WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Sodexo v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD
Case No. D2021-0917
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sodexo, France, represented by Areopage, France.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sadexousa.com> is registered with Media Elite Holdings Limited dba Register Matrix (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 26, 2021. On March 26, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 27, 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 30, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 19, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 21, 2021.
The Center appointed Haig Oghigian as the sole panelist in this matter on May 3, 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.
This dispute is properly within the scope of the Policy and the Panel has jurisdiction to decide it. It is further determined that the language of the dispute should be English since the language of the Registration Agreement is English.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant was founded in 1966 and is one of the world’s largest companies specializing in food services and facilities management, with 470,000 employees serving 100 million consumers in 67 countries. From 1966 to 2008, the Complainant used Sodexho as its tradename and mark. In 2008 it simplified the spelling to Sodexo. The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations worldwide, including the Panama word trademark registration SODEXO, No. 16191, registered on December 12, 2007 where the Respondent appears to be located.
The Complainant also own numerous domain names containing the trademark SODEXO, among others, <sodexo.com>, <sodexoprestige.co.uk>, <sodexo.fr>, <sodexoca.com>, and <sodexousa.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 8, 2021, and resolves to a pay-per-click website with links to food-related services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant has become aware that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name <sadexousa.com> and is using it as a parking page connecting to the Complainant’s competitors’ websites for restaurant employees and employee benefits.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence to show that it has rights in the SODEXO trademark. The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s SODEXO trademark almost in its entirety (the first letter “o” has been replaced with the letter “a”) together with the geographic term “usa”. 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. The Panel finds that the SODEXO trademark is recognizable in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s SODEXO trademark. See sections 1.7 and 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
The Panel finds that the Complainant has therefore satisfied the first element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that Respondent has no rights nor legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent does not have any affiliation, association, sponsorship, or connection with the Complainant and has not been authorized, licensed or otherwise permitted by the Complainant or by any subsidiary or affiliated company to register the disputed domain name for use. Based on the available record, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established an unrebutted prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has therefore satisfied the second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Due to the well-known character and reputation of the Complainant’s trademark SODEXO, the Respondent most likely knew of its existence when it registered the disputed domain name and that it had no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. It is well established that if a respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s trademark it is an indicator of bad faith. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name by exploiting confusion with the well-known trademark SODEXO to attract Internet users and incite them to other competing commercial links. The unauthorized use and registration of the disputed domain name is intended to attract and redirect Internet users to the parking site at the disputed domain name as well as other unrelated websites which are solely for the purpose of achieving commercial gain and therefore constitute bad faith registration and use.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has therefore satisfied the third element under paragraph 4(a) 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, <sadexousa.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 17, 2021