WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
BNP PARIBAS v. Eunah Eun Eunah Eun
Case No. D2021-0332
1. The Parties
Complainant is BNP PARIBAS, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
Respondent is Eunah Eun Eunah Eun, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bnpapribas.com> is registered with Amazon Registrar, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 3, 2021. On February 3, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 3, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 11, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 3, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 10, 2021.
The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on March 15, 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 an international banking group, based in France. Complainant has operated under the mark BNP PARIBAS since at least the 2000 merger of its predecessor entities. Complainant owns several registrations for the BNP PARIBAS mark. These include, among others, International Registration No. 728598 (registered on February 23, 2000); International Registration No. 745220 (registered on September 18, 2000); and International Registration No. 876031 (registered on November 24, 2005).
Complainant owns the registrations for several domain names that incorporate its BNP PARIBAS mark. These include <bnpparibas.com> (registered September 2, 1999), <bnpparibas.net> (registered December 29, 1999), and <bnpparibas.pro> (registered July 23, 2008). Complainant uses the URL associated with these domain names to connect with prospective consumers regarding its banking and financial products and services.
The disputed domain name <bnpapribas.com> was registered on August 22, 2020.
Respondent has used the URL associated with the disputed domain name to display Pay-Per-Click (“PPC”) links related to competing banking and financial services. According to the Complaint, although at the time of filing the Complaint the disputed domain name was redirected to Complainant’s own website, Complainant avers that it has no control over how Respondent uses the disputed domain name or the associated URL.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that (i) the disputed domain name <bnpapribas.com> is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
In particular, Complainant contends that it has a “well-known” mark in the field of international banking and financial services. Complainant further contends that it has used the BNP PARIBAS mark since at least 2000, long before the date that Respondent registered the disputed domain name. In this regard, Complainant contends that it has a global presence in 71 countries, with over 200,000 employees, serving over 30 million consumers.
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is merely an obvious misspelling of the BNP PARIBAS mark. Complainant contends that Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant, and Complainant has not authorized any activities by Respondent, nor any use of its trademarks. Complainant contends that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, and rather has registered and is using it in bad faith, having simply acquired the disputed domain names for Respondent’s own commercial gain, in an attempt to confuse consumers.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel must first determine whether the disputed domain name <bnpapribas.com> is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that it is. The disputed domain name contains an obvious misspelling of Complainant’s
well-known BNP PARIBAS mark. This indicates a practice commonly known as “typosquatting,” where a domain name registrant deliberately registers common misspellings of a well-known mark in order to divert consumer traffic. Other UDRP panels have routinely found typosquatted domain names like this to be “confusingly similar” for purposes of a finding under the UDRP. See Edmonds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, dba This domain name is 4 sale, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694 (<edmnds.com> and <edunds.com>); Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol, WIPO Case No. D2001-0489 (<disneychanel.com> et al.); See also Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Admin, WhoIs Privacy Corp., WIPO Case No. D2017-0194 (<credidkarma.com>).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name confusingly similar to the trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph (4)(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel next considers whether Complainant has shown that Respondent has no “rights or legitimate interest” as must be proven to succeed in a UDRP dispute. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue”.
The Panel finds from the Complaint that Complainant has established a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The burden of production goes to Respondent, but no evidence has been presented to the Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and Respondent has no license from, or other affiliation with, Complainant.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainants has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of “rights or legitimate interests” in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the] website or location”. As noted in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the URL associated with the disputed domain name to redirect users to other websites through PPC links related to competing banking and financial services, presumably for Respondent’s own commercial gain or even for that of a third party.
Although at the time of filing the Complaint, the website was claimed to be redirected to Complainant’s own website, Complainant avers that it has no control over how Respondent uses the disputed domain name or the associated URL.
The disputed domain name incorporates an obvious misspelling of Complainant’s well-known BNP PARIBAS mark, and the Panel finds sufficient evidence that Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain name with knowledge of Complainant’s prior rights in the distinctive BNP PARIBAS mark. See, BNP Paribas v. Nicolas Marcellin, WIPO Case No. D2018-2723 (transferring <bnpparlbas.com>).
Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith for purposes of paragraph (4)(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <bnpapribas.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: March 25, 2021