URS DEFAULT DETERMINATION

 

FEDERATION FRANCAISE DE TENNIS (FFT) v. Greg Harriott

Claim Number: FA1809001805323

 

DOMAIN NAME

<frenchopen.bet>

 

PARTIES

Complainant: †FEDERATION FRANCAISE DE TENNIS (FFT) of Paris, France.

Complainant Representative: Nameshield of Angers, France.

 

Respondent: †Greg Harriott of Witham, Essex, United Kingdom.

 

REGISTRIES and REGISTRARS

Registry: †Afilias plc

Registrar: †GoDaddy.com, LLC

 

EXAMINER

The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Examiner in this proceeding.

 

Alan L. Limbury, as Examiner.

 

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complaint submitted: September 11, 2018

Commencement: September 11, 2018†††

Default Date: September 26, 2018

 

Having reviewed the communications records, the Examiner finds that the Forum has discharged its responsibility under URS Procedure, Paragraphs 3 and 4 and Rule 4 of the Rules for the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (the "Rules").

 

RELIEF SOUGHT

Complainant requests that the domain name be suspended for the life of the registration.

 

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Clear and convincing evidence.

 

FINDINGS and DISCUSSION

Complainant is the proprietor of International trademark FRENCH OPEN nį 538170, registered on June 22,1989 for a range of toiletries and cosmetic products in International Class 3. This trademark has been registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse since February 5, 2014.

The domain name was registered on February 27, 2018. Since its registration it has resolved to a Registrar parking page.

 

Even though Respondent has defaulted, URS Procedure 1.2.6 requires Complainant to make a prima facie case, proven by clear and convincing evidence, for each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be suspended:

 

         the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a word mark (i) for which the Complainant holds a valid national or regional registration and that it is in current useÖ

         the Registrant has no legitimate right or interest to the domain name; and

         the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

 

Complainant says the domain name is identical to its FRENCH OPEN trademark. The Examiner finds the domain name, disregarding the inconsequential gTLD .bet, to be identical to the FRENCH OPEN trademark. Complainant has demonstrated that evidence of use of that mark has been validated by the Trademark Clearinghouse.† This shows that the mark is in current use pursuant to URS Procedure 1.2.6.1.a. †Complainant has established this element.

 

Complainant says Respondent has no rights or interests in respect of the domain name and is not related to Complainantís business. Complainant does not carry out any activity or business with the Respondent. Neither licence nor authorization has been granted by Complainant to Respondent to make any use of Complainantís trademark nor to apply for registration of the domain name. It is highly probable that Respondent is not known by the domain name. The website to which the domain name resolves is a Registrar parking page. Respondent has not developed a demonstrable preparation to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent could not have used the domain name without infringing Complainantís intellectual property

rights in the trademark FRENCH OPEN.

 

In light of the Examinerís findings in relation to the third element, it is unnecessary to reach a conclusion on this element.

 

Complainant says the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. †In support of this contention, Complainant says it and its distinctive trademark FRENCH OPEN are known worldwide. Thus, Respondent was aware of Complainantís trademark at the moment of registration of the domain name and Respondent registered the domain name only in order to prevent Complainant from registering it and from reflecting its trademark in a domain name. This is considered a blocking registration.

 

The Examiner notes that the non-exclusive list of circumstances that demonstrate both bad faith registration and bad faith use set out in URS Procedure 1.2.6.3 includes blocking registrations, ďprovided that Registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conductĒ. Complainant has provided no evidence of any such pattern. Accordingly, the registration and use of the domain name must be considered separately.

 

As to registration, the Examiner accepts that the words French Open are widely recognized as referring to the major annual tennis event held in Paris and finds that Respondent probably had that event in mind when registering the domain name, since the domain name <frenchopen.bet> conveys the idea of betting on that tennis event. That idea does not involve any representation of any official or authorized association with Complainant, nor has Complainant so contended. Since Complainantís evidence shows that its FRENCH OPEN trademark is not registered for tennis but for toiletries and cosmetics, the Examiner does not accept Complainantís unsupported submission that this is a blocking registration.

 

As to use, the evidence that the domain name has resolved to a Registrar parking page during the few months since its registration does not clearly and convincingly prove bad faith use in this case. The Examiner does not accept Complainantís submission that Respondent could not have used the domain name in relation to betting on the tennis event without infringing Complainantís intellectual property rights in its toiletries and cosmetics trademark.

 

Under these circumstances the Examiner is not satisfied that Complainant has made a prima facie case, proven by clear and convincing evidence, that Respondent registered and is using the domain name in bad faith.

 

DETERMINATION

After reviewing Complainantís submissions, the Examiner determines that

Complainant has NOT demonstrated all three elements of the URS by a standard of clear and convincing evidence. The Examiner hereby Orders the following domain name be RETURNED to the control of Respondent:

<frenchopen.bet>.

 

 

 

Alan L. Limbury, Examiner

Dated:† September 30, 2018

 

 

 

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