WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bollore v. Mohammadali Mokhtari
Case No. DIR2018-0014
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bollore of Ergue Gaberic, France, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Mohammadali Mokhtari of Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bollore.ir> is registered with IRNIC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 12, 2018. On July 12, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 14, 2018, 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 July 16, 2018.
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 July 23, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 12, 2018. On August 13, 2018, the Center notified the Respondent's default.
The Center appointed Clive Duncan Thorne as the sole panelist in this matter on August 24, 2018. 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
According to the Complainant, The Bollore Group is a French registered company founded in 1822. Its commercial activities now include strong activity in transportation and logistics, communication and media, and electricity storage and solutions. Further details are set out in Annex 2 to the Complaint which exhibits extracts from the Bollore website.
It is one of the 500 largest companies in the world. It is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange though a majority interest is held by the Bollore family. In addition to its trading activities the Complainant manages a number of financial assets including plantations and financial investments.
The Complainant owns several trade marks incorporating BOLLORE including International registration BOLLORE no.704697 (registered on December 11, 1998), a copy of which is exhibited at Annex 3 to the Complaint.
The Complainant owns various domain names including <bollore.com>.
The disputed domain name <bollore.ir> was registered on July 2, 2018, which is after the date of the Complainant's trade mark registration that it relies upon. It resolves to an inactive website details of which are set out in Annex 5 to the Complaint.
In the absence of a Response the Panel accepts the evidence adduced by the Complainant to be true and proceeds to determine the Complaint on the basis of that evidence
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant submits:
1. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trade mark BOLLORE.
2. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence to that effect.
3. The disputed domain name was registered with knowledge of the Complainant's prior rights and is being used in respect of an inactive website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
On the basis of the evidence of the Complainant's rights in the trade mark BOLLORE, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name incorporates the word "Bollore" in its entirety. As the Complainant points out; the addition of the country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) ".ir" does not prevent confusing similarity.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark i.e., BOLLORE in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Once the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent. The Complainant submits that the Respondent under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has failed to show that he has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
On the evidence, the Respondent is Mohammadali Mokhtari (Annex 1 to the Complaint). There is no evidence that Mohammali Mokhtari is known as nor uses the name "Bollore". Indeed the Respondent's website is inactive. The Complainant also confirms that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by it to use the trade mark BOLLORE.
On the basis of this evidence the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant's evidence at Annex 6 to the Complaint shows that the trade mark BOLLORE has a substantial and widespread reputation throughout the world. In the absence of a Response the Panel accepts this evidence.
The Complainant submits that given the international reputation of the trade mark the Respondent must have registered the disputed domain name with knowledge of the Complainant and its rights.
The Complainant also submits that this combined with an inactive website has been held to support a finding of bad faith. It also relies upon previous Panel decisions involving the Respondent set out in the Complaint.
In these circumstances, with no evidence to the contrary, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name 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 disputed domain name <bollore.ir> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive Duncan Thorne
Date: September 4, 2018