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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A v. Maison Tropicale SA

Case No. D2007-0955

 

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A, Paris, France, represented by Meyer & Partenaires, France.

The Respondent is Maison Tropicale S.A., British West Indies, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain names <fil-banque.com> and <filbanquecom.com> are registered with BelgiumDomains, LLC.

The disputed domain name <filbanuqe.com> is registered with Capitoldomains, LLC.

The disputed domain name <wwwfilbanque.com> is registered with DomainDoorman, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 29, 2007. On June 29, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to BelgiumDomains, LLC, Capitoldomains, LLC and DomainDoorman, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain names at issue. On June 30, 2007, BelgiumDomains, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. On the same date Capitoldomains, LLC and DomainDoorman, LLC transmitted by email to the Center their 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”), 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 July 5, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 25, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 26, 2007.

The Center appointed Alessandra Ferreri as the sole panelist in this matter on August 2, 2007. 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 a French banking group with a large number of branches not only in France but also in Europe and in many other countries around the world.

The Complainant submitted documents that it has about 3,6 million clients with a network of 1,940 branches in France and in other countries such as Chile, China, Greece, Lebanon, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. The Complainant also offers online banking services.

The Complainant is the owner of several trademarks FILBANQUE and FIL BANQUE registered in various classes of goods and services such as 9, 16, 28, 35, 36, 38, 41; in particular, the Complainant owns French registration trademark FILBANQUE No. 92402299 registered on January 22, 1992, and renewed on January 17, 2002 for services including in classes 35, 36, 42; French registration trademark FIL BANQUE No. 95553426 registered on January 13, 1995, and renewed on November 2, 2004 for the services included in classes 35, 36, 38 and French registration trademark FILBANQUE No. 013130040 registered on November 7, 2001 for goods and services including in classes 9, 16, 28, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42.

The said trademarks are used for various kinds of goods and services but, in particular, for banking services.

The Complainant is also the owner of the domain names <filbanque.tm.fr> created in 1996 and <filbanque.com> created in 1998. The Complainant provides online banking services under the designation “filbanque”.

The Respondent registered the domain names <fil-banque.com> on December 8, 2006, <filbanquecom.com> on December 9, 2006, <filbanuqe.com> on December 22, 2006 and <wwwfilbanque.com> on February 15, 2007.

All of the contested domain names websites resolve to different links related to banking, financial and insurance services.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that Credit Industrial et Commercial S.A. has about 3,6 million clients with a network of 1,940 branches in France and comprises eight regional banks. The group has also an international presence and frame through branches all over the world and carries out its international activities and development in 37 different countries providing its consumers with an efficient service of online banking through the trademark FILBANQUE.

In light of the above factual arguments, the Complainant contends that the trademark FILBANQUE registered for banking services is well established and well known.

The Complainant contends that the domain names <filbanuqe.com>, <filbanquecom.com>, <fil-banque.com> and <wwwfilbanque.com> are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.

Referring to the domain name <filbanuqe.com>, the Complainant contends that the “interversion”(typo/exchange) of the letters “Q” and “U” is a mere misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark and is not sufficient to distinguish the domain name from the trademarks owned by the Complainant.

With regards to the domain name <filbanquecom.com>, Complainant contends that the Respondent willfully registered a domain name that is a mere typosquatting of the Complainant’s mark to divert Internet traffic. Indeed, in seeking information about Filbanque’s website, Internet users could easily miss typing the “dot” before the generic top level domain “com” being resolved to Respondent’s website.

The same argument of typosquatting is developed with regards to the domain name <wwwfilbanque.com>.

Finally, referring to the domain name <fil-banque.com>, the Complainant contends that this is nearly identical to the Complainant’s mark as said domain name is a mere misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark combined with a hyphen.

- The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the contested domain names. The Respondent is not currently known and has never been known under the wording “filbanuqe”, “filbanquecom”, “fil-banque” and “wwwfilbanque”. The Respondent is not related, in any way, to Complainant’s business and it is not one of its subsidiaries, branches or correspondents. The Complainant has never authorised or licensed the Respondent to use or to exploit its trademark. Moreover, the disputed domain names cannot be considered basis for a bona fide offering of goods or services. As a matter of fact, by registering the domain names at issue the Respondent clearly intended to profit from the use of domain names which are confusingly similar to Complainant’s famous trademark FILBANQUE.

- The Complainant contends that the domain names <filbanuqe.com>, <filbanquecom.com>, <fil-banque.com> and <wwwfilbanque.com> have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

The Complainant contends that because of the rights, goodwill and reputation of the trademark FILBANQUE with regards to online banking services, the Respondent could not have ignored the Complainant’s mark when of registered the confusingly similar domain names at issue.

The Complainant contends that, by registering the terms “filbanuqe”, “filbanquecom”, “fil-banque” and “wwwfilbanque” as domain names that resolve to websites offering different links to banking and financial fields, the Respondent shows that it was aware of the Complainant’s business.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has tried to use the FILBANQUE trademark for its own gain registering domain names incorporating Complainant’s trademark and using them for its sponsored link websites. The Complainant contends that the links available under the disputed domain names are links to French websites where banking, financial and insurance services are offered; moreover these links appear exclusively in French. For the above reasons it is obvious that the Respondent seeks to divert Internet users seeking information about Complainant’s goods and services and to attract them to its website for obtaining revenue from the diverted traffic.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions and should therefore be considered in default. The Panel, in compliance with paragraph 14 of the Rules, shall draw such inferences therefrom, as it considers appropriate and shall proceed to a decision on the Complaint.

 

6. Discussion and Findings

Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements:

(i) 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

(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) the domain name registered by the respondent has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that all the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s FILBANQUE trademark, a widely-known mark in which the Complainant has established rights through registration and extensive use, at least, in connection with the sector of banking services.

In particular, the domain name <filbanuqe.com> differs from the Complainant’s trademark FILBANQUE only for the “interversion” (typo/exchange) of the letters “Q” and “U”. With regard to the domain name <fil-banque.com>, disregarding the hyphen, this is identical to the Complainant’s mark.

As to the Respondent’s other disputed domain name, <wwwfilbanque.com> is identical letter by letter to the name FILBANQUE, except for the addition of the prefix “www”. Also the domain name <filbanquecom.com> is identical letter by letter to the Complainant’s mark, except for the addition of the generic top level domain “com”. The adding of the prefix “www” in the domain name <wwwfilbanque.com> and of the suffix “com” in the domain name <filbanquecom.com> cannot be a factor of differentiation (See Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0441).

Additionally, while more relevant under the second and third elements, the Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally registered domain names that are common misspellings or predictable mistypings of a distinctive mark in order to take advantage of typographical errors made by Internet users seeking the Complainant’s commercial website and divert them to the respondent’s website (See Wachovia Corporation v. American Consumers First, WIPO Case No. D2004-0150; Red Bull GmbH v. Grey Design, WIPO Case No. D2001-1035; Playboy Enterprises International Inc. v. SAND WebNames – For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2001-0094; Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Warren Bolton Consulting Pty. Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2000-1293).

Given the foregoing, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names and the Complainant’s mark, when directly compared, are confusingly.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. For that reason, the Panel has taken careful note of the factual assertions that have been made and supported by evidence by the Complainant.

In particular, the Respondent has failed to offer the Panel any of the types of evidence set forth in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy from which the Panel might conclude that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the domain names, such as:

(i) use or preparation to use the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to notice of the dispute, or

(ii) being commonly known by the domain name (as an individual, business or other organization) even if the Respondent has not acquired any trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) making 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.

There is no evidence in the record that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the domain names.

The Complainant states that there is and has never been a relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent. The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant and no authorization has been granted to the Respondent to use the trademark FILBANQUE or to apply for any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademarks. The Respondent’s name does not coincide with any of the domain names and both on the market and in Internet the name “filbanque” Palace identifies only the banking services and the business of the Complainant.

Finally, the use disputed domain names cannot be considered a bona fide of offering of goods or services. As a matter of fact, by registering the domain names at issue the Respondent clearly intended to profit from the use of domain names which are confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark FILBANQUE, diverting Internet users to websites where pay-per click links exist and generate gain for the Respondent.

Therefore, based on the evidence, the Panel is satisfied that the second element is met.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.

In light of the evidence filed by the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Complainant’s trademark and activities are well established and widely known, at least in the sector of online banking services.

Accordingly in the Panel’s belief, the Respondent must have known about the Complainant’s existence and rights at the time of the registration of the domain names <filbanuqe.com>, <filbanquecom.com>, <fil-banque.com> and <wwwfilbanque.com>. And indeed, the Respondent’s awareness of Complainant’s activity and rights is proven by the fact that the Respondent registered domain names consisting in misspelled versions of the Complainant’s trademark that resolve to websites that offer links to banking and financial sites in French, the same field of activity as the Complainant.

As the Respondent has no rights or interests in the domain names, in line with other prior decisions (Banca Sella S.p.A. v. Mr. Paolo Parente, WIPO Case No. D2000-1157; Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, Maison Fondйe en 1772 v. The Polygenix Group Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2000-0163; Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226; Ferrero S.p.A. v. Mario Pisano, WIPO Case No. D2000-1794; Ferrero S.p.A. v. Publinord S.r.l., WIPO Case No. D2002-0395), the Panel believes that, in the absence of any right or legitimate interest and lacking any contrary evidence from the Respondent, the Respondent’s registration of a domain name confusingly similar to the Complainant’s known trademark may be proof of bad faith.

The Complainant has proven that the disputed domain names resolve to a parking web-page offering several links to different websites where information concerning banking, insurance and financial services and products provided by Complainant’s competitors was offered. All the above mentioned links resolve to web-sites in French.

In the Panel’s opinion the Respondent, by such use, intentionally attempted to attract Internet users, expecting to reach the website corresponding to the Complainant’s services and to obtain information about Complainant’s activity, to another variety of banking and financial goods and services by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks and business.

By exploiting the renown of the FILBANQUE trademark, the Respondent diverts Internet users looking for the Complainant’s website and seeks to gain profit out of the domain names by providing sponsored links on the corresponding website obtaining revenues from the diverted traffic.

In light of all the above circumstances, the Panel is satisfied that the third element is met and that the domain names <filbanuqe.com>, <filbanquecom.com>, <fil-banque.com> and <wwwfilbanque.com> were registered and are being used in bad faith.

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 names <filbanuqe.com>, <filbanquecom.com>, <fil-banque.com> and <wwwfilbanque.com> be transferred to the Complainant.


Alessandra Ferreri
Sole Panelist

Dated: August 16, 2007

 

Источник информации: https://internet-law.ru/intlaw/udrp/2007/d2007-0955.html

 

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