WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Chemours Company v. Withheld for Privacy Purposes, Privacy service provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf / muku lee, chemours comp
Case No. D2021-1283
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The Chemours Company, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Bates & Bates LLM, United States.
The Respondent is Withheld for Privacy Purposes, Privacy service provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf, Iceland / muku lee, chemours comp, Uganda.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <chemourscompany.com> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 26, 2021. On April 27, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 27, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name, which differed from the named Respondent, and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on April 28, 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 amendment to the Complaint on April 28, 2021.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 April 29, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 19, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 20, 2021.
The Center appointed Christos A. Theodoulou as the sole panelist in this matter on May 25, 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, The Chemours Company, is a 2015 spin-off of “E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company”, according to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant. The Complainant is a global chemical company and offers a variety of chemical products all over the world.
The Complainant is the owner of the Complainant’s trademark CHEMOURS and its variations, all over the world. Its CHEMOURS marks are registered inter alia, in Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Israel, the European Union, Kuwait, the Russian Federation, the United States and many other countries. The Complainant owns the European Union Trade Mark No. 012836805 for CHEMOURS, registered on February 16, 2015. Further, the Complainant owns over 25 domain names comprising the term “chemours” including <chemours.com>, which it was created in March 17, 2014.
The disputed domain name <chemourscompany.com> was created on August 13, 2020, and does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks or service marks in which the Complainant has rights, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Before engaging in the threefold discussion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel will briefly address the procedural issue relating to the default of the Respondent. The implications of a default in this case are telling since the Complainant has the burden of proof, according to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy (“In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present”). As such, the Panel cannot merely grant the Complainant’s request automatically due to the default, but it has to examine instead the evidence presented to determine whether or not the Complainant has proved its case, as required by the Policy. See FNAC v. Gauthier Raymond, WIPO Case No. D2004-0881; Sonofon A/S v. Vladimir Aleksic, WIPO Case No. D2007-0668; Gaudi Trade SpA v. Transure Enterprise Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2009-1028.
The Panel shall now proceed to the analysis of the evidence in this case, based on the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has presented evidence that it owns registered trademark rights for CHEMOURS.
The mere fact that the Respondent has added the dictionary word “company” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” to the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and, in the circumstances of this case, is by itself sufficient to establish the criterion of identity or confusing similarity for purposes of the Policy, as many previous UDRP panels have found. See e.g., Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903; Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. v. K. Harjani Electronics Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2002-1021; DFDS A/S v. NOLDC INC, WIPO Case No. D2006-1070; American Automobile Association, Inc. v. Bladimir Boyiko and Andrew Michailov, WIPO Case No. D2006-0252.
In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has discharged its burden of proof on this point and holds that the disputed domain name <chemourscompany.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark CHEMOURS.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances which, if found by a panel to be proved based on its evaluation of the evidence presented, shall demonstrate a registrant’s right to or legitimate interest in a domain name.
Noting that the disputed domain name does not resolve to active website, the Panel finds that the Respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods.
With respect to paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy, in this case, there is no indication from the present record that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
With respect to respect to paragraph 4(c)(iii)of the Policy, in this case there is no indication from the record that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
Moreover, the Respondent does not seem to have any trademark registrations including the term “chemours”. Additionally, it is to be noted that the Respondent did not present evidence of any license by the Complainant, with whom there seems to exist no relationship whatsoever.
As a conclusion on this point, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established an uncontested, prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, which was unrebutted by the Respondent, and the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraphs 4(b)(i) to 4(b)(iv) of the Policy mention circumstances in order to demonstrate bad faith registration and use of a disputed domain name.
According to the uncontested allegations of the Complainant, the Panel notes that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name using a privacy service and that the Complainant had an established and well known trade mark.
Further, the Respondent has not and is not making any use of the disputed domain name. Previous UDRP panels have found that the non-use of a domain name would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding. See section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Finally, the default of the Respondent in the present circumstances further reinforce “the inference of bad faith registration and bad faith use” (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited v. Bill Lynn, WIPO Case No. D2001-0915).
In view of all the circumstances stated above, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <chemourscompany.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Christos A. Theodoulou
Date: May 27, 2021