The Complainant is Chateau Siaurac and Co., France, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
The Respondent is Lingling Jiang, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <chateausiaurac.com> is registered with Snapnames 17, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 23, 2020. On September 23, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 24, 2020, 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 October 5, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 25, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 26, 2020.
The Center appointed Adam Taylor as the sole panelist in this matter on October 30, 2020. 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 wine producer trading under the name “Chateau Siaurac”.
The Complainant owns a number of registered trade marks for CHATEAU SIAURAC including Canadian trade mark No. 1730614, filed June 1, 2015, registered August 15, 2016, in class 33.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 28, 2019.
As of September 16, 2020, the disputed domain name redirected to a pornographic website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
A summary of the Complainant’s contentions is as follows:
The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade marks, which are very well-known.
The Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Respondent owns no trade marks similar to the disputed domain name.
The Respondent is not connected in any way with the Complainant, which has not authorised the Respondent to use its mark in the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Given the fame of the Complainant’s trade marks, it is unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of them at the time of registration of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has used the disputed domain name to damage the Complainant’s reputation by directing it to a pornographic website.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove on the balance of probabilities that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights; (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 has established rights in the mark CHATEAU SIURAC by virtue of its registered trade marks for that term.
Disregarding the domain name suffix, the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
As explained in section 2.1 of of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), the consensus view is that, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If not, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.
Here, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorised the Respondent to use its trade mark.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples of circumstances which, if proved, suffice to demonstrate that a respondent possesses rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
As to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for a pornography site with no obvious connection to the words in the disputed domain name but with the obvious potential to damage the reputation of the Complainant’s trade mark. Such use of the disputed domain name could not be described as bona fide.
Nor is there any evidence that paragraphs 4(c)(ii) or (iii) of the Policy apply in the circumstances of this case.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights or legitimate interests and there is no rebuttal by the Respondent.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Complainant has therefore established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel has little difficulty concluding that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
It is obvious that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when it registered the disputed domain name, which reflects the Complainant’s highly distinctive name and trade mark.
The Respondent has redirected the disputed domain name to a pornographic website and must have known that such a site was likely to damage the Complainant’s reputation.
Furthermore, the Respondent has not come forward to deny the Complainant’s assertions of bad faith. It is difficult to conceive of any legitimate reason why the Respondent would wish to register the disputed domain name and the Respondent has offered no explanation.
Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
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, <chateausiaurac.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Adam Taylor Sole Panelist Date: November 13, 2020
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