WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Eutelsat S.A. v. Pl Plast
Case No. DCO2019-0035
1. The Parties
Complainant is Eutelsat S.A., France, represented by Nameshield, France.
Respondent is Pl Plast, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <eutelsat.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 September 12, 2019. On September 12, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 13, 2019, 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 Complainant on September 17, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on September 18, 2019.
The Center verified that the Complaint, together with the amended 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 September 18, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 8, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 15, 2019.
The Center appointed Jeffrey M. Samuels as the sole panelist in this matter on October 23, 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, paragraph 7.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is one of the leading operators in the commercial satellite business. It has a fleet of 37 satellites serving broadcasters, video service providers, telecom operators, ISPs, and government agencies operating across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Complainant’s satellites are used for video broadcasting, satellite newsgathering, broadband services, and data connectivity.
Complainant owns several trademarks for the mark EUTELSAT, which it first used in 1983, including International trademark numbers 479499 and 777505. Complainant also owns domain names that include the term “eutelsat.”
The disputed domain name, <eutelsat.co>, was registered on September 5, 2019, and points to an inactive page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical to its EUTELSAT mark, contending that the addition of the Top-Level Domain “.co” is not sufficient to escape the finding that the disputed domain name is identical to its mark.
Complainant further asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. According to Complainant, Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, has not made any use of the disputed domain name, and has not been authorized or licensed to use the EUTELSAT mark as part of any domain name.
With respect to the issue of bad faith registration and use, Complainant maintains that “given the distinctiveness of the Complainant’s trademark and reputation, … it is inconceivable that the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain name without actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the trademark.”
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is, for all intents and purposes, identical to Complainant’s EUTELSAT trademark. The disputed domain name incorporates the mark in full and the addition of the country code Top-Level Domain “.co” does nothing to avoid a finding that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s mark.
The Panel further finds that Complainant, through its ownership of international registrations covering, and long use of, the EUTELSAT mark, has rights in such mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel rules that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that Respondent is commonly known by the domain name. Further, inasmuch as the evidence indicates that the disputed domain name resolves to an inactive site, none of the other provisions of paragraph 4(c) of the Policy is applicable.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel determines that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The evidence indicates that Respondent is engaged in passive use of the disputed domain name, which supports a determination of the requisite bad faith. See Telstra Corp. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. Moreover, as argued by Complainant, given its longstanding and widespread use of the EUTELSAT mark, it may be presumed that Respondent was aware of Complainant and of its mark at the time Respondent registered its disputed domain name.
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 <eutelsat.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Jeffrey M. Samuels
Date: November 6, 2019