WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION RELATED TO THE REQUEST TO CHANGE THE LANGUAGE OF THE ADR PROCEEDING
KPMG International Cooperative v. Montet Gilles
Case No. DEUL2019-0003
1. The Parties
The Complainant is KPMG International Cooperative, Netherlands, represented by Taylor Wessing, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Montet Gilles, France.
2. The Domain Name, Registry and Registrar
The disputed domain name is <kpmg-finance.eu>.
The Registry of the disputed domain name is the European Registry for Internet Domains (“EURid” or the “Registry”). The Registrar of the disputed domain name is Register S.p.A..
3. Procedural History
The Request to Change the Language of the ADR Proceeding (the “Request”) was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) pursuant to the .eu Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules (the “ADR Rules”), Paragraph A(3)(b), on September 11, 2019. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registry a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 12, 2019, the Registry 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 Request. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on September 19, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registry, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Request. Complainant filed an amendment to the Request on September 23, 2019.
In accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(3), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Request, and the proceedings commenced on September 24, 2019. In accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(4), the due date for Response was October 6, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 7, 2019.
The Center appointed Benoit Van Asbroeck as the sole panelist in this matter on October 10, 2019 in accordance with the ADR Rules, Paragraph A(3)(b)(4). 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 ADR Rules, Paragraph B(5).
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a company registered under the laws of the Netherlands, with registered seat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is one of the “Big Four” professional services firms, providing audit, tax and advisory services, and had in 2018 combined global revenues of USD 28.96 billion. The KPMG global network of professional services firms operates in approximately 153 countries, with over 207,000 employees. The Complainant owns the KPMG trademark and licenses its use to the KPMG member firms, which have used it for the past 30 years.
The Respondent is an individual in France.
The disputed domain name, <kpmg-finance.eu> was registered by the Respondent on August 21, 2019. It currently resolves to a parked landing website completely written in French offering the possibility to recover the disputed domain name and which is attached to an email server.
The language of the registration agreement used by the Respondent to register the disputed domain name is French, as confirmed by the Registry.
5. Parties’ Contentions
According to the Complainant, the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name is French. The Complainant requests that the language of the ADR Proceeding be English. As set forth by Paragraph A(3)(b)(1)(iii) of the ADR Rules, the Complainant specifies, inter alia, the following circumstances to justify a change of language of this ADR Proceeding to English:
- The Complainant submits that there is no evidence that the Respondent is not fluent or proficient in English;
- The Respondent has conducted an conducted an unlawful email scam in Portuguese;
- Based on the multiple languages encountered and used by the Respondent at various points, it does not appear that the Respondent would suffer any real prejudice if the proceedings are conducted in English;
- The Registrar’s website provides an English translation of the registration agreement;
- The disputed domain name includes the English word “finance”, indicating that the Respondent is proficient in English;
- The Complainant and its authorised representative conduct their day-to-date activities in English;
- In light of the Respondent’s decision to register and use the disputed domain name in bad faith for fraudulent purposes, it would unduly burden the Complainant to have to arrange and pay for a translation in Italian.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with Paragraph A(3)(a) of the ADR Rules, “unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the ADR Proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name. In the absence of an agreement between the Parties, the Panel may in its sole discretion, having regard to the circumstances of the ADR Proceeding, decide on the written request of a Complainant that the language of the ADR Proceeding will be different than the language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name.”
The wording of this provision makes it clear that preference is given to the language of the registration agreement as to the language of ADR Proceedings. It is upon the Complainant to submit arguments and supporting evidence for its request to change the language of the proceedings.
From reviewing the evidence submitted by the Complainant, the Panel finds that in the present case the language of the registration agreement used by the Respondent to register the disputed domain name is French and not English, as confirmed by the Registry. The Panel also notes that the Respondent is located in France.
Although the Respondent did not reply to the Request, the Complainant does not provide any convincing arguments that would indicate that the use of the French language in the ADR Proceeding is prejudicial to the Complainant and that the change of language would ensure the rights of the Respondent to defend itself and the right to equal treatment.
In light of the above, the Panel concludes that the circumstances do not justify a change of the language of the ADR Proceedings.
For the foregoing reasons, the request is denied. The language of the ADR Proceeding shall be French.
This Panel’s decision shall be final and not subject to appeal.
Benoit Van Asbroeck
Date: October 22, 2019