WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Christopher Kane Limited v. Zhang Jing

Case No. DCO2015-0037

1. The Parties

Complainant is Christopher Kane Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK"), represented by Studio Barbero, Italy.

Respondent is Zhang Jing of Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <christopherkane.co> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 23, 2015. On November 23, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 24, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 25, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 15, 2015. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on December 16, 2015.

The Center appointed Martin Schwimmer as the sole panelist in this matter on December 18, 2015. 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

Complainant, Christopher Kane Limited, a UK-based luxury designer label, was founded by Christopher Kane, who has been designing clothes under the CHRISTOPHER KANE trademark (the "Trademark") since 2006. Complainant utilizes the Trademark in over 30 countries, and owns trademark registrations in several jurisdictions, including China, which registration was granted in 2010.

The date of creation of the disputed domain name is March 14, 2015.

The Panel has no information about Respondent other than the registrant information contained in the WhoIs, which shows that the registrant's name is Zhang Jing of Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant alleges that its Trademark is well known. It provides various trademark registrations, domain name registrations, and website print-outs of its website at "www.christopherkane.com" in support of its contentions.

Complainant denies that Respondent has any license, permission, or authorization to use the Trademark.

Complainant attaches a print-out of the home page of the website at "www.christopherkane.co" to which the disputed domain name resolves, which page displays keyword ad links. Other print-outs indicate that at times, Respondent's website offered the disputed domain name for sale. Complainant also provides an email, purportedly from Respondent, indicating that Respondent would transfer the disputed domain name for 1,000 EUR.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's Trademark. Complainant easily establishes ownership of rights in the Trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates the Trademark in its entirety. The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety may be sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to such registered trademark (see AT&T Corp. v. William Gormally, WIPO Case No. D2005-0758).

Furthermore, it is standard practice by UDRP panels to disregard the country code Top-Level Domain ("ccTLD") suffix ".co", which does little if anything to change the connotation of the second-level name. In this instance, the suffix renders the disputed domain name only one letter apart from the domain name utilized by Complainant for its flagship website.

Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's Trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The second ground to be demonstrated by Complainant, according to the provisions of the Policy, is Respondent's absence of any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, per paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.

Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that it is sufficient for a complainant to prove a prima facie case that the respondent does not hold rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455 and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Once a prima facie case is shown, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel is satisfied that Respondent has no connection or affiliation with Complainant and has not received any license or consent to use the Trademark in a domain name or in any other manner. Complainant alleges that there is no such connection here. The Panel confirms that the disputed domain name resolves to a page that evidences no legitimate noncommercial or fair use.

In addition, Respondent has not submitted any reply to Complainant's contentions.

Therefore, in light of Complainant's prima facie case, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant has submitted evidence that its CHRISTOPHER KANE mark is sufficiently distinctive and well known such that, coupled with the absence of any other evidence in the record to the contrary, it is fair to presume that Respondent registered the disputed domain name with prior knowledge of Complainant's rights.

Additionally, the Respondent utilizes the disputed domain name for keyword advertisements which link to offers for various goods and services. This unauthorized diversion of Internet traffic does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods nor fair use.

Furthermore, Complainant has proffered unrebutted evidence that Respondent has previously used the disputed domain name to publicly offer it for sale. Also, in response to Complainant's demand letter, Respondent offered to sell the disputed domain name to Complainant for 1,000 EUR, an amount far in excess of out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name. This offer is evidence of bad faith. See, e.g., Benetton Group SpA v. Domain for Sale, WIPO Case No. D2001-1498.

The Panel may also make negative inferences arising from Respondent's failure to respond. See, e.g., Sony Kabushiki Kaisha (also trading as Sony Corporation) v. Inja, Kil, WIPO Case No. D2000-1409.

The Panel finds that Complainant has established that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, as outlined in 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 <christopherkane.co> be transferred to Complainant.

Martin Schwimmer
Sole Panelist
Date: January 5, 2016