WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Crédit Industriel et Commercial v. Alusov Aleksey
Case No. D2021-1325
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Crédit Industriel et Commercial, France, represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
The Respondent is Alusov Aleksey, Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ciccic.website> is registered with RU-CENTER-MSK (Regional Network Information Center, JSC dba RU-CENTER) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 29, 2021. On April 29, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 30, 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.
The Registrar email of April 30, 2021 identified Russian as the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name. On May 4, 2021, the Center issued a notification to the Parties in Russian and English advising that the language of the registration agreement (Russian) differed from the language of the Complaint (English) and inviting the Complainant to submit a Russian translation of its Complaint or present arguments or evidence in favor of conducting the proceeding in the English language. The Complainant responded on the May 7, 2021 verifying its request to proceed in the English language based upon, inter alia, publication of the registration agreement in both the Russian and English languages, the choice of a generic Top‑Level Domain (“gTLD”) in English, and its belief that translation of the Complaint into Russian would result in unnecessary delay. The Respondent did not respond to the language notification.
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 May 17, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 6, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 7, 2021.
The Center appointed Clark W. Lackert as the sole panelist in this matter on June 16, 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 was established in 1859 and is one of the oldest deposit banks in France. The Complainant has 4.7 million clients, is serviced by over 2,000 offices in France and 38 offices outside of France, and owns the domain name <cic.fr>, which is used for its principal website.
The Complainant owns multiple trademark registrations for the acronym for its trademark and company name CREDIT INDUSTRIEL ET COMMERCIAL, namely the trademark CIC, throughout the world, including French Trademark No. 1358524 (registered on June 10, 1986), European Union Trade Mark No. 005891411 (registered on March 5, 2008), and European Union Trade Mark No. 011355328 (registered on March 26, 2013), as well as CIC formative trademarks such as CIC BANQUES, International trademark No. 585098 (registered on April 10, 1992). The Complainant also owns domain names including CIC such as <cic.fr> and <cic.eu>.
The record shows that the disputed domain name <ciccic.website> was registered on March 30, 2021, long after the Complainant’s trademark registrations, and the website resolving from the dispute domain name is used to display pornographic material.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts that its trademark CIC is famous and is widely registered and used around the world. The Complainant also asserts that the complaint herein was properly filed in English, and that the proceedings should continue in English, even though the registration agreement is in Russian, for the reasons set forth above. Concerning the issue of confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks, the Complainant contends that the term “ciccic” in disputed domain name and its trademark CIC are confusingly similar since the disputed domain name mere “doubled” its trademark CIC to create “ciccic”. As evidence of this, the Complainant has submitted Google internet searches which indicate that searches on the term “cic” also cite “ciccic”.
The Complainant is requesting that the disputed domain name be transferred from the Respondent to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panelist acknowledges that although the language of the Complaint differs from the language of the registration agreement as verified by the Registrar, the record supports proceeding in the English language in accordance with recognized UDRP practices. Notable factors outweigh delays associated with translation including (i) use of English language and Latin characters to compose the disputed domain name, including the relevant gTLD; (ii) evidence that the disputed domain name was used to display English language content, and (iii) the Respondent’s failure to submit a reply to the Complaint despite the Center issuing all relevant notifications in both the English and Russian languages. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 4.5.
The Panelist finds in favor of the Complainant based upon the reasons set forth below.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has presented evidence of established rights in its CIC trademarks, and these rights precede the registration of the disputed domain names by several years.
A comparison of the Complainant’s CIC trademark and the disputed domain name verifies that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The disputed domain name merely duplicates the CIC trademark, with the intent to confuse. The CIC trademark is “well-known” as held in Credit Industriel et Commercial v. Mao Adnri, WIPO Case No. D2013-2143. The CIC trademark is totally incorporated into the disputed domain name and merely repeating the trademark twice does not eliminate the confusing similarity. As was stated, for example, in Caterpillar Inc. v. Ryan J Foo, WIPO Case No. D2015-1390, concerning the domain name <catatworkcat.com>: “The Panel also finds that the mere inclusion of the CAT trademark twice is not enough to distinguish the disputed domain name from one that may be legitimately associated with Complainant and to escape a finding of confusing similarity. See also Societe Air France v. Jose Maria Conte, WIPO Case No. D2007-1117, concerning the domain name <airfranceairfrance.com>.
The gTLD portion of the disputed domain name (i.e., “.website”) is merely a technical component that is necessary to register a domain name and does not add distinction. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1; see also Banana Republic (Apparel), LLC v. Chkwuka Obeleagu, Fudmart Tech Resources, WIPO Case No. D2019-1734 (disregarding the “.website” gTLD when evaluating confusing similarity).
The requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy have been satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence in the record to rebut the prima facie case presented by the Complainant’s allegations that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in and to the disputed domain name.
The requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy have been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name resolves to a pornographic website. Such use has been held by many UDRP panels to be sufficient evidence of bad faith. (See, e.g., Ugly, Inc. v. Bella Night, WIPO Case No. D2021‑0001, Vivendi v. Guseva Svetlana, WIPO Case No. D2018-2631, Accenture Global Services Limited v. DotMedia Limited, WIPO Case No. D2020-1636, Red Bull GmbH v. WhoIs Agent, WIPO Case No. D2017‑1639, and others).
Moreover, a number of UDRP panels have held that the registration of a well-known trademark by others cannot be viewed as mere coincidence, but rather is evidence of bad faith. See, e.g., Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A. v IT Administrator, WIPO Case No. D2013-0707, concerning the domain name <cic‑finance.com>, and Grant Thornton LLP v. Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, WIPO Case No. D2019‑0298. Furthermore, the Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name affirms the finding of bad faith in these circumstances.
The Panelist finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy have been 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 name, <ciccic.website> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clark W. Lackert
Date: July 5, 2021