WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Flowbird Sas (Parkeon) v. Name Redacted1
Case No. D2020-1131
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Flowbird Sas (Parkeon), France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Name Redacted, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <flowbiird.group> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 6, 2020. On May 6, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 7, 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 May 11, 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 May 11, 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 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 6, 2020.
The Center appointed Andrew F. Christie as the sole panelist in this matter on June 11, 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, previously called Parkeon, which changed its name following acquisition of the Swedish company Cale. According to its website at “www.flowbird.group”, the Complainant has 1,300 employees, 60 years of experience and a turnover of EUR 350 million. It is a software platform which helps local authorities to measure, monitor and manage mobility within cities.
The Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations for the term FLOWBIRD, including International Trademark Registration No. 1454019 (registered on July 13, 2018) for the word trademark FLOWBIRD. The Complainant owns the domain names <flowbird.group> and <flowbird.fr>, both of which were registered on February 27, 2018.
The disputed domain name was registered on April 6, 2020. Currently, it appears that the disputed domain name does not resolve to a website and is inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights because: (i) the addition of the letter “i” and the new generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) extension “.group” are not sufficient to escape the finding that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, and it does not change the overall impression of the designation as being connected to the trademark FLOWBIRD; and (ii) this is a clear case of “typosquatting” as the disputed domain name contains an obvious misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name because: (i) the Respondent is not identified in the WhoIs database and is not known as the disputed domain name; (ii) the Respondent is neither affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way; (iii) the Complainant neither carries out any activity for, nor has any business with, the Respondent; (iv) neither licence nor authorization has been granted by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the Complainant’s trademark FLOWBIRD, or to apply for registration of the disputed domain name; (v) the disputed domain name is a “typosquatted” version of the trademark FLOWBIRD in an attempt to take advantage of Internet users’ typographical errors; and (vi) the disputed domain name has been inactive since its registration, and the Respondent has no demonstrable plan to use it.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because: (i) the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark FLOWBIRD; (ii) the word “flowbird” has no meaning in any language, and a Google search on the expression displays several results, the majority of them being related to the Complainant; (iii) by choosing the new gTLD “.group” for registering the disputed domain name, the Respondent likely wanted to create confusion or a sense of association with the Complainant and its website at “www.flowbird.group”; (iv) the misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark FLOWBIRD, with the addition of the letter “i”, was intentionally designed to be confusingly similar with the Complainant’s trademark and official domain name <flowbird.group>; and (v) while the disputed domain name is currently inactive, it is not possible to conceive of any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate, such as by being a passing off, an infringement of consumer protection legislation, or an infringement of the Complainant’s rights under trademark law.
The Respondent did not file a formal response to the Complainant’s contentions. On May 19, 2020, the Center received an email in the name of the person disclosed by the Registrar as being the registrant, stating “To whom it may concern: I do not and never have owned a domain. I am currently disputing charges to my bank account for said domain. The phone number and email address listed on the complaint are not mine. The only information on the complaint that is mine is my name and mailing address. Please keep me informed of the status of the investigation. Thank you, Name Redacted.”
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Once the gTLD “.group” is ignored (which is appropriate in this case), the disputed domain name consists of the registered word trademark FLOWBIRD, with the letter “i” repeated. The trademark is clearly recognizable within the disputed domain name. The addition of a second “i” does not avoid the confusing similarity of the disputed domain name with the trademark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not a licensee of, or otherwise affiliated with, the Complainant, and has not been authorized by the Complainant to use its FLOWBIRD trademark. The Respondent has not provided any evidence that it has been commonly known by, or has made a bona fide use of, the disputed domain name, or that it has, for any other reason, rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name currently appears to be inactive. According to the present record, therefore, the disputed domain name is not being used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was registered approximately two years after the Complainant registered its FLOWBIRD trademark. The evidence on the record provided by the Complainant with respect to the use of the FLOWBIRD trademark, combined with the absence of any evidence provided by the Respondent to the contrary, is sufficient to satisfy the Panel that, at the time of registration of the disputed domain name, the Respondent knew of the FLOWBIRD trademark. Given the Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the confusing similarity of the disputed domain name to the Complainant’s trademark, any use of the disputed domain by the Respondent would carry a high risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant, and be a use in bad faith. Furthermore, given the Complainant’s reputation in its trademark and the Respondent’s failure to submit a Response to the Complaint, it is not possible to conceive of any good faith use to which the Respondent could put the disputed domain name. The Respondent is, therefore, holding the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <flowbiird.group> be transferred to the Complainant.
Andrew F. Christie
Date: June 25, 2020
1 A communication to the Center in the name of the person disclosed by the Registrar as being the registrant, the contents of which are set out in Section 5B of this Decision, gives the Panel reason to believe that this case may involve identity theft. For that reason, the panel has resolved: (i) to issue this Decision with the named Respondent redacted from it; (ii) to list the name of the Respondent in the Annex to this Decision; (iii) to direct the Center to not publish the Annex to this Decision or this Decision in a way that makes identifiable the name of the person disclosed by the Registrar as being the registrant; and (iv) to direct the Center to provide to the Registrar, solely for the purpose of implementing this Decision, the Annex to this Decision.