The Complainant is Carrefour, France, represented by Dreyfus & associés, France.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America.
The disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 5, 2019. On August 5, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 6, 2019, 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 August 14, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 3, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 4, 2019.
The Center appointed Rodrigo Velasco Santelices as the sole panelist in this matter on September 12, 2019. 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.
The Complainant based the Complaint on its trademark CARREFOUR, that enjoys a worldwide reputation, and for which the Complainant currently owns several trademark registrations, as per evidence attached to Annex 4 of the Complaint. For example, the Complainant owns rights in French trademark CARREFOUR No. 1487274, registered on September 2, 1988, duly renewed, and covering services in 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43,44, 45, and European Union trademark CARREFOUR No. 008779498, registered on July 13, 2010, covering services in class 35.
Further, and besides the trademark registrations, the Complainant also operates several domain names reflecting its trademark CARREFOUR in order to promote its services (described in Annex 5), such as <carrefour.com>, <carrefour.fr>, and <carrefourpanel.eu>.
The disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> was registered on February 26, 2019, with the Registrar, and redirects towards several random websites, some of which are online stores.
On February 28, 2019, Complainant sent a notification to the Registrar requesting that the domain name <panelcarrefour.com> be put on status “ClientHold” and be deactivated. However, the Registrar refused to grant said request.
The Complainant Carrefour asserts that is a global leader in food retail with its headquarters in France. Since it was founded in 1958, the Complainant has acquired considerable goodwill and renown worldwide, in connection with a wide range of services, including supermarkets and banking and insurance services. Carrefour operates more than 12,000 stores and ecommerce sites in more than 30 countries. It is a multi-local, multi-format and omni-channel retail Group that employs more than 360.000 people worldwide and generated 84.91 billion EUR sales in 2018.
Every day, Carrefour welcomes around 13 million customers around the world (evidence on Annex 3). A pioneer in countries such as Brazil in 1975 and China in 1995, the Carrefour Group currently operates on three major markets: Europe, Latin America and Asia. It has a presence in more than 30 countries and generates more than 53% of its sales outside France.
The Complainant attaches great importance to the opinion of its customers. In this regard, the Complainant created “Carrefour Panel” used to collect comments and suggestions from customers via questionnaires. Thus, customers can become members of the “Carrefour Panel” and give their opinion on the positive or the less positive aspects of Carrefour stores by answering questionnaires.
The Complainant states that the disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> redirects towards several random websites, some of which are online stores, such as a page named “Pro Shop Deal” which sells portable air coolers. It also redirects to an online gaming site, which invites the user to register to play, thus having to provide personal information. When the user types <panelcarrefour.com>, he is led to the official Carrefour site, after having been automatically redirected multiple times on several pay-per-click sites. At times, the domain name <panelcarrefour.com> points to a webpage inviting Internet users to download an installation, possibly malware, to enable an audio converter. Therefore, the domain name is also used for fraudulent purposes (evidence included in Annex 1).
Further, investigations made by the Complainant revealed that an email server has been configured on the disputed domain name, so there might be also a risk of phishing.
The Complainant asserts that its trademark CARREFOUR enjoys a worldwide reputation. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to said trademark in which the Complainant has rights (Policy, Paragraph 4(a)(i); Rules, Paragraphs 3(b)(viii), (b)(ix)(1)).
The Complainant owns numerous CARREFOUR trademark registrations around the world, and is in particular the owner of the following Trademark Registrations (Certificates in Annex 4):
- French trademark CARREFOUR No. 1487274, registered on September 2, 1988, duly renewed, and covering services in 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45;
- European Union trademark CARREFOUR No. 008779498, registered on July 13, 2010 and covering services in class 35;
- European Union trademark CARREFOUR No. 005178371, registered on August 30, 2007, duly renewed and covering goods and services in classes 9, 35 and 38;
- International trademark CARREFOUR No. 563304, registered on June 11, 1990, duly renewed, designating Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Belarus, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Algeria, Egypt, Croatia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Singapore, and Uzbekistan, covering goods and services in all classes, from class 1 to class 42.
In addition, the Complainant operates, among others, domain names reflecting its trademark in order to promote its services (Annex 5):
- <carrefour.com> registered on October 25, 1995;
- <carrefour.fr> registered on June 23, 2005;
- <carrefourpanel.eu> registered on May 15, 2013.
The disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR, as the domain name reproduces entirely the Complainant’s mark CARREFOUR which has been considered to be “well-known” or “famous” by numerous previous panels (Carrefour v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1243050775 / Chauvin,WIPO Case No. D2019-0614; Carrefour v. Jane Casares, NA, WIPO Case No. D2018-0976; Carrefour v. WhoisGuard, Inc., WhoisGuard Protected / Robert Jurek, Katrin Kafut, Purchasing clerk, Starship Tapes & Records, WIPO Case No. D2017-2533; Carrefour v. Tony Mancini, USDIET Whoisguard, Inc.WIPO Case No. D2015-0962; Carrefour v. VistaPrint Technologies Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2015-0769; Carrefour v. Park KyeongSook,WIPO Case No. D2014-1425; Carrefour v. Yujinhua, WIPO Case No. D2014-0257; Carrefour v. Karin Krueger, WIPO Case No. D2013-2002; Carrefour S.A. v. Patrick Demestre, WIPO Case No. D2011-2248; Carrefour v. groupe Carrefour, WIPO Case No. D2008-1996; Carrefour SA v. Eric Langlois, WIPO Case No. D2007-0067).
According to the Complaint, in many WIPO UDRP decisions, panels considered that the incorporation of a well-known trademark in its entirety may be sufficient to establish that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark (Carrefour v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0152812191 / Milen Radumilo, Milen Radumilo,WIPO Case No. D2019-0670; L’Oréal, Lancôme Parfums et Beauté & Cie v. Jack Yang,WIPO Case No. D2011-1627; Rapidshare AG, Christian Schmid v. InvisibleRegistration.com, Domain Admin, WIPO Case No. D2010-1059; The Stanley Works and Stanley Logistics, Inc. v. Camp Creek Co., Inc.,WIPO Case No. D2000-0113, and RapidShare AG, Christian Schmid v. InvisibleRegistration.com, Domain Admin,WIPO Case No. D2010-1059).
The domain name <panelcarrefour.com> associates the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR with the descriptive term “panel”. However, it is well established that, where the relevant trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name, the addition of descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or other terms does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. As the dominant feature of the domain name <panelcarrefour.com> is the Complainant’s mark CARREFOUR, the adjunction of the term “panel” is insufficient to avoid confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark (Pandora A/S v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Robin Puckett, WIPO Case No. D2018-0586).
Finally, the extension “.com” is not to be taken into consideration when examining the identity or similarity between the Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name, as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) Indeed, the mere adjunction of a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) such as “.com” is irrelevant as it is well established that the gTLD is insufficient to avoid a finding of confusing similarity ( WIPO Case No. D2013-0820, L’Oréal v Tina Smith; WIPO Case No. D2008-0820, Titoni AG v Runxin Wang and WIPO Case No. D2009-0877, Alstom vItete Peru S.A.).
Accordingly, by registering said domain name, the Respondent has created a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. It is likely that the domain name could mislead Internet users into thinking that it is, in some way, associated with CARREFOUR.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, the domain name is confusingly similar to the registered trademark CARREFOUR in which the Complainant has rights, and therefore the condition of paragraph 4(a)(i) is fulfilled.
Futhermore, the Complainant claims that the Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant and has not been authorized to register the disputed domain name ans is not making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Finally the Complainant claims that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel considers that all the information provided by the Complainant, as stated above under section S.A. clearly attests that the disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR.
The Panel agrees with the Complainant’s contentions that the addition of the descriptive word “panel” does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademark. Therefore, this requirement has been satisfied.
The Respondent has not responded to the Complaint, and the record is void of any possible rights or legitimate interests it may have in the disputed domain name. Neither has the Respondent refuted the allegations made by the Complainant. Therefore, having been duly notified of the Complaint, the Panel considers the silence of the Respondent as a tacit acceptance of the claims made by the Complainant.
Moreover, the Panel has not found the occurrence of any of the circumstances mentioned by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. Quite the contrary, the Complainant has effectively demonstrated the following: to be the owner of registered trademarks and associated domain names, including the mark CARREFOUR, which are prior to the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name, and that it has not licensed the use or exploitation of its CARREFOUR trademark to the Respondent.
Therefore, considering the unrebutted prima facie case made out by the Complainant, the Panel considers that the Complainant has also fulfilled the second element required by the Policy.
This third element requires the Complainant to prove that the disputed domain name (1) was registered in bad faith and (2) is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that evidence registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.
The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark CARREFOUR.
The Panel finds the Respondent must have had knowledge of the Complainant’s mark CARREFOUR and its rights therein at the time the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. These findings are based on: (i) the Complainant’s trademark having a strong reputation and being widely known internationally; (ii) the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark (iii) the disputed domain name redirects towards several random websites, some of which are online stores, and other are sites used for fraudulent activities; and (iv) the above finding of the Respondent having no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Finally, given the similarity of the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s CARREFOUR trademark and in light of the use given to the disputed domain name, the Panel agrees that the Respondent’s motive to register the disputed domain name can only have been to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s CARREFOUR trademark within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Consequently, for all these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the third element required of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, and in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <panelcarrefour.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Rodrigo Velasco Santelices
Date: September 26, 2019
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