WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Showroomprive.com, SARL v. G. Dresselhuis
Case No. DNL2012-0003
1. The Parties
Complainant is Showroomprive.com, SARL of La Plaine Saint Denis, France represented by Nameshield, France.
Respondent is G. Dresselhuis of Leimuiden, The Netherlands.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <showroomprive.nl> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with SIDN through Metaregistrar.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 30, 2012. On January 31, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to SIDN a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On January 31, 2012, SIDN transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, Complainant filed an amended Complaint on February 2, 2012. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Dispute Resolution Regulations for .nl Domain Names (the “Regulations”).
In accordance with the Regulations, articles 5.1 and 16.4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 2, 2012. In accordance with the Regulations, article 7.1, the due date for Response was February 22, 2012. On February 20, 2012, the Center received an email communication from Respondent. On February 21, 2012, the Center advised Respondent regarding the Response due date. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on February 23, 2012.
On February 29, 2012, Respondent requested an extension of the Response due date. On the same day, the Center advised Respondent that the Regulations do not allow for an extension of the Response due date and requested Complainant to submit any comments it may have on Respondent’s request. On March 1, 2012, Complainant indicated that it wanted the proceedings to continue in the regular manner. On March 7, 2012, Respondent submitted its late Response and requested that the Response be brought to the Panel’s attention.
The Center appointed Remco M.R. van Leeuwen as the Panelist in this matter on March 12, 2012. The Panelist finds that the Panel was properly constituted. The Panelist has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required to ensure compliance with the Regulations, article 9.2.
Since Respondent was duly informed of the Complaint and no specific circumstances have been brought to the attention of the Panel as to why the Response could not have been submitted in time, the Response will not be taken into consideration.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is an online sales event club that specializes in online brand destocking. Complainant started in 2006 in France selling through a website linked to the domain name <showroomprive.com>. Complainant refers to the annexes filed with the Complaint for information about its activities in several European countries. However, these annexes, being in the French language, do not meet the language requirements of article 17 of the Regulations and as such will therefore not be taken into consideration by the Panel.
Insofar as relevant for this Complaint, Complainant owns the following trademark (hereinafter: the “Trademark”):
European trademark SHOWROOMPRIVE.COM, registered on January 23, 2008, under number 5761374 in classes 25, 35 and 38.
The date of the registration of the Domain Name by Respondent is July 5, 2008. According to Complainant, the Domain Name is, and has been since its registration, linked to a parking page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
A trademark or trade name protected under Dutch law
Complainant claims that it is entitled to the Trademark. According to Complainant, the Domain Name is very similar to the Trademark since it reproduces the entire Trademark only adding the Country Code Top Level Domain “.nl”. Moreover, according to Complainant the term “showroomprive” is composed of “showroom” which is an English word and “prive” which is a French word. Therefore Complainant believes it appears difficult to justify a registration of a domain name on a basis of two generic terms which are in two languages different from Dutch.
No rights or legitimate interests
According to Complainant, Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, since Respondent has no authorization or license to use the Trademark, nor is Respondent known by the Domain Name.
According to Complainant, Respondent is the co-founder of ShopVIP.com, which is Complainant’s competitor in The Netherlands.
Registration or use in bad faith
According to Complainant, it is reasonable to infer that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith, since Respondent is a competitor of Complainant and therefore Respondent must have known of Complainant and its rights in the Trademark. Therefore, according to Complainant, the aim of the registration was to mislead and disrupt Complainant’s business.
Respondent did not timely reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with article 10.3 of the Regulations, since no timely Response has been filed by Respondent, the Panel will decide on the basis of the Complaint. Based on this article, the Panel will have to grant the Complaint unless it seems unlawful or without merit. Therefore, the Panel will review the Complaint on this basis.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Unlike Complainant, the Panel finds that a comparison should be made not between the term “showroomprive” and the Domain Name but between the Trademark, being SHOWROOMPRIVE.COM, and the Domain Name. Also, the Panel views as incomplete Complainant’s assertion that the Domain Name is composed of an English and a French word. Both the word “showroom” and the word “prive” are also dictionary terms in the Dutch language. However, the order in which these words are included in the Domain Name is uncommon in Dutch. Where “priveshowroom” would be descriptive of a private showroom, “showroomprive” in principal does not constitute a normal Dutch combination of words.
The difference between the Trademark and the Domain Name is merely the difference in the Top Level Domain “.com” or “.nl”, therefore, the Panel deems the Domain Name to be confusingly similar to the Trademark.
The Panel therefore rules that Complainant has met the first ground of the Regulations as set out in article 2.1(a).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant states that Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and that the Domain Name is linked to a parking page. Respondent did not file a timely Response and the Panel has not found any rights or legitimate interests that Respondent may have in the Domain Name in the record, and will have to presume it has none.
The Panel therefore rules that Complainant has met the second ground of the Regulations as set out in article 2.1(b).
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
Complainant states that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith since it was registered by the co-founder of a competitor. Complainant has added a Dutch article from a news website from which it becomes apparent that Respondent is indeed the co-founder of a business similar to that of Complainant. Therefore, the Panel deems it indeed likely that Respondent knew Complainant and its Trademark when it registered the Domain Name half a year after Complainant registered its Trademark in 2008. Consequently, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith.
The Panel therefore rules that Complainant has met the third ground of the Regulations as set out in article 2.1(c).
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with articles 1 and 14 of the Regulations, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <showroomprive.nl> be transferred to Complainant.
Remco M.R. van Leeuwen
Dated: March 26, 2012