WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Veolia Environnement SA v. Keren Mccoole, glenmark pharrna
Case No. D2021-0845
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Veolia Environnement SA, France, represented internally.
The Respondent is Keren Mccoole, glenmark pharrna, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ve0lia-fr.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 22, 2021. On March 22, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 22, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 25, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 14, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 15, 2021.
The Center appointed Lilleengen, Mathias as the sole panelist in this matter on April 21, 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 is the holding company of Veolia group, 160 years old group, which represents today a total of EUR 27,189 billion in revenue. The Complainant operates in water supply, waste and energy. It provides solutions related to water, waste recovery and energy to promote resource management and the transition toward a circular economy. The Veolia group and its more than 178,000 employees are located around the world.
The Complainant is the holder of various trademark rights VEOLIA in different jurisdictions, such as the International Trademark registration No. 814678 for VEOLIA, registered on September 11, 2003 and the International Trademark registration No. 919580 for VEOLIA, registered on March 10, 2006.
The Complainant operates many domain names consisting of or including the Complainant’s trademark, for example <veolia.com>.
According to the Registrar, the Domain Name was registered on February 16, 2021. At the time of the Complaint and at the time of drafting the decision, the Domain Name did not resolve to an active webpage.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of its trademark registrations, and argues that the Complainant’s trademark is well known and the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark, the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, and the Respondent has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The Complainant believes the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s activity and prior trademark rights when the Respondent registered the Domain Name, as it is implausible that the Respondent did not. The Complainant further argues that even if the Domain Name does not resolve to an active webpage, it is bad faith use pursuant to the passive holding doctrine. The reputation of the trademark VEOLIA is high. The Respondent has failed to provide actual or contemplated good-faith use. There is concealment of the registrant identity on the WhoIs of the Domain Name and the Domain Name has been used in phishing attempts.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark VEOLIA. The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. The Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark, with the letter “o” replaced by the number “0”, and the addition “-fr” (which the Panel notes refers to the geographic location of the Complainant’s company in France). This does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s trademark.
For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic
Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”; see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made unrebutted assertions that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of the Complainant’s mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name as it has not made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent most likely was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
Based on the case file, in particular the fact that the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, the Panel finds it likely that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name to attract Internet users for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. Even if the Domain Name does not resolve to an active webpage, bad faith use is found under the doctrine of passive holding. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3. The trademark VEOLIA is well known. The Respondent has not provided any good-faith use, and the Respondent has concealed his identity. In addition to this, the Complainant provided evidence on file that the Domain Name has been used for a phishing scam by email, which is further indication of bad faith.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning 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 Domain Name <ve0lia-fr.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 24, 2021