WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ICADE v. Cade cade, Tech
Case No. D2020-2535
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ICADE, France, represented by De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés, France.
The Respondent is Cade cade, Tech, United Arab Emirates.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <icade.tech> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 30, 2020. On September 30, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 1, 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 October 7, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 27, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 29, 2020.
The Center appointed Wilson Pinheiro Jabur as the sole panelist in this matter on December 14, 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 stock-listed real estate company that was founded in France in 1954, having adopted the ICADE name and trademark in 2003.
It is the owner, amongst others, of the French trademark registration No. 3185579 for the word mark ICADE, filed on September 26, 2002 and registered on February 28, 2003 in International classes 35, 36, 37, and 42 (Annex 3 to the Complaint).
The disputed domain name <icade.tech> was registered on September 14, 2020 and presently directs Internet users to a parked page displaying pay-per-click (“PPC”) advertisements.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts to be a well-known French real estate company, included in the CAC 40 (the 40 largest French companies in market capitalization of Euronext Paris), counting over 1,800 employees and active throughout France.
Under the Complainant’s view, the disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s well-known trademark in its entirety, thus creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.
Moreover, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name given that:
(i) the Complainant has never authorized a company outside its group to use the ICADE trademark, nor to register and use the disputed domain name;
(ii) a worldwide search conducted by the Complainant disclosed no applications or registrations for the ICADE trademark under the Respondent’s name (Annex 13 to the Complaint); and
(iii) the Respondent is not making a legitimate or fair use of the disputed domain name.
As to the registration of the disputed domain name in bad faith, the Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is possibly part of a series of scams that follow the same pattern: suppliers of industrial goods (solar panels, industrial paper, computers, work boots, etc.) are contacted via email (based on domain names that reproduce the Complainant’s trademark) allegedly on behalf of the Complainant to place orders worth several hundred thousand of euros for various products related to construction and new buildings, only to later find out that they did not originate from the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth the following three requirements, which have to be met for this Panel to order the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant:
(i) the disputed 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 disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant must prove in this administrative proceeding that each of the aforementioned three elements is present in order to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name.
In accordance with paragraph 14(a) of the Rules, if the Respondent does not submit a Response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the Complaint.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established its rights in the registered ICADE trademark.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s mark ICADE in its entirety and is therefore confusingly similar to it. It is well accepted that the first element functions primarily as a standing requirement and that the threshold test for confusing similarity involves a “reasoned but relatively straightforward comparison between the complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name”. (WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7).
The first element of the Policy has therefore been established.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a non-exclusive list of circumstances that indicate a respondent’s rights to or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name. These circumstances are:
(i) before any notice of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, in spite of not having acquired trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Respondent, in not responding to the Complaint, has failed to invoke any of the circumstances, which could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. This entitles the Panel to draw any such inferences from such default as it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. Nevertheless, the burden of proof is still on the Complainant to make a prima facie case against the Respondent.
In that sense, and as the evidence submitted indicates, the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, given that the Respondent is not making a legitimate active use of the disputed domain name but rather profiting from competing PPC links available at the disputed domain name.
Also, the lack of evidence as to whether the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name and the absence of any trademarks registered by the Respondent corresponding to the disputed domain name, supports an inference of the absence of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Furthermore, the composition of the disputed domain name, being identical to the Complainant’s trademark, carries a high risk of implied affiliation and cannot be considered fair in these circumstances. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5.1.
Under these circumstances and absent evidence to the contrary, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name.
The second element of the Policy has therefore been established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Policy indicates in paragraph 4(b) that bad faith registration and use can be found in view of:
(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring it to the Complainant who is the owner of a trademark relating to the disputed domain name or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or
(ii) the Respondent has registered the disputed 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 the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website or other location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location.
The registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith can be found in the present case in view of the following circumstances:
(i) the Respondent has provided no evidence whatsoever of any actual or contemplated good faith use of the disputed domain name;
(ii) the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in connection with competing PPC links;
(iii) the provision of what appears to be a false address in the WhoIs data of the disputed domain name; and,
(iv) the well-known status of the Complainant’s trademark, combined with the nature of the disputed domain name (reproducing the Complainant’s trademark) and the Respondent’s intention of unduly profiting from the value in the Complainant’s trademark, which suggests rather a clear indication of the Respondent’s registration and holding of the disputed domain name in bad faith, with implausibility of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put.
For the reasons as those stated above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The third element of the Policy has therefore been established.
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, <icade.tech>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Wilson Pinheiro Jabur
Date: December 15, 2020