The Complainant is Sanofi of Paris, France represented by Selarl Marchais & Associés, France.
The Respondent is Azhar Khan / Digital Marketing AB Solution of New Delhi, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <pharmasanofi.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 18, 2018. On September 18, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name(s). On September 18, 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 September 24, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 14, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 15, 2018.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on November 9, 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 is one of the largest and well-known pharmaceutical companies in the world. It owns many trademark registrations around the world for variations of the mark SANOFI, including French trademark no. 1482708, registered on August 11, 1988. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on August 7, 2018. The disputed domain name currently points to an inactive site.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed 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
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The disputed domain name 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 disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant undoubtedly has rights in the mark SANOFI. The mark is subject to registrations that predate registration of the disputed domain name, and has been in widespread use for many years. The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s mark in its entirety and is in this manner identical or confusingly similar to the SANOFI mark. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” may be disregarded for the purpose of comparing the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s mark under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on this first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant will be successful under this element of the Policy if it makes a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and if that prima facie showing remains unrebutted by the Respondent. The Complainant asserts, among other things, that (1) it has never authorized the Respondent to use the SANOFI marks in a domain name, nor has the Complainant ever acquiesced to such use, (2) the Respondent is not commonly known by the words comprising the disputed domain name, and (3) the Respondent does not use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. These assertions establish the Complainant’s prima facie case. The Respondent has not answered the Complainant’s assertions, and, seeing no basis in the record to overcome the Complainant’s prima facie showing, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied this second Policy element.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Because the Complainant’s mark SANOFI is well-known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of that mark when it registered the disputed domain name. The fact that the disputed domain name also contains the word “pharma” – a term describing the Complainant’s industry – bolsters the notion that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its services when it registered the disputed domain name. In the circumstances of this case, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name.
Bad faith use is clear from the Respondent’s activities of passively holding the disputed domain name. That the disputed domain name is currently inactive does not prevent a finding of bad faith. Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. v. Registration Private, Domain Protection Services Inc. / Domain Vault, Domain Vault LLC,
WIPO Case No. D2018-1456. Given (i) the degree of distinctiveness and reputation of the Complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the Respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use, and (iii) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name may be put, the Panel finds bad faith use. See, WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 3.3. For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully met this third Policy element.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name, <pharmasanofi.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown Sole Panelist Date: November 19, 2018
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