WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Rubis Patrimoine v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2021-0246
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Rubis Patrimoine, France, represented by Cabinet Beau de Lomenie, France.
The Respondent is Name Redacted.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <rubis-patrimoine.biz> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 27, 2021. On January 28, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On January 28, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the 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 30, 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 January 30, 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 February 25, 2021.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on March 2, 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.
The invitation to the Complainant to file an amendment to the Complaint stemmed from the fact that the registrant details of the Domain Name were redacted and not available in the public WhoIs at the time of the submission of the Complaint. In response to the Center’s registrar verification request, the Registrar disclosed the name and address of the entity in whose name the Domain Name is currently registered. The amended Complaint names the underlying registrant as the Respondent. However, the name used by the registrant of the Domain Name is the name of someone associated with the Complainant who could not sensibly have been the registrant.
In light of what appears to the Panel to be a clear case of identity theft, the Panel has redacted the Respondent’s name from this decision, believing it to be inappropriate for a person unconnected with registration or use of the Domain Name to be named a respondent in the case. However, the Panel has attached as Annex 1 to this decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain name, which includes the name of the Respondent. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, and has indicated Annex 1 to this decision shall not be published due to the exceptional circumstances of this case. See Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a French company registered on August 13, 1980, its principal activity being the acquisition, administration, and exploitation of properties.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of a French trade mark registration covering its name, namely: Registration No. 4406404 for RUBIS PATRIMOINE (device) registered on November 21, 2017 for a variety of commercial property services in classes 35 and 36. The device comprises a red shape and the words “rubis patrimoine”.
The Domain Name was registered on November 30, 2020 in the name of someone associated with the Complainant, who, as indicated in section 3 above could not sensibly have been the registrant of the Domain Name. The Domain Name is connected to a French language website appearing to advertise advice (including tax advice) in relation to investments into matters such as airport car parks and the rental of shipping containers. At the foot of each page is a copyright notice reading “© 2020 Rubis-Patrimoine. All Rights Reserved.” A section of the website headed “MENTIONS LÉGALES” names the “Editeur du Site” as the Complainant and giving as the editor’s postal address, the postal address of the Complainant in France, but an email address featuring the Domain Name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is substantially identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trade mark described in section 4 above; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent is using the Domain Name contrary to the terms of the “.biz” Restrictions Policy, which provide that registrations in the “.biz” generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) must only be used or intended for use for a bona fide business or commercial purpose. The Complainant contends that there is nothing bona fide about the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The trade mark upon which the Complainant bases its case is a device mark featuring a red shape and, prominently, the term “rubis patrimoine”.
The Domain Name comprises the textual element of the Complainant’s RUBIS PATRIMOINE registered trade mark, with the addition of a hyphen between “rubis” and “patrimoine”, and the gTLD “.biz”.
Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) explains the test for identity or confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy and includes the following passage:
“While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing.”
The term “rubis patrimoine” is a dominant feature of the Complainant’s registered trade mark. The Panel finds that the Complainant’s registered trade mark is readily recognizable in the Domain Name and, consequently, that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that it has no connection with the Respondent, that it has granted the Respondent no authorization to use its name and trade mark, and has conducted searches at the French trade mark registry and found no sign of any registration in the name of the Respondent.
Given that the Domain Name was registered under a false name and that on its website the Respondent has adopted not only the Complainant’s name, but also its postal address in France, the Panel has no difficulty in accepting that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Panel finds on the balance of probabilities and in the absence of any challenge to the Complainant’s evidence that the Respondent’s purpose in registering and using the Domain Name as it has, has been to impersonate the Complainant for its own commercial benefit. Such a use cannot give rise to any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in the hands of the Respondent. As such, the Complainant has put forward a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, which has not been rebutted by the Respondent.
Furthermore, the nature of the Domain Name effectively impersonates or suggests sponsorship or endorsement by the Complainant, and cannot constitute fair use in these circumstances. See section 2.5.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
On the same basis, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered the Domain Name for the purpose for which it is using it, namely to impersonate the Complainant for its own commercial benefit.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(b)(iv) and 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. In light of this finding, the Panel finds it unnecessary to address the Complainant’s contention that the Respondent is in breach of the rules relating to domain name registrations in the “.biz” domain.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name, <rubis-patrimoine.biz>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: March 5, 2021