WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Missoni S.p.A. v. Yasser Kariminejad
Case No. DIR2016-0016
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Missoni S.p.A. of Sumirago, Italy, represented by Modiano & Associati S.p.A., Italy.
The Respondent is Yasser Kariminejad of Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <m-missoni.ir> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with IRNIC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 31, 2016. On May 31, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 1, 2016, IRNIC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. Hard copies of the Complaint were received by the Center on June 2, 2016.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “irDRP”), the Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 14, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 4, 2016. No Response was received, and the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 5, 2016.
On July 6, 2016, the Complaint was notified to additional email addresses associated with the Respondent, who was given until July 11, 2016 to indicate to the Center whether or not he wished to take part in this proceeding. The Respondent did not respond.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on July 25, 2016. 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 is a well-known Italian fashion house trading internationally under the names “Missoni” and “M-Missoni”. It is the proprietor of many trade mark registrations covering these names, such as MISSONI (word) registered in Italy in class 25 under number 0001254527 first applied for on September 2, 1969 and registered on May 15, 1971 and Community Trade Mark No. 002560969 M MISSONI (figurative) registered on June 13, 2003 (application filed January 31, 2002) in classes 3 and 18.
The Domain Name WhoIs record annexed to the Complaint does not indicate precisely when the Domain Name was registered. The record indicates that it was “last-updated 2016-01-13” and that the registration is due to expire on January 11, 2017. The webpage to which the Domain Name was connected shortly before the date of the Complaint featured a copyright notice dated 2015.
The webpage to which the Domain Name was connected (it now leads to an error page) featured a list of fashion brands, namely “ZARA”, “collezione”, “NINE WEST” and “celio” and a link to another website advertising those and other ladies’ fashion brands, being competitors of the Complainant.
The Respondent is also the proprietor of other domain names in the “.ir” country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) featuring the names of well-known fashion houses, such as <pierre-cardin.ir>, <tommy-hilfiger.ir>, <facconable.ir>, <brooksbrothers.ir>, and <vilebrequin.ir> among others, but currently they do not appear to be connected to active websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s MISSONI and M MISSONI registered trade marks, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that it has been both registered and used in bad faith.
The Respondent has not filed a response to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove that:
(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 or is being used in bad faith.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Self-evidently the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s MISSONI and M MISSONI registered trade marks and the Panel so finds.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
That the Respondent is familiar with fashion brands is clear from its record of having registered such names as domain names (see Section 4 above). The Domain Name is a highly distinctive non-descriptive name. It is inconceivable that the Respondent registered the Domain Name without having the Complainant firmly in mind. In the world of fashion (the context in which the Domain Name was used) it identifies the Complainant and nobody else.
What possible justification could the Respondent have had for using the Domain Name to lead to a website featuring brands in competition with the Complainant? The Panel can think of no possible justification and the Respondent has not come forward with any explanation.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
D. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant gives several sound bases for its contention that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith and that it has been used in bad faith, although for the purposes of the Policy one good basis for either bad faith registration or bad faith use will suffice.
The Panel accepts the Complainant’s unchallenged assertion that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name for commercial gain and that the Respondent’s subsequent use of the Domain Name has been consistent with that aim. The Panel also accepts the Complainant’s contention that to adopt for commercial gain a trade mark owner’s brand name for a domain name which is intended to lead to links to competitors of that trade mark owner is a flagrant abuse of the system.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) 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, <m-missoni.ir>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 29, 2016