WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pellenc v. Anonymize, Inc.
Case No. DCO2021-0024
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Pellenc, France, represented by Cabinet Nuss, France.
The Respondent is Anonymize, Inc., United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <pellenc.co> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Epik, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 1, 2021. On April 6, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 7, 2021, 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 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 April 15, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 5, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 6, 2021. On May 12, 2021, due to an inadvertent administrative oversight, the Center granted the Respondent a five-day period (e.g., through May 17, 2021) in which to indicate whether it wished to participate to this proceeding. The Center did not receive any communication from the Respondent.
The Center appointed Willem J. H. Leppink as the sole panelist in this matter on May 25, 2021. 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 following facts are undisputed.
The Complainant is a French company with activities in manufacturing machines, equipment and professional hand-held power tools for agriculture and maintenance of green and urban areas.
The Complainant started its specialized business in 2008 and currently has several subsidiaries and production facilities worldwide. The Complainant is the owner of 1,081 patents worldwide.
The Complainant owns several trademark registrations comprising the word element “PELLENC”, including but not limited to, the European Union trademark PELLENC (word mark), with registration No. 005794854, with a filing date of March 29, 2007 and with a registration date of January 29, 2008 for goods in classes 7, 8 and 9, and the United States trademark PELLENC (word mark), with registration No. 3591393, with a filing date of March 28, 2007 and with a registration date of March 17, 2009 for goods and services in classes 7, 8 and 9 (hereinafter jointly referred to as the “Trademark”).
The Complainant is the owner of various domain names that incorporate the Trademark, including inter alia <pellenc.com>, <pellenc.net> and <pellenc.us>.
The Domain Name was registered on July 11, 2020, and resolves to a parked page comprising pay-per-click (“PPC”) links which include hyperlinks relating to the Complainant’s activity under the Trademark, namely agriculture equipment and tools (the “Website”).
5. Parties’ Contentions
A. The Complainant
Insofar as relevant for deciding this matter, the Complainant contends the following.
The Domain Name is identical to the Trademark. Further, the Website is a parked page which reroutes to various Internet links offering the purchase of tools, pruning shears and gardening articles. Therefore, the Domain Name refers to the same products as the Complainant’s Trademark and constitutes an infringement of the Complainant’s prior trademark rights.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent is not and has never been commonly known by the Domain Name. The fact that the Respondent offers the Domain Name for sale on Uniregistery market website proofs that the Respondent is not interested in the Domain Name and that the Respondent has only registered the Domain Name for commercial gain. The Respondent is not making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
The Domain Name was registered and has been used in bad faith. Respondent must have had knowledge of the Complainant’s Trademark and use in the mark. The Trademark is globally recognized in the specialized agriculture. Also, the Domain Name is hosting a parked page with advertisement links to other firms specialized in the same field of activities as the Complainant’s Trademark.
B. The Respondent
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant must demonstrate that it has rights in a trademark or service mark and, if so, the Domain Name must be shown to be identical or confusingly similar to that mark.
The Complainant has shown that it has rights in the Trademark valid in the European Union and the United States.
As set out in the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7, the first element functions primarily as a standing requirement. The threshold test for confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the Trademark involves a relatively straightforward comparison.
Previous panels have found that a domain name is confusingly similar to a complainant’s trademark where the domain name incorporates the trademark in its entirety, which is the case here. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to the Trademark, as required by the Policy.
In light of the foregoing, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to the Trademark.
Therefore, the Panel is satisfied that the first element of the Policy is met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel has carefully considered the factual allegations that have been made by the Complainant and are supported by the submitted evidence.
In particular, the Respondent has failed to offer the Panel any of the types of evidence set forth in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy from which the Panel might conclude that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, such as:
(i) use or preparation to use the Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to notice of the dispute; or
(ii) being commonly known by the Domain Name (as an individual, business or other organization) even if the Respondent has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
The Respondent does not seem to be affiliated with the Complainant in any way. There is no evidence that “Pellenc” is the Respondent’s name or that the Respondent is commonly known under this name. There is also no evidence that the Respondent is, or has ever been, a licensee of the Complainant or that the Respondent has ever asked, or has ever been permitted in any way by the Complainant to register or use the Trademark, or to apply for or use any domain name incorporating the Trademark.
According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Website is a parked page comprising PPC links such as “Outil de Vente Crm” and “Sécateur Electrique”, which compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the Trademark (WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.9). Noting that the Domain Name incorporates the Trademark in its entirety, the Panel finds that such use does not represent a bona fide offering of goods and/or services.
It is also clear from the facts presented in this case that the Respondent is not making any legitimate noncommercial fair use of the Domain Name.
Noting further that the Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint and thus has not taken any steps to rebut the Complainant’s arguments, the Panel finds that the Respondent lacks rights to or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.
Therefore, the Panel is satisfied that the second element of the Policy is met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel refers to its considerations under section 6.B and adds the following.
In light of the evidence filed by the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Trademark and the Complainant’s activities are well known throughout the world. Accordingly, in the Panel’s view, the Respondent must have been aware of the existence of the Complainant’s activities and rights at the time the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
In the Panel’s view, there is no plausible explanation why the Respondent registered the Domain Name other than the Respondent intending to trade off the goodwill and reputation associated with the Complainant. The Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its Website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Trademark.
The evidence also shows that the Respondent is offering the Domain Name for sale. While consistent with section 3.1.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0, the registration of a domain name for subsequent resale (including for a profit) would not by itself support a finding of bad faith, the above discussed circumstances indicate that the Respondent’s intent in registering the Domain Name was to illegitimately profit from or otherwise exploit the Trademark.
In conclusion, the Panel is satisfied that the third element of the Policy is met and that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <pellenc.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Willem J. H. Leppink
Date: June 8, 2021