WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Schneider Electric SE v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 12410667350 / Maria Conceição de Souza Lima

Case No. D2021-2491

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Schneider Electric SE, France, represented by Nameshield, France.

The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 12410667350, Canada / Maria Conceição de Souza Lima, Brazil.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <shneider-eletric.com> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 2, 2021. On August 2, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 2, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing 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 August 9, 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 August 10, 2021.

On August 9, 2021, the Center transmitted another email communication to the Parties in English and Portuguese regarding the language of the proceeding. On August 10, 2021, the Complainant confirmed their request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 in English and Portuguese of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 16, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 5, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 7, 2021.

The Center appointed Gonçalo M. C. Da Cunha Ferreira as the sole panelist in this matter on October 6, 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, founded in 1871, is a French industrial business trading internationally, which manufactures and offers products for power management, automation, and related solutions. The Complainant’s corporate website can be found at “www.schneiderelectric.com”. The Complainant is featured on the NYSE Euronext and the French CAC 40 stock market index. In 2020, the Complainant revenues amounted to EUR 25.2 billion.

The Complainant owns several trademarks for the term SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC and variations thereof:

- SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, International trademark no. 715395, registered on March 15, 1999;

- SCHNEIDER S ELECTRIC, International trademark no. 715396, registered on March 15, 1999;

- SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, European Union Trade Mark no. 1103803, registered on September 9, 2005.

The Complainant is also the owner of many domain names, which include the trademark SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, such as <schneider-electric.com> registered and used since October 3, 1997.

The disputed domain name was registered on July 19, 2021 and resolves to an inactive page.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant states that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC.

The deletion of the letter “c” in the disputed domain name is not sufficient to prevent a finding of confusing similarity with the Complainant’s trademark.

This is a case of “typosquatting”, i.e. the disputed domain name contains an obvious misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark: SHNEIDER ELECTRIC instead of SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC.

Additionally, when a domain name incorporates a complainant’s trademark in its entirety, that is sufficient to establish confusing similarity.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not known as the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant to use its trademark. Further, the Respondent has no demonstrable plan to use the disputed domain name. Finally, the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Preliminary Issue – Language of the Proceeding

Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules provides that “unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding”. The Registrar confirmed that the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is in Portuguese.

The Complainant requests that the language of the proceeding be English. The respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding, or otherwise participate in the proceeding.

Considering the Complainant’s request and the fact that the Respondent did not reply to any of the communications sent by the Center, all of which were transmitted in English and Portuguese, the Panel does not consider it prejudicial to the Respondent if English were adopted as the language of the proceeding. Moreover, the proceeding would be unduly delayed if the Complainant was requested to translate the Complaint into Portuguese.

Accordingly, the Panel accepts the Complainant’s request for English to be the language of the proceeding.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns trademark registrations for the trademark SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC.

The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trademark SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC with the deletion of the letter “c” in the disputed domain name. This type of conduct is typosquatting and does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. The gTLD “.com” should generally be ignored when assessing confusing similarity, as established by prior UDRP decisions.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made a prima facie case showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, particularly by asserting that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way and never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark as part of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, therefore has not provided evidence of circumstances of the types specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances, giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirement under the Policy of showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant and its trademark are well-known worldwide. The Complainant was established almost 150 years ago, is featured on the NYSE Euronext and the French CAC 40 stock market index, while the disputed domain name was only registered a couple of months ago. The Respondent must have been fully aware of the Complainant and its trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. In addition, the disputed domain name resolves to an inactive website. Passive holding has been considered by UDRP panels to constitute bad faith. In the present circumstances, including the typosquatting of the Complainant’s well known trademark, the failure of the Respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good faith use, the Respondent’s use of a privacy service, and implausibility of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put, the passive holding of the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <shneider-eletric.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Gonçalo M. C. Da Cunha Ferreira
Sole Panelist
Date: October 20, 2021