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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Credit Lyonnais v. Jehovah Technologies Pte LTD
Case No. D 2000-1425
1. The Parties
Complainant is CREDIT LYONNAIS, a French limited company, having its registered offices at Boulevard des Italiens 19, 75002 Paris, France. Complainant is represented by Novamark, having its principal place of business at rue Edouard Vaillant, 92593 Levallois Perret, France. Hereinafter referred to as "Complainant".
Respondent is Jehovah Technologies Pte LTD with a declared address at SG, SG 123456, Singapore. Hereinafter referred to as "Respondent".
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The domain name at issue is: <creditlyonnaisonline.com> (hereinafter referred to as "the Domain Name").
The registrar of the Domain Name at issue is Registrars.com, 475 Sansome Street 570 San Francisco, CA, USA 94111 (hereinafter referred to as "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
A Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) on October 19 and October 20, 2000, respectively in electronic format and in hardcopy.
On October 24, 2000, the acknowledgment of receipt of the Complaint and a request for Registrar verification were sent. The answer to that request was received from Registrars.com on the same day.
On October 27, 2000, once the Center verified the Complaint’s compliance with the formal requirements, the Notification of Complaint and Commencement of the Administrative Proceeding was sent to Respondent in accordance with paragraph 2(a) of the Rules.
The Respondent should have sent his response before November 14, 2000 but the Center did not receive any response within this time limit. Accordingly, on November 15, 2000, the Center sent the Notification of Respondent Default.
The Sole Panelist accepted his appointment on December 8, 2000, and submitted the corresponding Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence.
This dispute is within the scope of the Policy and the Administrative Panel and has jurisdiction to decide the dispute. The registration agreement pursuant to which the domain name was registered incorporates the Policy. The domain name was registered on December 18, 1999.
The language of the administrative proceeding is English, being the language of the registration agreement.
4. Factual Background
The Complaint is based upon Complainant's claimed rights in the French trademark "CREDIT LYONNAIS" registered with the French trademark office (INPI) on June 16, 1992. Complainant also holds several variant of its trademark like e.g. "LE NET CREDIT LYONNAIS", "CREDIT LYONNAIS AVANTAGE".
Evidence of registration with the French trademark office (INPI) of said trademarks has been filed by Complainant.
Complainant offers banking and financial services.
Complainant holds the domain name <creditlyonnais.fr>.
On December 18, 1999, Respondent registered the domain name <creditlyonnaisonline.com>.
In an electronic correspondence dated December 21, 1999, Respondent's administrative contact, Mr Peter Tan, offered for sale the Domain Name to Complainant in the following terms : "You are receiving this mail because our company Jehovah Technologies Pte Ltd is in possession of your company internet domain name. We are an internet domain name trading firm distributing internet domain name across the cyber highway in mass quantity. You have been contacted because a domain name similar to your company name has appeared under our sales listing (…). If you are interested in purchasing the above domain name, please reply promptly to this mail as we have a long list of buyers in the auction queue".
While, on September 21, 2000, Complainant tried to retrieve the URL "http://www.creditlyonnaisonline.com", the following message was encountered "we are moving in shortly… come back soon".
5. Parties’ Contentions
According to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, approved by ICANN on October 24, 1999 (hereinafter referred to as "the Policy"), Complainant requests a transfer in its favour of the Domain Name since it cumulatively meets the conditions listed under Paragraph 4 (a) of the Policy.
Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant's registered trademark "CREDIT LYONNAIS". Complainant's trademark is world-wide famous in the banking and financial sectors.
Respondent cannot demonstrate or establish any legitimate interest in the Domain Name as it did not hold any corresponding trademark.
Respondent has not established an active web page with the Domain Name.
The Domain Name has been registered for mere selling purposes.
No response was submitted.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (hereinafter referred to as the "Rules"), the Administrative Panel shall issue its decision on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that a Complainant must cumulatively establish each of the following three conditions to successfully challenge a registered domain name:
(1) that the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and,
(2) that the Respondent has no legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
On December 26, 2000, the Administrative Panel also tried to open Respondent's URL <http://www.creditlyonnaisonline.com>, the same message appeared.
The Administrative Panel shall now examine whether the conditions specified under paragraph 4 (a) of the Policy are satisfied here.
1) Right in a trademark - Identity or Confusing Similarity
"CREDIT LYONNAIS" is Complainant's registered trademark.
The domain name "creditlyonnaisonline.com" is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademark.
The addition of the terms "online" is not sufficient to avoid confusion. On the contrary, the word "online" strengthens the confusion since it induces e-banking services offered by this worldwide known banking operator.
With regard to avoiding confusion, the addition of the top level domain name ".com" is irrelevant.
2) Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name
According to Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall demonstrate rights or legitimate interests of Respondent in the domain name at issue:
(i) before any notice was given to Respondent of the dispute, Respondent used, or demonstrably made preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organisation) has been commonly known by the domain name, even though it has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) Respondent is making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
By not submitting a response, Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances which could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.
Furthermore, considering that Respondent does not use the Domain Name and that he has offered the Domain Name for sale to Complainant , it can reasonably be considered that Respondent would not be able to bring evidence of any of the circumstances described in article 4 (c) of the Policy.
The Administrative Panel therefore finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the Domain Name.
3) Registration and Use in Bad Faith
According to Paragraph 4 (b) of the Policy, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall demonstrate a bad faith registration and use of the domain name at issue :
(i) Circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or that Respondent has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) By using the domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to his web site or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of his web site or location or of a product or service on his web site or location.
It appears from Respondent's administrative contact mail dated December 18, 1999 that Respondent tried to sell the Domain Name to Complainant.
In view of the foregoing and pursuant to Paragraph 4 (b) (i) of the Policy, the Administrative Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith.
Consequently, the Administrative Panel considers that the three cumulative conditions provided under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are met in this case.
In light of the foregoing, the Administrative Panel decides that the domain name <creditlyonnaisonline.com> must be transferred to Complainant in accordance with the ICANN Policy and Rules.
Benoit Van Asbroeck
Dated: December 28, 2000