WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pandacraft, SAS v. Yabani Eze
Case No. DCO2021-0071
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Pandacraft, SAS, France, represented by Bonnier Saint-Félix, France.
The Respondent is Yabani Eze, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <pandacraft.co> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Sav.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 13, 2021. On September 13, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On September 14, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name, which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on September 20, 2021, 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 September 24, 2021.
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 September 28, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 18, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 29, 2021.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on November 22, 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 Complainant operates in distance selling of children’s activities from three to twelve years old. Launched in May 2013, PANDACRAFT SAS has nearly 110,000 subscribers who receive a kit with a novel theme each month consisting of a manual activity and an educational magazine.
The Complainant owns several trademarks incorporating the term “pandacraft”, such as French trademark No. 4367099, registered on June 8, 2017, and Swiss trademark No. 707355 registered on the same date. On April 3, 2020 the Complainant also registered the trademark PANDACRAFT in the European Union under registration No. 018221079, registered on April 3, 2020.
The Complainant owns various domain names, such as <pandacraft.fr>, <pandacraft.com>, and <pandacraft.co.uk>.
The Domain Name was registered on September 21, 2020. At the time of drafting the decision, the Domain Name redirected to parking pages with commercial links and/or pay-per-click advertisements.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to its trademarks, with the same number of letters, positioned in the same orders and with an identical pronunciation.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or has previous rights in the Domain Name. The Respondent’s business is not connected in any way with the Domain Name. The Complainant argues that the Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as the Respondent has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. On the contrary, the Respondent is making an illegitimate use of the Domain Name and tarnishes the Complainant’s trademarks.
Finally, the Complainant submits that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its trademark when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Complainant’s trademarks are distinctive and registered in many countries. The Domain Name redirects Internet users to parking pages with commercial links and/or pay-per-click advertisements. It is evidence that the Domain Name has been registered and used in bad faith. Moreover, the Complainant documents that the Domain Name has been offered for sale for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name. Finally, the Complainant points out that the Respondent has been on the losing end of several UDRP cases in the past, such as CSC Brands LP v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC / Yabani Eze, Sugarcane Internet Nigeria Limited, WIPO Case No. D2020-0991; and Sodexo v. Yabani Eze, Sugarcane Internet Nigeria Limited, WIPO Case No. DCO2021-0032.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established rights in its trademark PANDACRAFT.
In this case, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark. It is permissible for the Panel to ignore the country code Top-Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.co” under the first element of the Policy; see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way. There is no evidence suggesting that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted any authorization to the Respondent. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as it has not made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering. The Domain Name, which is identical to the trademark PANDACRAFT, redirects the Internet users to parking pages with commercial links and/or pay-per-click advertisements. This is of course not bona fide, but rather evidence of bad faith; see WIPO Overview 3.0 section 2.9.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s distinctive trademark. Based on the Complainant’s submissions, the Panel finds it probable that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark and its business when the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
The Domain Name redirects the Internet users to parking pages with commercial links and/or pay-per-click advertisements. Based on the case file, the Panel notes that the Respondent has tried to create a false association between the Domain Name and the trademark “pandacraft”. The Respondent has tried to attract Internets users to its website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark.
There is also evidence that the Domain Name has been offered for sale for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs. The Domain Name is identical to the trademark “pandacraft” which is a highly distinctive mark. This indicates that the Domain Name was registered for the bad-faith purpose of selling it to the Complainant or to a competitor of the Complainant, see WIPO Overview 3.0 section 3.1.1.
Based on earlier case law – the Respondent seems to be involved in a pattern of bad faith conduct. In the previous cases, the Respondent has been ordered to transfer the domain names to its legitimate owners.
Furthermore, the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions and used a privacy service when registering the Domain Name (according to the WhoIs annexed to the Complaint). These circumstances may further indicate bad faith.
The Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <pandacraft.co> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 26, 2021