WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Biofarma v. Sarah Hampton

Case No. DCO2020-0062

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Biofarma, France, represented by IP Twins S.A.S., France.

The Respondent is Sarah Hampton, United States of America (“United States”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <valdoxan.co> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 6, 2020. On October 6, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 6, 2020, 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 October 9, 2020 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 amended Complaint on October 20, 2020.

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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 3, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 23, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 30, 2002.

The Center appointed Nayiri Boghossian as the sole panelist in this matter on December 4, 2020. 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 manufactures the medicine carrying the trademark VALDOXAN. The Complainant owns a number of registrations for the VALDOXAN trademark such as the European Union Trade Mark Registration No. 002432904 filed on October 31, 2001, and registered on December 4, 2002, and the International Registration No. 783177 registered on April 26, 2002. The Complainant is the owner of the domain name <valdoxan.com>.

The disputed domain name was registered on August 1, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a page which contains pay-per-click (“PPC”) links to other pages which offer services.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark VALDOXAN. The disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark VALDOXAN in its entirety. The Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) “.co” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant to use its trademark.

The Respondent does not seem to be commonly known by the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that the Respondent is using or preparing to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent hasn’t granted the Complainant the authorization to use its trademark. The burden is on the Respondent to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark VALDOXAN as the product bearing said trademark is widely distributed in the world and because it is a distinctive word that has no dictionary meaning. The Respondent must have registered the disputed domain name in order to sell it to the Complainant. The disputed domain name is being used in bad faith as the disputed domain name resolves to a website which contains PPC links. The Respondent must have registered the disputed domain name in order to attract Internet users for commercial gain while taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s trademark. Lastly, the relevant page shows that the disputed domain name is offered for sale.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns trademark registrations for the trademark VALDOXAN. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark VALDOXAN.

The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trademark VALDOXAN in its entirety. The country code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.co” should typically be ignored when assessing confusing similarity as established by prior UDRP decisions.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the trademark of the Complainant and that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, particularly by asserting that it never authorized the Respondent to use its trademark as part of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent has not provided evidence of circumstances of the types specified in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or of any other circumstances, giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel notes that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark, which carries a high risk of implied affiliation.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirement under the Policy of showing that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant’s trademark had been registered for almost two decades by the time the disputed domain name was registered. Also, the trademark VALDOXAN is fanciful as it does not have a dictionary meaning. Therefore, the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. Additionally, the website to which the disputed domain name resolves includes PPC links. By clicking on the links, the Internet user is directed to the webpages of various hospitals, clinics and other service providers’ web-pages. Therefore, one can only conclude that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in order to attract traffic to its website and generate commercial gain.

Such conduct falls squarely within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, and accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied 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 <valdoxan.co> be transferred to the Complainant.

Nayiri Boghossian
Sole Panelist
Date: December 10, 2020