WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Bureau Veritas v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Daniel Tucci

Case No. D2021-3267

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Bureau Veritas, France, represented by Novagraaf France, France.

The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States of America / Daniel Tucci, Russian Federation.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <hr-bvlabs.com> (the “Domain Name”) 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 October 1, 2021. On October 4, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 4, 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 the Complainant on October 8, 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 October 12, 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 October 15, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 4, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 5, 2021.

The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on November 17, 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 founded in 1828 in France. It is a world leader in testing, inspection and certification services. It tests compliance with applicable standards, regulations and specifications, performing laboratory and on-site testing for manufacturing and process industries. In the year 2018 the Complainant’s revenue amounted to EUR 4.8 billion. It has more than 400,000 clients, over 77,000 employees and more than 1,500 offices and laboratories in 140 countries.

The Complainant is the registered proprietor of a substantial number of trademarks worldwide in respect of BV and BUREAU VERITAS, including:

- International trademark number 699212 BV registered on July 31, 1998 designating a number of territories in Europe including the United Kingdom, Hungary and Romania;
- France trademark number 1325013 BV registered on September 30, 1985;
- European Union trademark number 4518544 BUREAU VERITAS registered on June 1, 2006;
- International trademark number 1291135 BUREAU VERITAS 1828 and device registered on December 23, 2015 (the “1828 Device Mark”).

The Complainant uses the domain name <bvlabs.com> registered on December 3, 2014, which resolves to the Complainant’s North America website at “www.bvna.com”.

The Domain Name was registered on January 10, 2020. It resolves to a parking page of the Registrar offering the Domain Name for sale and with links to pages of links to third party websites including sites related to Human Resources and testing services. An email account at the Domain Name has been used to send fraudulent job offers purporting to be sent by the Complainant, featuring the Complainant’s 1828 Device Mark and including the website address “www.bvlabs.com” as a footer.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its BV trademark (the “Mark”), that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) the 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 Complainant has uncontested rights in the Mark, both by virtue of its various trademark registrations around the world and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the Mark over many years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”, the Domain Name comprises the entirety of the Mark together with the letters “hr” and the word “labs”. In the Panel’s view, the inclusion of the letters “hr”, typically taken to refer to “human resources” and the word “labs”, an abbreviation for “laboratories”, does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity of the Domain Name to the Mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Although there is no evidence that the Respondent has used the Domain Name for an active website, the Respondent has used the Domain Name for an email account from which it has sent unauthorized job offers in the name of the Complainant, featuring the Complainant’s 1828 Device Mark and referring to the Complainant’s website address “www.bvlabs.com”. The examples of false job offer letters annexed to the Complaint invite the recipient to accept the offer whereupon the Complainant would “provide you with further paperwork and instructions”. The Complainant contends that these have most likely been in furtherance of phishing attacks and the Panel infers that they are likely to have been part of what have become commonplace frauds whereby applicants for jobs are deceived into making payments in respect of job offers that have no genuine connection with the purported employer.

The Respondent has not used the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services and there is no suggestion that it has ever been known by the Domain Name. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. Using a domain name for an email account from which to send spurious, unauthorized job offers cannot, in the Panel’s view, give rise to rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In view of the nature of the Domain Name, comprising as it does the Mark, together with the initials “hr” and the word “labs”, and comprising the Complainant’s domain name <bvlabs.com> with the prefix “hr”, there can be no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its rights in the Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. In light of the use to which the Respondent has put the Domain Name, the Respondent appears, in the view of the Panel, to be using the Domain Name to deceive Internet users into believing that the Domain Name is associated with, or authorized by, the Complainant. The inference from the emails sending the false job offers is that they would have led to a demand for payment for spurious services in connection with the job offer. This supports the evidence of use of the Domain Name for an email account to send emails attaching job offers impersonating the Complainant and leads to a legitimate presumption that the Respondent is deriving commercial gain from using the Domain Name in this way.

The Panel considers that this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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 Domain Name <hr-bvlabs.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Ian Lowe
Sole Panelist
Date: December 1, 2021