WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Arkema France v. Domains by Proxy, LLC / Carol E Roberts NA
Case No. D2020-0590
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Arkema France, France, represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, PC, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Domains by Proxy, LLC / Carol E Roberts NA, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <arkemagruop.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 9, 2020. On March 10, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 11, 2020, 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 March 13, 2020 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 March 16, 2020.
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 March 20, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 9, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 12, 2020.
The Center appointed Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira as the sole panelist in this matter on April 20, 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
The Complainant is a French company dedicated to innovative and sustainable materials, formed in 2004 and currently active in 55 different countries, with over 20,000 employees. The Complainant operates facilities in Europe, North America and Asia, and commercializes goods all over the world.
The Complainant is active in a wide variety of products, such as fluorochemicals, technical polymers, thiochemicals, functional additives, industrial coatings, acrylics, hydrogen peroxide, organic peroxides and molecular sieves.
The Complainant owns registrations for its ARKEMA trademark throughout the world, including registrations in the United States and China, such as United States trademark registration No. 3082057, registered on April 18, 2006. A sample proof of additional registrations was attached to the Complaint as Exhibit G.
The Complainant has established rights over the mark ARKEMA internationally, and its fame and renown is inevitably linked to the Complainant. Copies of print brochures, catalogs, advertisements and websites, all of which prominently feature the ARKEMA trademark, showing this renown, were presented as Exhibit F.
The disputed domain name was registered on December 6, 2019. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website, and it has been used for sending deceptive emails in an attempt to purchase products using the Complainant’s credit account.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is the owner of registrations worldwide for the mark ARKEMA, which has been in use worldwide for over 16 years.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name, which incorporates the trademark ARKEMA, registered by the Complainant. The disputed domain name bears the trademark ARKEMA together with the word “gruop”, or the word “group” with an apparently intentional typo.
As stated by the documents presented, the registration and use of the trademark ARKEMA predates the registration of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name does not direct to an active website, but rather to a parked page with links to third parties, as shown by Exhibit H.
The disputed domain name, though, has apparently been used at least once in a fraudulent attempt to buy machinery using the Complainant’s credit account. The Complainant alleges that at least one email was sent from the address “[…]@arkemagruop.com” to one of their vendors with this purpose. Another email from the same address was sent to one of the Complainant’s customers. A copy of this correspondence is attached as Exhibits I and J of the Complaint.
In sum, the Complainant alleges that the registration and use of the disputed domain name is intentional to mislead Internet users by leading them to phishing scams, that it is clear that the Respondent has no rights in the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy, in its paragraph 4(a), determines that three elements must be presented and duly proven by a complainant to obtain relief. These elements are:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
(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
The disputed domain name <arkemagruop.com> is, indeed, confusingly similar to the ARKEMA trademark, as the latter is entirely incorporated in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has presented consistent evidence of ownership of the trademark ARKEMA in jurisdictions throughout the world, by presenting several registrations for it, as well as comprehensive evidence of the use of the trademark.
The use of the trademark with the addition of the mistyped word “gruop” in the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity with the trademark.
Given the above, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark of the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Given the clear evidence that the trademark ARKEMA is registered in the Complainant’s name and is widely known as identifying the Complainant’s activities, and that the Complainant has not licensed this to the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In the absence of a Response, the Respondent has not rebutted such prima facie case.
The use of the disputed domain name is intentionally misleading for consumers – the attempt to contact a vendor and a customer from the Complainant, trying to benefit from the disputed domain name to obtain an undue benefit is a clear evidence of that. Such use to attempt an impersonation of the Complainant can never confer rights or legitimate interests on the Respondent.
The Panel, thus, finds for the Complainant under the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the circumstances of this case, the facts outlined in sections A and B above can evidence the Respondent’s bad faith in the registration and use of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered to clearly mislead the consumers – hence the mistyped word “gruop” in addition to the trademark ARKEMA reproduced in its entirety. The Respondent intended to give an overall impression that the disputed domain name is associated with the Complainant, and the Panel accepts that the disputed domain name seems to be making use of the Complainant’s renowned trademark for unlawful purposes – concrete evidence of an attempt was presented. The fact that the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website does not prevent a finding of bad faith from the Respondent.
The Panel, thus, finds for the Complainant under the third element of the Policy.
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 <arkemagruop.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira
Date: May 4, 2020