respondent’s website contained links to producers of goods that are in competition with Complainant. The foregoing conduct clearly does not vest Respondent with a legitimate interest vis-à-vis the Domain Name.

Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation,” are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in “bad faith”:

(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or

(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.

The Panel concludes that Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of the above-quoted Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv). The Panel finds on this record that Respondent more likely than not had Complainant’s BAULI trademark in mind when registering the Domain Name. “Bauli” does not correspond to a common word or place, and BAULI was a registered trademark in Costa Rica at the time the Domain Name was registered. Further, as noted above, Respondent did not assert any purportedly legitimate reason for registering the Domain Name, and Respondent apparently used false contact information when registering the Domain Name because, the undisputed record shows, the alleged entities Bauli Consulting Services and Bauli Consulting Services Ltd. do not actually exist. Finally, the hyperlinks at Respondent’s parking page back in 2009 included links to Complainant’s competitors. Based on the foregoing, the Panel finds on a balance of probabilities that Respondent targeted Complainant’s BAULI trademark and did so for commercial gain.

Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).

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 <bauli.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Robert A. Badgley
Sole Panelist
Date: April 2, 2020