WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Natixis v. Metodi Darzev / TOOL DOMAINS LTD
Case No. DNU2019-0008
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Natixis, France, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
The Respondent is Metodi Darzev / TOOL DOMAINS LTD, Bulgaria, self-represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <natixisbank.nu> is registered with Registrar.eu (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the ”Center”) on November 22, 2019. On November 26, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 28. 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that the 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 December 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 22, 2019. The Response was filed with the Center on December 6, 2019.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on December 12, 2019. 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.
The Complainant received an email from the Respondent on December 3, 2019 “Hi, you still have a chance to settle and have the domain tomorrow for a small sum instead of after a month for 1000 Euro. We’ll reply so there will be no accelerated procedure.” The Complainant sent an email back to the Respondent (and copied the Center on that message) providing a draft settlement agreement. But the parties never executed such agreement. The Respondent filed the Response and this matter proceeded to disposition herein.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a French corporate and financial services company and owns several registrations for the trademark NATIXIS, including European Union Community Trade Mark Reg. No. 5129176, registered on June 21, 2007. The Complainant uses the NATIXIS mark in connection with banking and financial services. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on October 16, 2019. It uses the disputed domain name to publish a web page containing sponsored links, including links to providers of financial services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Though the Respondent filed a Response to the Complaint, the Response provides no significant facts, nor does it introduce any substantive legal argument. Instead, the Respondent states therein that it objects to the arguments the Complainant has raised, and otherwise denies, in a summary fashion, that the Complainant should be entitled to relief under the Policy.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant owns trademark registrations for the NATIXIS mark that predate the registration of the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name incorporates the NATIXIS mark in its entirety – this is sufficient here to establish confusing similarity. The presence of the additional generic word “bank” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent.
The Complainant has established, prima facie, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. On this point, the Complainant asserts that:
1. The Respondent has no trademark rights in respect of the name NATIXIS.
2. There is no business or legal relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent.
3. The Complainant has not authorized or granted a license to the Respondent to use its trademarks in any way.
Based on the record, it is also clear that the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Nor does the Respondent, as identified, appear to be known by the disputed domain name. These facts establish the Complainant’s prima facie showing. The Response does not introduce evidence or argument to rebut this prima facie showing. The Panel finds that the Complainant has established this second element under the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Because the Complainant’s mark is well-known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of that mark when it registered the disputed domain name. Use of the word “bank” in the disputed domain name indicates the Respondent targeted the Complainant and its trademark – the Complainant is in the financial space. In the circumstances of this case, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name. Bad faith use is indicated by the Respondent’s activities of using the disputed domain name to provide a website with pay-per-click links. For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully met this third Policy element.
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 <natixisbank.nu> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: December 24, 2019