WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
BOLLORE SE v. Ruth Hermine
Case No. D2020-2699
1. The Parties
Complainant is BOLLORE SE, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
Respondent is Ruth Hermine, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bollores-energy.com> is registered with Register SPA (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 15, 2020. On October 15, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 16, 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 Complainant on October 21, 2020 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 21, 2020.
On October 21, 200, the Center sent an email regarding the language of the proceeding to the parties. Complainant replied on the same day confirming that they requested English to be the language of the proceeding. Respondent did not submit any comments.
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 Respondent of the Complaint in both French and English, and the proceedings commenced on November 6, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 26, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 7, 2020.
The Center appointed Andrea Mondini as the sole panelist in this matter on January 6, 2021. 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
Complainant is a French company founded 1822 and is today one of the 500 largest companies in the world. According to Complainant, it has 84,000 employees worldwide and is active in the fields of transportation and logistics, communication and media as well as electricity storage and solutions.
Its subsidiary Bollore Energy is active in oil distribution and oil logistics in France, Switzerland and Germany.
Complainant owns, inter alia, the International Trademark Registration No. 1303490, BOLLORE ENERGY (logo), registered on January 22, 2016, covering goods and services in numerous classes and designating the European Union and Switzerland.
Complainant also holds the domain name <bollore-energy.com>, registered on September 15, 2015.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 13, 2020.
The disputed domain name resolves to a parking website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends as follows:
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the BOLLORE ENERGY trademark in which Complainant has rights, because it incorporates this trademark in its entirety, and the addition of the letter “s” and a hyphen is not sufficient to avoid confusing similarity.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The mark BOLLORE ENERGY is associated with Complainant, since it has been used to identify the goods and services rendered by Complainant for years. There is no business or legal relationship between Complainant and Respondent. Respondent has not been authorized by Complainant to use this trademark.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because t is obvious that Respondent had knowledge of both Complainant and its trademark at the time it registered the disputed domain name and because the misspelling was designed to be confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and the fact that it has been set up with MX records creates the risk that it may be used to send fraudulent emails.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1. Language of the Proceeding
In the present case, the Registrar confirmed that French is the language of the registration agreement. Pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the default language of the proceeding is the language of the registration agreement, subject to the authority of the panel to determine otherwise.
Paragraph 10 of the Rules vests a panel with authority to conduct the proceedings in a manner it considers appropriate while also ensuring both that the parties are treated with equality, and that each party is given a fair opportunity to present its case.
Complainant filed the Complaint in English and, on October 21, 2020, it submitted its request for English to be the language of the proceeding. Respondent did not submit any request regarding the language of the proceeding.
Considering (i) that Respondent is located in the United Kingdom and (ii) that Respondent did not submit a response or any request regarding the language of the proceeding, the Panel determines that the language of the proceeding is English.
6.2 Substantive Issues
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, a complainant must establish each of the following elements:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the 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 Panel is satisfied that Complainant owns a trademark registration for its BOLLORE ENERGY trademark.
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name incorporates in its entirety the BOLLORE ENERGY trademark, to which the letter “s” and a hyphen have been added. Such additions do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i). See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark BOLLORE ENERGY.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant states it has no relationship of any kind with Respondent and has not authorized Respondent to use the trademark BOLLORE ENERGY. The Panel does not see any contrary evidence on the case file.
In the view of the Panel, Complainant has succeeded in raising a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. For its part, Respondent failed to provide any explanations as to any rights or legitimate interests. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant has shown to the satisfaction of the Panel that it is a major player inter alia in the oil logistics field, and that its BOLLORE ENERGY trademark is well known internationally. See section 4 above.
In the view of the Panel, it is inconceivable that the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain name without knowledge of Complainant’s trademark. Rather, this is a clear example of typosquatting. See section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0. In the circumstances of this case, this is evidence of registration in bad faith.
The disputed domain name resolves to a parking website. However, Respondent’s passive holding of the disputed domain name qualifies as use in bad faith in this case (Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003). Moreover, the disputed domain name has been set up with MX records which suggests that it may be actively used for email purposes. Furthermore, it is inconceivable that Respondent could make any good faith use of the disputed domain name as part of a legitimate e-mail address. Rather, the likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark and with Complainant’s <bollore-energy.com> domain name suggests that the disputed domain name has been set up with MX records to send fraudulent emails.
The Panel thus finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
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 <bollores-energy.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 13, 2021