WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
SFIL v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Wu Yu
Case No. D2021-2400
1. The Parties
Complainant is SFIL, France, represented by GODIN Associés, France.
Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America / Wu Yu, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <sfil.mobi> (“Domain Name”) is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 22, 2021. On July 23, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 26, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on August 12, 2021, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on August 17, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 2, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 22, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 6, 2021.
The Center appointed Marina Perraki as the sole panelist in this matter on October 29, 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
Complainant is a French public development bank created in 2013, with the French government as its principal shareholder. In 2020, the “Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations” (“Deposits and Consignments Fund”) became its main shareholder, with the French State retaining one share. Its main activities consist of financing services, directed to the French local public sector, as well as to private investors who conclude export credit agreements. Per Complaint, Complainant is the first liquidity provider on the French export credit market. Since 2016, it has refinanced several export contracts in various sectors. Complainant maintains its main website at “www.sfil.fr”.
Complainant is the owner of the European Union Trade Mark registration no. 011417227, SFIL (word), filed on December 12, 2012 and registered on May 10, 2013 for services in International Classes 35, 36, 42, and 45.
Complainant is also the owner of the following domain names: <sfil.com>, registered on November 16, 1999; <sfil.fr> registered on December 12, 2012; and <sfil.eu> registered on December 12, 2012. Complainant’s domain names <sfil.com> and <sfil.eu> redirect to the website under Complainant’s domain name <sfil.fr>.
The Domain Name was registered on June 26, 2021 and leads to a website (“the Website”), where multiple “pop-up” windows appear on the screen. The windows contain text in French, which says inter alia that the operating system of the users’ computer has been allegedly blocked due to a suspicious activity, that data from the users’ computer has been stolen and that the users must call a technical support to avoid deactivation of their computer. Calling the technical support, on the phone number displayed on the windows, puts, as Complainant demonstrated, the users in contact with a telephone operator, trying to convince them to pay for an annual subscription to a service that would, allegedly, allow the “technical support” to unlock the users’ computer and delete viruses on said device. As Complainant demonstrated, this threat is not real and the messages and “technical support” are parts of a scheme which purports to obtaining money and / or bank account details from Internet users.
Furthermore, the Domain Name was being offered for sale on the domain name online marketplace “Sedo” for a minimum of USD 800.
It currently leads to a website containing sponsored listings and an offer for sale of the Domain Name at USD 5,000.
On July 2, 2021, Complainant sent a letter to the Registrar, Dynadot, LLC, and the privacy shield service “Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot”. On July 9, 2021, Complainant sent a letter to the hosting provider Trellian Pty. Limited.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that it has established all three elements required under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.
Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements that Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name incorporates Complainant’s trademark SFIL in its entirety.
The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.mobi” may be disregarded, as gTLDs typically do not form part of the comparison as they are required for technical reasons (Rexel Developpements SAS v. Zhan Yequn, WIPO Case No. D2017-0275; Hay & Robertson International Licensing AG v. C. J. Lovik, WIPO Case No. D2002-0122).
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to the SFIL mark of Complainant.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:
(i) before any notice to Respondent of the dispute, Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Complainant has put forward a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. Respondent has not submitted any response to the Complainant’s contentions and has not claimed any such rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name. As per Complainant, Respondent was not authorized to register the Domain Name. The Domain Name consists of Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, carrying a high risk of implied affiliation that cannot constitute fair use.
Prior to the notice of the dispute, Respondent did not demonstrate any use of the Domain Name or a trademark corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
On the contrary, as Complainant demonstrated, the Domain Name resolved to the Website which was apparently linked to a fraud scheme purporting to obtain money and / or bank account information from Internet users, which can never confer rights or legitimate interests on Respondent (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.13.1). It was also being offered for sale on the domain name online marketplace “Sedo” for a minimum of USD 800.
Currently, the Domain Name redirected to a website containing an offer for sale of the Domain Name and sponsored listings to websites appearing to relate to cloud and server security and monitoring. Respondent has not provided a plausible explanation about the inclusion of these links on this Website. In the absence of such explanation, it appears not unlikely to the Panel that the inclusion of these links was intended to increase and monetize the traffic to the Domain Name, which would increase the attractiveness and price in the offer for sale (Sanofi v. Privacy Hero Inc. / Honey Salt ltd, pat honey salt, WIPO Case No. D2020-2836).
These circumstances, along with the fact that the Domain Name is registered with a privacy shield service, speak against any rights or legitimate interests held by Respondent (Ann Summers Limited v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Mingchun Chen, WIPO Case No. D2018-0625).
The Panel finds that these circumstances do not confer upon Respondent any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation”, are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in “bad faith”:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or
(ii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
The Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith.
Because the SFIL mark had been used and registered by Complainant before the Domain Name registration, the Panel finds it more likely than not that Respondent had Complainant’s mark in mind when registering the Domain Name (Tudor Games, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID No. 09382953107339 dba Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Domain Administrator, Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-1754; Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226).
Respondent should have known about Complainant’s rights, as such knowledge is readily obtainable through a simple browser search (See Caesars World, Inc. v. Forum LLC, WIPO Case No. D2005-0517; Compart AG v. Compart.com / Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2009-0462).
Furthermore, Respondent could have conducted a trademark search and would have found Complainant’s prior registrations in respect of SFIL (Citrix Online LLC v. Ramalinga Reddy Sanikommu Venkata, WIPO Case No. D2012-1338).
As regards use, the Domain Name resolved to the Website which was apparently linked to a “technical support scam”, purporting to obtain money and / or bank account details of unsuspected users, based on their fear to lose access to their computer and data.
Use of a domain name for purposes such as phishing constitutes bad faith use (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.4; see also Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette v. Transfer Service, Sedo.com, LLC, WIPO Case No. D2018-2510).
Furthermore, the Domain Name was being offered for sale on “sedo.com” for a minimum of USD 800. This, in view also of the finding that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, constitutes evidence of bad faith use (Aygaz Anonim Sirketi v. Arthur Cain, WIPO Case No. D2014-1206; WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.1). The fact that the Domain Name is identical to the SFIL trademark of Complainant, is also clear indication that an offer to sell the Domain Name constitutes bad faith.
The Domain Name currently leads to a website which contains sponsored listings and an offer for sale at USD 5,000. This, in view also of the finding that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, constitutes evidence of bad faith use (Aygaz Anonim Sirketi v. Arthur Cain, WIPO Case No. D2014-1206; WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.1).
Lastly, the Panel notes that Respondent is a “systematic cybersquatter” engaged in a series of domain name registrations that infringe trademarks of third parties (see, e.g., Carrefour SA v. Wu Yu, WIPO Case No. D2021-2694, Belfius Bank S.A. / Belfius Bank N.V. v. Wu Yu , WIPO Case No. D2021-1879, Indeed Inc. v. Wu Yu, WIPO Case No. DQA2019-0002, Association des Centres Distributeurs E. Leclerc - A.C.D. Lec v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Wu Yu, WIPO Case No. D2021-2017). As noted by the panel in WIPO Case No. D2021-1879, the domain name at issue there targeted similarly to the present case, a bank and financial services provider wholly owned by the Belgium government and the second Respondent “is, or was in the past, the registrant of almost 4,000 domain names, many of which seem to have been registered in bad faith […]”.
This pattern supports a finding of bad faith (Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG v. Beroca Holdings B.V.I. Limited, WIPO Case No. D2007-1664; The Procter & Gamble Company v. Whoisguard, Inc. / Enzo Gucci, Xtremcare, Tony Mancini, USDIET, USDIET Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2016-1881).
Finally, the Panel considers also the apparent concealment of the Respondent’s identity through use of a privacy shield is further indicative of bad faith (BHP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd v. Domains By Proxy LLC / Douglass Johnson, WIPO Case No. D2016-0364).
Under these circumstances and on this record, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <sfil.mobi> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: November 12, 2021