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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bouygues v. Belkowiche.Co, Patrice Belkowiche
Caso No: D2002-1166
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bouygues of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Regimbeau of France.
The Respondents are Belkowiche.Co, Patrice Belkowiche of California, United States of America.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <bouyguesgroup.com> and <groupebouygues.com> are registered with Register.com.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on December 23, 2002. On December 24, 2002, the Center transmitted by email to Register.com a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On December 24, 2002, Register.com transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondents are listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy"), 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 Respondents of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 8, 2003. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 28, 2003. The Respondents did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondents’ default on January 30, 2003.
The Center appointed Nuno Cruz as the sole panelist in this matter on February 13, 2003. 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
Since Respondents have not filed a Response within the requisite period, the dispute shall be decided upon the allegations in the Complaint (Rules, paragraphs 5(d), 10(d), and 14(b)).
Complainant is a well-known diversified group which is established in more than 80 countries.
Complainant has registered and used trademarks consisting of the name "BOUYGUES" in numerous countries for products and services in classes 6, 19, 37 and 42.
Complainant has registered several domain names which included the word "BOUYGUES" such as <bouygues.fr> or <bouygues.com>.
5. Parties’ Contentions
(1) The domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks;
(2) Respondents have no legitimate interests in the domain names as there is no relationship between the Respondents and Complainant that would give rise to any license, permission or others rights by which the Respondents could use any domain name incorporating the "BOUYGUES" trademark;
(3) Respondents are using the domain names in bad faith as they have registered the domain names primarily for the purpose of selling those domain names.
The Respondents did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The domain names <bouyguesgroup.com> and <groupebouygues.com> are confusingly similar to "BOUYGUES" because they include the Complainant’s trademarks with the adjunction of the generic terms "group" or "groupe".
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondents have not filed a Response and do not appear to have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain names. Moreover, the domain names subject to this Complaint are not being used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services nor with fair use purposes. Despite the fact that the registration of the domain names were issued on February 3, 2000, Respondents have not made any use of them, proving the lack of any commercial or fair use purposes other than a bad faith passive holding intention.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In correspondence dated December 16, 2002, Respondents alleged that an amount of USD 15,000 (fifteen thousand) would be due in order to transfer the domain names.
The unrebutted evidence supports a determination that Respondents registered the domain names for the purpose of transferring the domain names to Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of "out-of-pocket" costs directly related to the domain names.
In the absence of a Response from the Respondents, there appears to be no explanation of the facts other than that the Respondents registered the Complainant’s trademark as domain names with an intent to use the domain names to demand unwarranted profit in bad faith and that the Respondents have so used the domain names in question in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain names <groupebouygues.com> and <bouyguesgroup.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: February 24, 2003