WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Laure de Sagazan v. 刘岩
Case No. DCN2019-0010
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Laure de Sagazan, France, represented by IP Twins S.A.S., France.
The Respondent is 刘岩, China, having no authorized representative.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> is registered with 浙江贰贰网络有限公司 (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 7, 2019. On October 7, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 10, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the China ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), the China ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy Rules (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for China ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy and China ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy Rules (the “WIPO Supplemental Rules”).
In accordance with the Rules, Articles 5 and 6, and Articles 14 to 16, and the WIPO Supplemental Rules, Paragraph 4(d), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 16, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, Articles 17 and 49, the due date for Response was November 5, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 6, 2019.
The Center appointed Dr. Hong Xue as the sole panelist in this matter on November 18, 2019. 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, Article 29.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant, a French individual, founded her company in 2011 and provides tailor-made dresses, other clothing items and accessories. The Complainant registered the mark LAURE DE SAGAZAN in France on October 24, 2014 and acquired the trademark registration (No. 1247084) in China on March 23, 2015 through the Madrid System.
According to the Registrar’s verification response, the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> was registered by the Respondent on October 8, 2016. The disputed domain name is being used for the website “www.lauredesagazan.cn” and it is being offered for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> is confusingly similar to her registered trademark LAURE DE SAGAZAN.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn>.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> was registered or is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> be transferred to her.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Language of Proceeding
According to Article 8 of the Rules, the language of proceeding shall be Chinese, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties or decided by the Panel in the special circumstances.
The Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding be English or English and Chinese and presented the reasons. The Respondent did not make any submissions in relation to the language of the proceeding even though the Center’s communications to this effect (as was the Notification of Complaint) were both in English and in Chinese.
In accordance with Article 31 of the Rules, the Panel shall ensure that each Party be treated with equality and given a fair opportunity to present its case.
Therefore, the Panel should take into account whether the Respondent is able to understand the language of the Complaint and whether the Complainant would be disadvantaged by having to translate all the submissions into Chinese, when assessing the Complainant’s request for changing the language of the proceeding.
Based on the evidence presented, the Panel finds that the Respondent has sufficient capacity to understand and use English because the Respondent displays the contents solely in English not only on the website established at the disputed domain name but on other online platforms. On the other hand, the Complainant has submitted the Complaint in English and would bear considerable costs to translate all the submissions into and take part in the proceeding in Chinese or in both English and Chinese.
Having considered all the circumstances, this Panel determines under Article 8 of the Rules that English shall be the language of the proceeding.
B. Timing of the Complaint
According to Article 2 of the Policy, once the disputed domain name has been registered for three years, the dispute case shall not be accepted under the Policy.
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name was registered on October 8, 2016 and the Complaint was filed on October 7, 2019. Therefore, one day before the registration period of the disputed domain name expired the three-year term, the Complainant filed the case, which shall be accepted and tried according to the Policy.
C. Identical or Confusingly Similar to the Complainant’s name or mark in which the Complainant has civil rights or interests
Pursuant to the Policy, Article 8 (1), a complainant must prove that a disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a name or mark in which the complainant enjoys civil rights or interests. In line with such requirement, a complainant must prove its civil right or interest in the relevant name or mark and the similarity between the disputed domain name and the complainant’s name or mark.
The Panel notes that the Complainant’s statements about her trademark registrations cannot be clearly supported by the evidence (Annex 4) presented. Although the Complainant shall bear the burden of proof, the Panel, for the purpose of handling the case in an expedited way as stipulated in Article 31 of the Rules, looked into the Madrid System and finds that the trademark LAURE DE SAGAZAN has been registered (No. 1247084) by the Complainant on March 23, 2015 and China is one of the designated countries.
Therefore, before the registration of the disputed domain name on October 8, 2016, the Complainant has acquired the trademark registration for LAURE DE SAGAZAN in China through the International Trademark Registration system and enjoyed the trademark right under the Chinese law.
The disputed domain name is <lauredesagazan.cn>. Apart from the Chinese country-code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) suffix “.cn”, the disputed domain name consists of “lauredesagazan”, which is identical with the characters of the Complainant’s registered mark though ruling out the spaces in between.
The Panel finds the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn>, as a whole, is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark LAURE DE SAGAZAN. Accordingly, the Complainant has proven the element required by Article 8 (1) of the Policy.
D. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts, and provides evidence to demonstrate, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and, as stated above, the Respondent did not provide any information to the Panel asserting any rights or legitimate interests it may have in the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn>.
It is apparent from the Complaint that there is no connection between the Respondent and the Complainant or her business. Article 10 of the Policy lists a number of circumstances which can be taken to demonstrate a respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. However, there is no evidence before the Panel that any of the situations described in Article 10 of the Policy apply here. To the contrary, the lack of any Response leads the Panel to draw a negative inference.
Therefore, and also in light of the Panel’s findings below, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn>. Accordingly, the Complainant has proven the element required by Article 8 (2) of the Policy.
E. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> in bad faith. The Respondent did not respond to these contentions.
According to the Registrar’s verification response, the contact email provided by the Respondent for registration of the disputed domain name is “[…]@foxmail.com”. The Complainant proves that more than 400 domain names are being registered by the same contact email. Among them, the Respondent registered a large number of domain names that are confusingly similar to third parties’ trademarks, such as <androidhomme.cn>, <boggi.cn>, <burtonkids.com>, etc.
The Complainant also proves that the Respondent’s website established at the disputed domain name, “www.lauredesagazan.cn”, is solely used to publicly offer to sell this domain name. On the website, the Respondent calls it “premium domain name” and states “The value of the domain name will gradually rise” and “the sooner purchasing the more wise”. The disputed domain name is being listed for sale by the Respondent on other online platforms (such as 4.CN) as well.
The Panel finds that the Respondent, since its registration of the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn>, has always been trying to sell it for profit in a variety of means. Since the disputed domain name is only one of hundreds of the domain names the Respondent has registered, such business model shows that the true intent of the Respondent is to sell for unjustified benefits the disputed domain name that is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
The Panel therefore finds it adequate to conclude that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith under the Policy, Article 9 (1). The Complainant has successfully proven the element required by Article 8 (3) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with the Article 14 of the Policy and 40 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <lauredesagazan.cn> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dr. Hong Xue
Date: November 29, 2019