WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour SA v. Valdenir, Valdenir Siilva de Aragao
Case No. D2020-1045
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour SA, France, represented by IP Twins S.A.S., France.
The Respondent is Valdenir, Valdenir Siilva de Aragao, Brazil.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <appcarrefour.online> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Hostinger, UAB (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 28, 2020. On April 29, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 30, 2020, 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 May 14, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 3, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 16, 2020.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on June 29, 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 was established in 1959, and it provides goods and services related to supermarkets, retail stores, food and non-food products. With a turnaround of EUR 76 billion in 2018, the Complainant is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and the Sao Paolo Stock Exchange. The Complainant operates more than 12,000 stores in more than 30 countries worldwide, having more than 384,000 employees and 1.3 million daily visitors. The Complainant is established in Brazil where the Respondent is located. The Complainant also offers travel, banking, insurance, and ticketing services.
The Complainant owns trademark registrations in the term CARREFOUR in many jurisdictions worldwide, among them International registration Nos. 351147 (registered on October 2, 1968) and 353849 (registered on February 28, 1969), and European Union trade mark registration No. 008779498 (registered on July 13, 2010).
The Complainant has numerous domain name registrations consisting of the CARREFOUR trademark. The Complainant has a strong online presence via social media platforms. The services of the Complainant are available on mobile app stores for smartphones in various countries. The fame of the Complainant’s trademark is evidenced by numerous UDRP cases against cybersquatters who have sought to exploit the Complainant’s recognition and goodwill in its CARREFOUR trademark.
According to the Registrar, the Respondent registered the Domain Name on March 6, 2020. At the time of filing the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a page without any substantively developed content, and at the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name resolved to an error page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registrations. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant, nor is the Respondent in any way authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. There is no evidence of the Respondent being known by the Domain Name, nor is there evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or 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.
The Complainant argues that it would be impossible for the Respondent to lack knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark at the time of registration on March 6, 2020, as the Complainant’s trademark rights and goodwill predate the registration date of the Domain Name. Due to the Complainant’s goodwill and reputation and the nature of the Domain Name, the Complainant cannot conceive any plausible circumstance in which Respondent could legitimately use the Domain Name. Use would inevitably result in misleading diversion and taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s rights. The fact that the Domain Name resolves to an inactive page does not change this, as inactivity does not mean that the Domain Name is being used in good faith. A passive holding does not preclude a finding of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark CARREFOUR.
The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark, save “app” in front of the trademark. “App” is a known abbreviation for “application”. This addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s trademark. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.online”; see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made unrebutted assertions that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of its mark. Based on the evidence, the Respondent is not related to the Complainant in any way. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Domain Name. There is no evidence of the Respondent’s 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.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the case file, the Panel finds it likely that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Complainant has provided ample evidence of trademark rights and goodwill that predate the registration of the Domain Name.
The Respondent’s lack of use of the Domain Name in this case does not prevent a finding of bad faith use, as passive holding under certain circumstances does not preclude a finding of bad faith (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3).
The lack of response to the Complaint, further points to bad faith.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 Domain Name <appcarrefour.online> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 13, 2020