Complainant is Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel, France (“Complainant”), represented by MEYER & Partenaires, France.
Respondent is Tastan Metin, Mexico (“Respondent”).
The disputed domain names <cdn-creditmutuel-mobileconfirmation.net> and <crm-creditmutuel‑souscription.net> are registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 4, 2019. On October 4, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On October 5, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 8, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 28, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 30, 2019.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on November 4, 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.
Complainant is a large French banking and insurance services group which has been in operation for more than 100 years, having 3,178 offices in France providing services to more than 12 million clients. Complainant operates a web portal to which its registered domain names <creditmutuel.com> and <creditmutuel.fr> resolve. Its website is dedicated to the goods and services it provides, including information about its services and the provision of online banking services to its clients. Complaint, Annexes C1 and C2. The French Ministry issued Order No. 58-966 reserving the use of the tradename “Credit Mutuel” to Complainant and its affiliates. Complaint, Annex F.
Complainant is the registrant of the mark CREDIT MUTUEL in France, registered as early as July 8, 1988, under Reg. No. 1475940, in the European Union, registered on October 20, 2011, under Reg. No. 9943135, and internationally, registered on May 17, 1991, under Reg. No. 570182. Complaint, Annexes D1, D2, D3, and D4. Complainant also holds several other domain names, including <creditmutuel.info>, registered on September 13, 2001, <creditmutuel.org>, registered on June 3, 2002, <creditmutuel.fr>, registered on August 10, 1995, <creditmutuel.com>, registered on October 28, 1995, and <creditmutuel.net>, registered on October 3, 1996. Complaint, Annexes E1, E2, E3, E4, and E5.
Respondent registered the disputed domain names <cdn-creditmutuel-moblieconfirmation.net> and <crm‑creditmutel-souscription.net> on June 21, 2019. Complaint, Annex A. Respondent is not using the disputed domain names to resolve to a web site or sites.
Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its CREDIT MUTUEL trademarks, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that Respondent may be said to have registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that a complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that 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) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Each of the disputed domain names incorporates Complainant’s well known trademark CREDIT MUTUEL. One also incorporates the initials “cdn” and the run together words “mobileconfirmation,” while the second incorporates the initials “crm” and the French word “souscription.” Each of the two disputed domain names were registered in the “.net” generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”). The Panel finds that each of the disputed domain names incorporates Complainant’s well-known mark and that each is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered trademarks.
While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.
In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain names, each of which includes and features prominently Complainant’s well‑known marks, are not being used and the Panel can conceive of no use to which such domain names could be put without being used in bad faith. It has long been held that in such a case the disputed domain names shall be found to have been registered and used in bad faith. See, e.g., Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. Accordingly, the Panel finds that each of the disputed domain names has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 names, <cdn-creditmutuel-mobileconfirmation.net> and <crm‑creditmutuel‑souscription.net>, both be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: November 10, 2019
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