WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Sodexo v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Administrator, Netlas LLC

Case No. D2021-0232

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Sodexo, France, represented by Areopage, France.

The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America (“United States”) / Administrator, Netlas LLC, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <conveniencesolutionsbysodexo.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 27, 2021. On January 27, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 28, 2021, 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 January 29, 2021 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 February 2, 2021.

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 February 4, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 24, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 1, 2021.

The Center appointed Nayiri Boghossian as the sole panelist in this matter on March 24, 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

The Complainant was founded in 1966 and operates in the field of foodservices and facilities management. Between 1966 and 2008, the Complainant operated under the trademark SODEXHO, which has since then been changed to SODEXO. The Complainant uses the domain name <sodexo.com> to provide its services.

The Complainant owns a number of trademark registrations for the trademark SODEXO such as International Registration no. 964615 registered on January 8, 2008, International Registration no. 1240316 registered on October 23, 2014 and European Union Registration no. 008346462 registered on February 1, 2010.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 27, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a parking webpage that contains pay-per-click (“PPC”) links.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark SODEXO / SODEXHO. The trademark SODEXO has been considered well known by previous UDRP panels. The disputed domain name is composed of the trademark SODEXO together with the words “convenience”, “solutions” and “by”, which are terms understood by consumers and are not enough to eliminate confusing similarity as these are generic terms. The dominant part of the disputed domain name is the Complainant’s trademark and which remains clear. In fact, the Complainant uses the expression “Convenience Solutions by Sodexo” with respect to its food vending machines.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant to use its trademark. The Respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark SODEXO as it is a well-known trademark. The trademark SODEXO is fanciful and must have been used to create association with the Complainant and its services especially that the Complainant uses the expression “Convenience Solutions by Sodexo” with respect to its food vending machines. As per prior UDRP panels, knowledge of the trademark is an inference of bad faith. The Respondent is attempting to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain and by creating confusion with the Complainant and its trademark. The disputed domain name resolves to a website that contains PPC links, which is considered by prior UDRP panels as evidence of bad faith. Such conduct may dilute the Complainant’s trademark, harm the goodwill associated with it and interfere with the Complainant’s business. Lastly, the Respondent has used a privacy service, which is another indication of bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns trademark registrations for the trademark SODEXO. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark SODEXO.

The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trademark SODEXO in its entirety. The words “convenience solutions by” which precede the trademark do not alter the impression that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. Additionally, they are used by the Complainant in connection with its food vending machines. As a result, the nature of such additional words supports the Panel’s findings under the third element that they reinforce an impression of the disputed domain name being connected with the Complainant and its trademark. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” should generally be ignored when assessing confusing similarity as established by prior UDRP decisions.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, particularly by asserting that it never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark as part of the disputed domain name.

The burden of production moves then to the Respondent, and the Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the types specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances, giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirement under the Policy of showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant’s trademark is a well-known trademark as established by prior UDRP decisions. It had been registered for more than a decade by the time the disputed domain name was registered. Also, the trademark SODEXO is fanciful as it does not have a dictionary meaning. Additionally, the use of the expression “Convenience Solutions by Sodexo” only confirms the Respondent’s knowledge of the Complainant and its products and services as the said expression is used by the Complainant in connection with its food vending machines. Therefore, the Respondent must have been fully aware of the Complainant and its trademark when it registered the disputed domain name.

The disputed domain name resolves to a parking webpage that contains links to websites some of which may be websites of the Complainant’s competitors. Resolving to a webpage that offers PPC links aiming at attracting Internet users for commercial gain is bad faith use. Lastly, the Respondent used a privacy service, which is a further indication of bad faith.

Such conduct falls squarely within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, and accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 <conveniencesolutionsbysodexo.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Nayiri Boghossian
Sole Panelist
Date: April 1, 2021