WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carrefour SA v. Chen Fan Chen
Case No. D2021-2687
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carrefour SA, France, represented by IP Twins, France.
The Respondent is Chen Fan Chen, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <anticarrefour.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 17, 2021. On August 17, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 18, 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 22, 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 23, 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 August 26, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 15, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 25, 2021.
The Center appointed Francine Tan as the sole panelist in this matter on October 13, 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 states that it is a well-known worldwide leader in retail and a pioneer of the concept of hypermarkets dating from 1968. In 2020, it had a sales turnaround of EUR 78 billion and is listed on the index of the Paris Stock Exchange. The Complainant operates more than 12,000 stores in more than 30 countries and has more than 321,000 employees and an average of 1.3 million unique visitors in its stores worldwide. The Complainant also offers travel, banking, insurance and ticketing services.
The Complainant owns numerous registrations for the CARREFOUR trade mark and other CARREFOUR formative marks worldwide, including:
(i) International Registration No. 351147 for CARREFOUR, registered on October 2, 1968; and
(ii) International Registration No. 353849 for CARREFOUR, registered on February 28, 1969.
In addition, the Complainant is the owner of numerous domain names which contain the trade mark CARREFOUR, including <carrefour.com>, which was registered on October 24, 1995.
The disputed domain name <anticarrefour.com> was registered on April 4, 2021, and resolves to a Chinese website which displays redirecting links, in the forms of several banners, to online gambling and pornographic content.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s earlier well-known CARREFOUR trade mark. It incorporates the Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark in its entirety. The addition of the generic prefix “anti” to the well-known trade mark does not remove the confusing similarity with the Complainant’s said trade mark. Further, the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” is not significant in determining whether a disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence, based on searches performed by the Complainant, that the Respondent own any registered trademark rights in the word(s) “anticarrefour” or “anti carrefour”. There is also no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Respondent is also not a licensee of the Complainant, nor has the Respondent been otherwise authorized by the Complainant to use the CARREFOUR mark or terms similar thereto in a domain name or otherwise. The Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in relation to a bona fide offering of goods or services. Instead, the disputed domain name resolves to webpage displaying links, in the form of several banners, redirecting Internet users to online gambling and sexually explicit content.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark is so widely known that it is inconceivable that the Respondent was ignorant of the Complainant or its earlier trademark rights. Many earlier UDRP panel decisions dating back to 2007 have recognized the CARREFOUR mark to be well known. The Respondent obviously had the Complainant’s name and trade mark in mind when registering the disputed domain name. A simple search with search engines such as Google and Baidu for “carrefour” would yield results only related to the Complainant and/or its affiliates. Additionally, the Respondent’s website redirects Internet users to third-party websites through what appears as pay-per-click (“PPC”) links.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established it has rights in the CARREFOUR mark. The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark in its entirety. In line with well-established UDRP precedents, the prefix “anti” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity with the Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark. The gTLD “.com” is also irrelevant for the purposes of assessment under the first element of the Policy. The Panel therefore agrees that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the CARREFOUR mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Panel accordingly finds that the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant’s registrations of the CARREFOUR mark long predate the registration date of the disputed domain name. The Complainant did not license or authorize the Respondent to use the CARREFOUR mark as a trade mark or in a domain name. Neither is there evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name “anticarrefour”.
The burden of production accordingly shifts to the Respondent to show that he has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent failed to respond to or rebut the Complainant’s assertions in this proceeding. Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has provided evidence that it has acquired significant reputation and goodwill through long and extensive use of its CARREFOUR mark around the world. The Panel is persuaded that the Respondent could not by pure chance and without prior knowledge of the Complainant and its CARREFOUR mark have selected the disputed domain name without the Complainant and/or its CARREFOUR mark in mind. The “mere registration of a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar (particularly domain names … incorporating the mark plus a descriptive term) to a famous or widely-known trade mark by an unaffiliated entity can by itself create a presumption of bad faith”. (See section 3.1.4 the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition.)
The use of the disputed domain name which comprises the Complainant’s CARREFOUR mark and prefix “anti” for the purpose of navigating Internet users to a webpage displaying PPC links to online gambling and pornographic content does not amount to a bona fide offering of goods or services. Moreover, “the linking of the disputed domain name with a pornographic website might result in the tarnishing of the Complainant’s well-known trademark” (see Vivendi v. Guseva Svetlana, WIPO Case No. D2018-2631).
The Panel therefore finds that the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has 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 <anticarrefour.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 16, 2021