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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Codorniu, S.A. v. Olgierd Swida

Case No. DTV2003-0001

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Codorniu, S.A., Mercedes Barriocanal, Gran Vía 644, 08007, Barcelona, of Spain, represented by Landwell, PricewaterhouseCoopers of Spain.

The Respondent is Olgierd Swida, 6643 NW 48th Street, Coral Springs, FL 33067, of United States of America.

 

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <codorniu.tv> is registered with ".tv" Corporation International.

 

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on February 3, 2003. On February 4, 2003, the Center transmitted by email to ".tv" Corporation International a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 6, 2003, ".tv" Corporation International transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. On February 19, 2003, Respondent transmitted by e-mail a message in German. On February 25, 2003, Respondent transmitted by e-mail further allegations. On March 4 and 6, Complainant sent to the Center an English version of the complaint. 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 18, 2003. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 10, 2003. Due to Respondent allegations, the Center granted an extension to submit a response until March 26, 2003. Through a document dated March 25, 2003, and received by the Center on April 14, 2003, the Respondent submitted a response.

The Center appointed Daniel Peña as the sole panelist in this matter on April 16, 2003. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.

For the purposes of this decision, the Panel shall use the English language since it is the language of the registration agreement. Nonetheless, the Panel considers that the right of defense of the Respondent has been fully respected in all acts carried out in the Spanish language given the knowledge that the Respondent has of that language.

 

4. Factual Background

Complainant is currently the titleholder of several registered trademarks on a national, EU and international level of the trademarks to which Codorniu, S.A. holds title, the most part consist of the registration of the denominative or mixed trademark "CODORNIU".

The most significant registrations of trademark Codorniu according to the complainant are:

A. International trademarks:

MARK

NUMBER

DATE

CLASS

 

 

CODORNIU

272.840

10. 08.1963

33

719.224

13.09.1999

33

630.287

17.11.1994

33

B) National marks

MARK

NUMBER

DATE

CLASS

 

 

 

 

CODORNIU

465.700

03.06.1965

2-16

465.701

03.06.1965

1-16

465.696

11.06.1965

33

465.697

11.06.1965

32

465.693

07.01.1966

1-29-30

465.692

20.01.1966

5-31

465.708

22.03.1966

16-18-21-22-24-28

465.704

01.12.1966

21

465.705

01.12.1966

21

465.709

01.12.1966

21

465.706

21.04.1967

18-20-21

1.981.622

05.02.1996

34

 

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Codorniu, S.A., is one of the most important wine making companies in Europe and is mainly engaged in the preparation of quality sparkling and table wines.

This is a wine-making empire that has been in the same family for 400 years. The history of the Codorniu family goes back to the middle of the 16th century. A document from that time attests to the existence of Jaume Codorniu and confirms that at that time the family had their own wine-making machinery and instruments. In 1659 the Codorniu family was united with another wine-making family, the Reventós family, by marriage.

A member of the Raventós-Codorniu family is responsible for the introduction of the sparkling wine-making industry in the Penedés region. Josep Raventós Fatjó began preparing this wine in Spain that today is known as "Cava", which was encouraged and expanded by his son Manuel Raventós Doménech, which made "Cava" an international product.

Since that time the Codorniu Group has maintained its expansion policy both nationally and internationally, with cellars in renowned wine growing areas in Spain, such as the Penedés, Cava, la Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Costes del Segre, and abroad, in the Napa Valley (California) and Mendoza (Argentina).

The Codorniu Group, which is recognized internationally for its prestigious image and the quality of its products is also the Group in Spain with the largest number of hectares of vineyards, totaling over 3,000 hectares.

Its installations (Cavas) in Sant Sadurní, the company’s head office, have been declared a National Monument. These cellars have more than 25 kilometers of surface area on five levels. The Codorniu Group obtained net profits of 11,768 million Euros last year.

In respect of the Complaint, Olgierd Swida, does not undertake any activity under the domain name <codorniu.tv>, nor is he identified under such denomination. The domain was registered on November 20, 2000. On that date, as we detail further below, most of the 220 trademarks that contain the mark "CODORNIU" had already been registered by that date under the title of the Complainant.

Olgierd Swida was married to a member of the Raventós family, although he is currently undergoing divorce proceedings.

Furthermore, Olgierd Swida used this domain name in order to create a website with contents that had no other purpose than to damage the good name of CODORNIU, S.A., as described in the sections further below, shunting off to the domain name problems that he may be suffering as a result of the divorce.

B. Respondent

According to respondent "This complaint is just one more act of harassment from a long list of similar actions that Codorníu-Raventós have executed in the past in different arenas against the respondent. The campaign has been initiated and driven by Teresa Raventós Raventós, the oldest sister of the respondent’s soon-to-be-ex-wife. The campaign was designed and executed by her husband, Ramon Guardia Masó.. Teresa Raventós and her husband Ramón Guardia have been working hand in hand with Peter Gladstone, the Florida based divorce attorney representing my soon-to-be-ex-wife Mariona Raventós.

"The entire project is being proactively sponsored by Manuel Raventós Espona (Respondent’s soon-to-be-ex-father-in-law), the retired Chairman of the Board of Codorníu S.A.

"This complaint has been brought to the Panel in bad faith, with the objective to keep harassing the defendant and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceedings (see Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, Art 15 e)."

 

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has shown sufficient evidence about its ownership of Codorniu trademarks. It is evident that there is a total identity between the domain name <codorniu.tv>, subject matter of these proceedings, and trademarks including the expression Codorniu, registered by the Complainant.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In his response, the Respondent argues that he had a legitimate interest and right to obtain the domain name. The Panel shall examine the arguments and documents presented by the Respondent in the light of the UDRP. It is necessary to consider that "legitimate interest" element required by this Policy as a substantial element to refute the submissions of a complaint under this mechanism of dispute resolution must refer specifically to the domain under dispute and to its relation with the trademark that is the basis for the complainant’s submission.

In this sense, the Panel considers that none of the allegations presented by the Respondent vest with a legitimate interest the act of registering as a domain name a trademark that is registered and widely known in Spain and other countries.

The personal and family reasons expressed by the Respondent do not justify, within the framework of the UDRP the registration of a domain name that corresponds to a trademark, specially when it is evident, given such personal and family reasons, that the Respondent knew about the importance and value of trademarks Codorniu.

Respondent’s double condition, both as a succesful professional in one of the most important software producers and as a family member of the owners of the company that own trademarks Codorniu, eliminates any legitimate interest in the registration of a domain name which is identical to a widely known trademark. In particular, the above-mentioned double condition of the Respondent eliminates the possibility of considering that the use of the domain name may be deemed as (a) a use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services (UDRP Paragraph 4 c i); or (b), a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name (UDRP paragraph 4 c iii).

Likewise, the Respondent has not shown any evidence about being commonly known by the domain name <codorniu.tv> (UDRP Paragraph 4 c ii). On the contrary, evidence exists that the registered domain name is identical to several trademarks and to other TLD’s and ccTLD’s registered by the Complainant which make the title-holder of such rights widely known.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Having analyzed the evidence presented by the Complainant this panel considers that bad faith existed in the registration and use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent.

In relation to the requirement of bad faith registration, the Panel finds the requirement of paragraph 4 (a) (iii) to be satisfied in full given the fact that, at the moment of registration of the domain name, the Respondent knew that the sign that he was about to register was identical to the main distinctive sign of the company of his in-law family

With regard to bad faith use, the Panel confers particular relevance to the fact that the main intention and effect achieved by the Respondent with the domain name registration was to prevent the owner of trademarks Codorniu from using such trademark in corresponding ".tv" domain.

It is the Panel’s opinion that the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy must protect companies that own trademarks and whose rights are violated through third parties’ registration in bad faith of domain names without a legitimate interest, even if the Complainant already owns and uses other TLD’s and if it is not a company directly linked to the media.

 

7. Decision

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 name <codorniu.tv> be transferred to the Complainant.

 


 

Daniel Peña
Sole Panelist

Date: May 5, 2003

 

Источник информации: https://internet-law.ru/intlaw/udrp/2003/dtv2003-0001.html

 

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