WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Arkema France v. Antonietta LoRusso NA, VirtualOffice
Case No. D2018-0982
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Arkema France of Colombes, France, represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, PC, United States of America ("United States").
The Respondent is Antonietta LoRusso NA, VirtualOffice of Cooperstown, New York, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <arkemarinc.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on May 3, 2018. On May 4, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 7, 2018, 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 May 22, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 11, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 12, 2018.
The Center appointed Linda Chang as the sole panelist in this matter on June 21, 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
The Complainant, a French company founded in 2004, makes and sells a wide variety of products such as fluorochemicals and technical polymers. The Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations around the world, including United States Trademark Registration No. 3082057 ARKEMA, registered on April 18, 2006.
The Domain Name was registered on March 2, 2018, and is currently resolving to a holding page of Zoho.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant has made the following contentions:
The Complainant is the owner of the ARKEMA trademark worldwide. The Domain Name consists of the ARKEMA trademark with an extra letter "r" and the term "inc", and is confusingly similar to the ARKEMA trademark.
The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant and has not received any license or consent to use the Complainant's trademark in domain names or in any other manner. More importantly, the Respondent is using the Domain Name for fraud purpose. The Respondent thus has no legitimate interests in or rights to the Domain Name.
Given the fame of the Complainant's trademark, it is inconceivable that the Respondent was unaware of the ARKEMA mark at the time of registering the Domain Name. The Respondent is using the Domain Name for purposes of perpetrating fraud. According with the evidence submitted with the Complaint, someone claiming to be part of the "Purchasing Department" with Armeka's American subsidiary, Arkema, Inc., has used the email address, […]@arkemarinc.com, to send emails to one of Arkema's vendors in an attempt to purchase meters using the Complainant's credit accounts. Therefore the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has registered trademark rights in the ARKEMA mark.
When assessing whether a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark in issue, the Panel agrees that the Top Level Domain ("TLD") in a domain name is a standard registration requirement and as such TLDs should generally be disregarded under the confusing similarity test.
After removing ".com", the Domain Name consists of "arkema" which is identical to the Complainant's ARKEMA trademark, the term "inc" which is commonly known as the abbreviation for "incorporated", and an extra letter "r" between the words "arkema" and "inc" of the Domain Name. The Panel holds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar mark to the Complainant's trademark. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0"), Section 1.8.
The Panel accordingly finds the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy and the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's ARKEMA trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is well-established by UDRP precedents that a complainant only needs to establish a prima facie case showing that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. Once such prima facie case is established, the burden shifts to the respondent for it to prove its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See International Hospitality Management – IHM S.p.A. v. Enrico Callegari Ecostudio, WIPO Case No. D2002-0683.
In the present case, the Complainant has asserted trademark registrations and that it has not given any license to the Respondent to use its ARKEMA trademark in any manner, including in domain names.
The Complainant further submitted evidence showing that the Respondent is attempting to conduct fraudulent activities through the Domain Name. The Panel determines that such use of the Domain Name is not a bona fide offering of goods or services and cannot be the basis of rights or legitimate interests in a domain name.
For these reasons, the Panel is satisfied that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Domain Name was registered in March 2018, which fell far after the Complainant registered and used the ARKEMA trademark. In view of the fame of the Complainant's ARKEMA trademark and the Respondent's use of the Domain Name after the registration, the Panel finds that the Respondent must have been well aware of the Complainant's trademark at the time of registering the Domain Name.
Though the website at the Domain Name is currently a very simple holding page, evidence submitted by the Complainant shows that the Respondent is using the Domain Name and its associated email server to pose as a staff from the purchasing department of the Complainant and send fraudulent emails on behalf of the Complainant. The Respondent is elaborately attempting to fraud against vendors in the market so that it could receive goods free of charge. The Panel determines that the Domain Name was registered by the Respondent with the purpose of perpetrating apparently illegal activities, which shows registration and use in bad faith. See Graybar Services Inc. v. Graybar Elec, Grayberinc Lawrenge, WIPO Case No. D2009-1017.
In light of the above, the Panel determines that the Complainant has satisfied this element and the Respondent registered and is using the 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 Domain Name, <arkemarinc.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 13, 2018