WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Boursorama S.A. v. jean pierre tripper
Case No. D2021-0936
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Boursorama S.A., France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is jean pierre tripper, France.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <espace-boursorama.com>, <espace-boursorama.online>, <mon-boursorama.com>, and <mon-boursorama.online> are registered with Hosting Concepts B.V. d/b/a Registrar.eu. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 29, 2021. On March 29, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On March 30, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names, which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 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 March 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 April 1, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 21, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 22, 2021.
The Center appointed Benjamin Fontaine as the sole panelist in this matter on April 27, 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 a French corporation rendering online banking, online brokerage, and financial information services on the Internet. It indicates that it has over 2.3 million customers and that its websites receive over 50 million visits per month.
The Complainant offers its services under two main domain names. The first one, <boursorama.com>, hosts an information portal in the financial sector. The second one, <boursorama-banque.com>, hosts the webpage that provides the banking services.
The Complainant is the owner in particular of the European Union trade mark registration No. 1758614 over the word mark BOURSORAMA, filed on July 13, 2000, and registered on October 19, 2001.
The disputed domain names were registered on December 13, 2019. In the course of this proceeding the Registrar disclosed the identity of the Respondent, who appears to be an individual domiciled in France and with a phone number corresponding to the French territory. The physical address provided for when registering the disputed domain names does not exist, though.
The disputed domain name <espace-boursorama.com> redirects users to the parking page of the Registrar. The disputed domain names <espace-boursorama.online> and <mon-boursorama.online> are not active. Finally, the disputed domain name <mon-boursorama.com> redirects users to the webpage of a public library situated in Quebec, Canada.
5. Parties’ Contentions
On the first element of the Policy, the Complainant claims that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its “well-known and distinctive” trade mark BOURSORAMA. It adds that the addition of the French words “mon” and “espace” are not sufficient to avoid such confusion.
On the second element of the Policy, the Complainant indicates that the Respondent is not known under the disputed domain names as is clear from its identity, and has no business relationship whatsoever with the Complainant; the Respondent is not affiliated with, or authorized by, or a licensee of, the Complainant. The Complainant also argues that the absence of use of some of the disputed domain names, or the redirection of users towards a webpage of a third party which is totally unrelated, does not amount to fair use.
On the third element of the Policy, the Complainant contends on the one side, that “given the distinctiveness of the Complainant's trade mark and reputation, the Complainant contends that it is inconceivable that the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain names without actual knowledge of the Complainant's rights in the trademark”. On the other side, it claims that “the Respondent has not demonstrated any activity in respect of the disputed domain name, and it is not possible to conceive of any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the domain names by the Respondent that would not be illegitimate, such as by being a passing off, an infringement of consumer protection legislation, or an infringement of the Complainant’s rights under trademark law”.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth the following three requirements, which have to be met for this Panel to order the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant:
i. the disputed 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 disputed domain name; and
iii. the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant must prove in this administrative proceeding that each of the aforesaid three elements is present so as to have the disputed domain name transferred to it, according to paragraph 4(i) of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established rights over the trade mark BOURSORAMA.
This trade mark is reproduced identically and clearly perceivable in the four disputed domain names, <espace-boursorama.com>, <espace-boursorama.online>, <mon-boursorama.com>, and <mon-boursorama.online>.
The addition of the elements “espace” or “mon” does not influence this finding, all the more so as they are separated with a hyphen. Indeed, as stated in WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7, “in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trade mark, 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”.
For the reasons above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the trade mark of the Complainant.
The Complainant has therefore satisfied the first requirement of the Policy, under article 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Under the Policy, a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such a prima facie case is made, the respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
In that sense, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case against the Respondent, which has not been commonly known by the disputed domain names and is not affiliated with the Complainant nor has it been licensed or otherwise permitted to use any of the Complainant’s trade marks or to register several domain names incorporating its trade mark BOURSORAMA.
Accordingly, and absent specific allegations by the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In order to prevail under the third element of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, a complainant must demonstrate that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists a number of circumstances which, without limitation, are deemed to be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. These are:
(i) circumstances indicating that [a respondent has] registered or acquired a disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name to the complainant or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of [the respondent’s] documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or
(ii) [the respondent has] registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent the complainant from reflecting the complainant’s trade mark or service mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that [the respondent has] engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the disputed domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the 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 [the respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the respondent’s] website or location.
Indisputably, the disputed domain names <espace-boursorama.com>, <espace-boursorama.online>, <mon-boursorama.com>, and <mon-boursorama.online> were specifically designed to target the Complainant. Indeed, they combine the trade mark BOURSORAMA, which is both inherently distinctive and well-known in France, with words that are generic or simply evoke the Complainant’s activities. The word “espace” means “area” in English. As a whole, the combination “espace boursorama” is very likely to be perceived by the French public as a reference to the online tool through which a client can access his/her area, with all its personal and financial details. The word “mon” means “my” in English, and again the combination “mon boursorama” is very likely to be perceived as a service providing access to one’s personal and financial data.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names were registered in bad faith.
Regarding the use of the disputed domain names, the Complainant relies indirectly on the doctrine of bad faith passive holding. While its arguments are somewhat scarce, in the opinion of this Panel the conditions for a finding of bad faith passive holding are satisfied in this case. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3.
The Respondent, who is domiciled in France, could hardly ignore the existence and reputation of the trade mark BOURSORAMA of the Complainant in the field of banking services. This presumption of knowledge is confirmed by the configuration of the disputed domain names, as explained above. Hence, the Panel cannot foresee any possible legitimate use of the disputed domain names: the connection is too obvious. The disputed domain names <espace-boursorama.com>, <espace-boursorama.online>, <mon-boursorama.com>, and <mon-boursorama.online> will be perceived by Internet users as hosting webpages allowing connections to the private areas facilitated by the Complainant.
This finding of bad faith passive holding is also confirmed by the behavior of the Respondent, who provided a false address and chose to not participate in this proceeding.
Accordingly, the third criteria element set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is also satisfied.
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 names, <espace-boursorama.com>, <espace-boursorama.online>, <mon-boursorama.com>, and <mon-boursorama.online> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 7, 2021