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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Boursorama S.A. v. Iliassou Assou Assou

Case No. D2020-3440

1. The Parties

Complainant is Boursorama S.A., France (hereinafter referred to as “Complainant”), represented by Nameshield, France.

Respondent is Iliassou Assou Assou, Togo (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent”).

2. The Domain Nameand Registrar

The disputed domain name <boursobnk.com> is registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Openprovider (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 16, 2020. On December 17, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 18, 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 December 18, 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 December 18, 2020.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaint (hereinafter, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 21, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 10, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default January 11, 2021.

The Center received informal communications from Respondent on January 12, 2021 to which the Center acknowledged receipt on January 12, 2021.

The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on January 20, 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 has three core businesses: online brokerage, the provision of financial information over the Internet, and online banking. In France, Complainant is one of the leading online banking operations, with over 2.37 million customers. Its online presence developed at <boursorama.com> is the first national financial and economic information site and French online banking platform. Complaint, Annex 3. Complainant is the registrant of the French Trademark “BOURSO”, No. 3009973 registered on February 22, 2000 and of the European Trademark “BOURSORAMA”, No. 001758614, registered on October 19, 2001. Complaint, Annex 4.

Complainant is also the owner of a number of domain names featuring its BOURSORAMA and BOURSO trademarks, including <boursorama.com>, registered on March 1, 1998, and <bourso.com>, registered on January 11, 2000. Complaint, Annex 5.

Respondent registered the disputed domain name <boursobnk.com> on December 8, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a website written in French and offering banking services similar to those offered by Complainant. Complaint, Annex 6.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered trademarks. Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Complainant contends that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent sent informal communications on January 12, 2021, after the deadline for responding to the Complaint had passed and after the Center had notified Respondent’s default. In the informal communications, Respondent did not request that its default be waived, nor did Respondent reply to the allegations made by Complainant.

6. Discussion and Findings

“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and,

(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,

(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s trademark BOURSO together with a shortened version of the English word “bnk.” Banking is Complainant’s primary business. The addition of the term “bnk” does not avoid a finding of confusing similarity under this Policy element, which, as recognized by previous UDRP panels, involves a “comparison of the domain name and the textual components of the relevant trademark to assess whether the mark is recognizable within the disputed domain name.” WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1.

In the present case, Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Respondent is using the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that promotes services directly competitive with the services offered by Complainant. Complaint, Annex 6. Respondent is using Complainant’s registered trademark and a shortened version of the English word “bank” to lure Complainant’s customers and prospective customers to Respondent’s website where competing services are offered. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

7. Decision

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 <boursobnk.com> be transferred to Complainant.

M. Scott Donahey
Sole Panelist
Date: January 22, 2021