WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
La Redoute SAS v. KAB Enterprises
Case No. DCO2016-0035
1. The Parties
The Complainant is La Redoute SAS of Roubaix, France, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is KAB Enterprises of London, United Kingdom Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("United Kingdom").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <laredoute.co> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 29, 2016. On September 30, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 4, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent's 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 6, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 26, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 27, 2016.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on November 4, 2016. 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 leading retail mail order companies in France offering men's, women's and children's clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, bedroom and bathroom linens, window coverings and furniture. It was founded in 1837 and produced its first mail order catalog in 1928. It currently has more than 10 million active customers worldwide and has a physical presence in 26 countries worldwide.
The Complainant holds trademark registrations for LA REDOUTE in many jurisdictions including the European Union, China, France and the United States of America. For example, the Complainant holds the word European Union Trademark registration for LA REDOUTE, registration no. 000659151, filed on October 3, 1997.
The Complainant has provided evidence that its LA REDOUTE trademark became well-known particularly in France and the United Kingdom. See also La Redoute S.A v. Domain Admin, Whois protection / Denis Tabac, WIPO Case No. D2015-0429.
The Complainant owns and operates various websites including "www.laredoute.fr" in France and "www.laredoute.co.uk" in the United Kingdom.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 20, 2010. At the time of the filing of the Complaint the disputed domain name was used to redirect Internet users to a website "www.cunjo.com" that resolved to a blank page without content. According to the evidence submitted in the Complaint, the disputed domain name was used in the past to display a link for "Great Fashion Stuff for Sale" and the text "54,014 Great Fashion Stuff for Sale". Previously, the Complainant claims that the disputed domain name was also directed to a third-party website providing news and information services.
Before commencing the present proceeding, at the Complainant's cease-and-desist letter asking to voluntarily transfer the disputed domain name to it, the Respondent replied requesting the amount of USD 1,000 for such transfer.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark and trade name LA REDOUTE, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of the Respondent's default, the discussion and findings will be based upon the contentions in the Complaint and any reasonable position that can be attributable to the Respondent, in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 14(b).
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which complainant has rights; and
(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant holds worldwide trademark registrations for the LA REDOUTE trademark. The disputed domain name <laredoute.co> reproduces the Complainant's trademark exactly.
Further, it is well established in decisions under the UDRP that the presence or absence of spaces or characters (e.g., hyphens, dots) in a domain name and indicators for country-code Top-Level Domains ("ccTLDs") or generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLDs"), (e.g., ".co", ".it", ".com", ".net") are typically irrelevant to the consideration of confusing similarity between a trademark and a domain name.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <laredoute.co> is identical to the Complainant's trademark LA REDOUTE, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that it has given no license or other right to use or register its trademark to the Respondent, that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services. In line with previous UDRP decisions, the Panel accepts that the Complainant has provided a prima facie case of the Respondent's lack of rights or legitimate interests in relation to the disputed domain name, and the burden of production shifts to the Respondent.
The Respondent chose not to challenge the Complainant's allegations. There is no evidence before the Panel to support the contrary or that could lead to the conclusion that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Further, at the time the Complaint was filed, the disputed domain name resolved to an inactive page. According to the evidence provided in the Complaint, in the past, the disputed domain name was used to display a link "Great Fashion Stuff For Sale", promoting goods competing with those offered by the Complainant under its trademark LA REDOUTE. Diverting customers, who are looking for the Complainant's products relating to its well-known trademark, to a website unrelated to the trademark and the Complainant is not a bona fide offering of goods or services under the Policy.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant holds trademark registrations for LA REDOUTE worldwide including in the United Kingdom, where the Respondent is apparently located.
The disputed domain name <laredoute.co> was registered in 2010 and reproduces exactly the Complainant's trademark LA REDOUTE.
At the time of filing the Complaint the disputed domain name resolved to an inactive webpage. As it is well established by the long line of cases from Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, the requirement of the Policy of a domain name "being used in bad faith" is not limited to positive actions.
According to the evidence submitted in the Complaint, in the past the disputed domain name was apparently used, inter alia, in connection with promoting goods competing with those offered by the Complainant under its trademark. The Respondent has used without permission the Complainant's distinctive trademark in order to redirect Internet users looking for the Complainant's goods to get traffic to a web portal unrelated to the Complainant in order to obtain commercial gain from the false impression created for the Internet users with regard to a potential affiliation or connection with the Complainant. At the same time such use is likely to damage the Complainant's business and reputation. Such facts further constitute bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Furthermore, before commencing the present procedures, the Respondent offered to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant for the amount of USD 1,000, an amount which is likely far in excess of the out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name. Such facts constitute bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy.
For all the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name <laredoute.co> in bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <laredoute.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 17, 2016