WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CRIS CONF S.p.A. v. DI S.A.
Case No. D2012-1156
1. The Parties
The Complainant is CRIS CONF S.p.A. of Fidenza, Italy, represented by Modiano Gardi Patents, Italy.
The Respondent is DI S.A. of Bertrange, Luxembourg.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <pinko.com> is registered with EuroDNS S.A.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 6, 2012. On June 7, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to EuroDNS S.A. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 8, 2012, EuroDNS S.A. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on June 8, 2012.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 11, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 1, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 3, 2012.
The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on July 5, 2012. 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 an Italian fashion company. It has 128 stores operating in around 20 countries as well as an online store that sells into other markets. It operates under the trade mark PINKO.
The Respondent operates a website under the disputed domain name which originally contained sponsored links from, amongst others, competitors of the Complainant. The web site operating under the disputed domain name currently contains both links to financial credit providers and also to competitors of the Complainant.
The disputed domain name was registered in March 2002.
The Complainant is the right holder of numerous International and European Community registered trademarks, be it verbal or graphic, consisting in whole or in part of the name PINKO. For example:
- European Community trademark for PINKO (No. 538375), registered in November 1989;
- International Registration for PINKO (No. 772270), registered in December 2001.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to its trade mark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that the registration or continued use of the disputed domain name was in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
As stated above, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has trademark rights in PINKO.
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trade mark in its entirety. Although it consists of a common colloquial term, the Complainant has an established reputation in the trade mark. There is therefore no doubt that the possibility for confusion exists, and that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is for the Complainant to establish, at least prima facie that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Use for a web site redirecting Internet users to sponsored links including those of competitors of the Complainant, may not in itself constitute use sufficient to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. To the extent that “pinko” may be understood to have any descriptive or pejorative meaning, certainly the domain name is not being used in a manner consistent therewith. There is no evidence that the Respondent has ever used, or made preparations to use, the disputed domain name in any other way.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Use for the purpose of redirecting Internet users to sponsored links, including those of competitors of the Complainant is perhaps the most classic case of registration and use in bad faith. That the sponsored links include those of competitors of the Complainant evinces as intention to profit from the confusion created because the Complainant’s trade mark and the disputed domain name are identical or confusingly similar. This appears to have been the use in evidence at the time of the filing of the Complaint and the Panel attaches little relevance to the fact that since the Complaint was filed some aspects of such use may have changed.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) 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 disputed domain name <pinko.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael J. Spence
Dated: July 10, 2012