WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

ADISSEO France S.A.S. v. New Ventures Services, Corp / Web.com Holding Account

Case No. D2021-4034

1. The Parties

The Complainant is ADISSEO France S.A.S., France, represented by Selarl Marchais & Associés, France.

The Respondent is New Ventures Services, Corp, United States of America (“United States”) / Web.com Holding Account, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <addisseo.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with FindUAName.com LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 2, 2021. On December 3, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On December 17, 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 December 27, 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 December 28, 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 December 29, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 18, 2022. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 19, 2022.

The Center appointed Gabriela Kennedy as the sole panelist in this matter on February 4, 2022. 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 is one of the world’s leading experts in feed additives. The Complainant’s group relies on its 10 research centers and its production sites based in Europe, the United States, and China to design, produce, and market nutritional solutions for sustainable animal feed. With more than 2,345 employees, it serves around 3,900 customers in over 110 different countries through its global distribution network. In 2020, the Complainant achieved a turnover of over EUR 1.51 billion. The Complainant has adopted the name “Adisseo” extensively for its business operations, company name, and business designation.

Thus, the Complainant has obtained an exclusive right to the trademark ADISSEO through extensive use. The Complainant is also the owner of a number of trademark registrations for the ADISSEO mark, including, inter alia, International trademark registration number 771097 for ADISSEO, registered on October 31, 2001, designating among others Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom, Greece, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Turkey, Austria, Brunei, Belarus, China, Russian Federation, Italy, Ukraine, Morocco, and Monaco; and French trademark registration number 3104123 for ADISSEO, registered on June 6, 2001; and United States trademark registration number 2873125 for ADISSEO, registered on August 17, 2004 (the “Complainant’s Trademark”). The Complainant also holds a registration for the domain name <adisseo.com> which resolves to the Complainant’s website.

The Disputed Domain Name was registered on August 4, 2021. The Complainant provided evidence that the Disputed Domain Name resolves to a click-through advertising website comprised of parked pages with pay-per-click links.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant’s primary contentions can be summarized as follows:

(a) The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Trademark by virtue of it being an intentional misspelling of the mark. The only element which differentiates the Complainant’s Trademark from the Disputed Domain Name is the addition of the letter “d” in ADISSEO to read “addisseo”. The Respondent is typosquatting by intentionally misspelling the Complainant’s Trademark.

(b) The Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant has never authorized or given permission to the Respondent, who is not associated with the Complainant in any way, to use the Complaint’s Trademark or to register the Disputed Domain Name. There is also no evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Disputed Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name.

(c) The Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name which is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Trademark is in itself an act of bad faith by someone with no legal connection to the Complainant’s business. Given the famous and distinctive nature of the Complainant’s Trademark, the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name cannot be the result of a mere coincidence. The Respondent has used parked pages at the Disputed Domain Name containing a variety of pay-per-click advertising links in order to generate revenue in respect of “click-through” traffic. Such online traffic has been attracted by creating an impression of an association between the Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant’s Trademark. Therefore, given these factors, the Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove each of the following three elements:

(i) the Disputed 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 Disputed Domain Name; and

(iii) the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.

The fact that the Respondent has not submitted a Response does not automatically result in a decision in favor of the Complainant. However, the Respondent’s failure to file a Response may result in the Panel drawing appropriate inferences from such default. The Panel may also accept all reasonable and supported allegations and inferences flowing from the Complainant as true (see Entertainment Shopping AG v. Nischal Soni, Sonik Technologies, WIPO Case No. D2009-1437; and Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, WIPO Case No. D2000-0403).

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has rights in the Complainant’s Trademark, based on its various trademark registrations such as, inter alia, the trademarks listed above in Section 4.

The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s Trademark with an intentional misspelling of one additional letter. Pursuant to section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), “[a] domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element”. Here, the Disputed Domain Name contains sufficiently recognizable aspects of the Complainant’s Trademark.

As such, the Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Trademark, and accordingly, paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Once a complainant establishes a prima facie case in respect of the lack of rights or legitimate interests of a respondent in a disputed domain name, the respondent then carries the burden of demonstrating that it has rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Where the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. See section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has not authorized the Respondent to use the Complainant’s Trademark, and there is no relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent which would otherwise entitle the Respondent to use the Complainant’s Trademark. Accordingly, the Panel is of the view that a prima facie case has been established by the Complainant, and it is for the Respondent to show rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. As the Respondent has not submitted a Response, the Panel will assess the case based on the reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the Complainant’s evidence.

Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, the Respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name by demonstrating any of the following:

(i) before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the Disputed Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, even if the Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

There is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Disputed Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name was in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Name cannot be regarded as legitimate noncommercial or fair use as the Respondent appears to have registered the Disputed Domain Name solely for the purpose of misleadingly diverting consumers into thinking that the Respondent is, in some way or another, connected to, sponsored by, or affiliated with the Complainant and its business, or that the Respondent’s activities are approved or endorsed by the Complainant. Moreover, as stated in section 2.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, the pay-per-click links at issue do not represent a bona fide offering since such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the Complainant’s Trademark or otherwise mislead Internet users.

In addition, no evidence has been provided to prove that the Respondent has trademark rights corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name, or that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

UDRP panels have consistently found that the mere registration of a domain name that is confusingly similar to a widely-known trademark by an unaffiliated entity can already by itself create a presumption of bad faith. See section 3.1.4 of the WIPO Overview 3.0.

After reviewing the supporting evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Complainant’s Trademark appears to be fairly well known. A quick Internet search conducted by the Panel shows that the top search results returned for the key word “adisseo” are the Complainant’s websites and third party websites providing information relating to the Complainant’s feed additives business. Therefore, taking this into consideration together with the fact that the Disputed Domain Name is an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s Trademark and that the website to which the Disputed Domain Name resolves included pay-per-click links capitalizing on the Complainant’s Trademark, the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and the Complainant’s Trademark rights when registering and using the Disputed Domain Name.

In addition, the Panel finds that the following factors further support a finding that the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith:

(i) The Respondent failed to respond to the Complainant’s contentions and has provided no evidence of any actual or contemplated good faith use by it of the Disputed Domain Name; and

(ii) It is difficult to conceive of any plausible use of the Disputed Domain Name that would amount to good faith use, given that the Disputed Domain Name contains an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s Trademark. The Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name to earn click-through revenue from the misdirection of Internet users to its website caused by the confusing similarity of Disputed Domain Name to the Complainant’s Trademark. Also, as discussed above, the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name (see Washington Mutual, Inc. v. Ashley Khong, WIPO Case No. D2005-0740).

In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and has been using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith, and paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied.

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 <addisseo.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Gabriela Kennedy
Sole Panelist
Date: February 17, 2022