Vernet, of Ollainville , France , just lost its bid to get the domain name Vernet.com in a UDRP which was registered back on April 9, 1997
The UDRP decision was handed down in French.
Here are the facts and findings by the one member panel:
The Complainant is the company Vernet , a French company specializing in the production and trade of motor vehicles and health equipment and heating equipment parts.
The Applicant operates the name Vernet as name and brand for decades.
He also holds several made or composed of the name Vernet , including brands:
– Semi -figurative METHODS Vernet French brand , filed on 11 April 1991 under number 1655118 and registered for goods in Classes 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12;
– French word mark Vernet , filed June 21, 2000 , under No. 3036983 and registered for goods in Classes 7, 9, 11 and 12;
– Community word mark Vernet , filed December 28, 2006 , under No. 5620661 and registered for goods in Classes 7, 9, 11 and 12;
– International word mark Vernet , filed Nov. 14, 2000 , under No. 759828 and registered for goods in Classes 7, 9, 11 and 12.
The Applicant presents its activities and its range of products over the Internet via an Internet accessible from the domain name <vernet.fr> site.
The Respondent is Mr. Thierry Ehrman , founder ARTPRICE , international leader in the market quotation of the art on the Internet.
At the date of this decision, the disputed domain name returns a deep hyperlink to a page of the website ” www.artprice.com ” devoted to the painter Joseph Vernet.
After becoming aware of the existence of this domain name, the Complainant attempted to contact the Respondent .
August 23, 2010, and through its Council on Industrial Property , the Applicant has in fact sought to examine the possibility and conditions of a possible transfer of the disputed domain name .
November 10, 2010, an employee of the Respondent acknowledged receipt of this message and invited the Applicant to approach another person, direct contact with the Respondent .
However, despite an e-mail to that effect, the same day, and two reminders dated 15 February 2011 and 28 April 2011 , the Respondent has never deigned to respond to the Applicant despite the financial proposal submitted to it .
The Applicant has revived the Respondent , October 22, 2012 , explaining the covered by the disputed domain name major and asking him to please give him , that the Respondent has expressly refused .
It is clear from both the complaint and the reply that the Respondent has no rights on the name Vernet , other than that it derives from the registration of the disputed domain name since 1997.
The question posed here is mainly whether the Respondent has a legitimate interest justifying detention vernet.com domain name .
However, on this point, the Panel finds that the parties’ arguments is relatively brief : if the Applicant stresses that the Respondent is not absolutely known as ” Vernet ” and that the disputed domain name is not seriously exploited , the Respondent holds the length of the recording ( almost 17 years) and the activation of a specific page of his company devoted to the painter Joseph Vernet.
It follows from the study of documents provided by the parties on the day when the Board of Complainant contacted the Respondent for him to redeem the disputed domain name , it was already used to redirect users to artprice. com a site operated by the Respondent .
This operation can be interpreted as corresponding to an indirect service offering, it has been in place for the registration of the disputed domain name or 1997 or no later than early 2000.
At this time , the Applicant has not demonstrated that the Respondent was aware of its existence and / or its rights.
However , the Respondent submits that the Applicant did not know before being contacted in 2010.
At that time, he operated the disputed domain name for over 13 years.
It therefore follows both the absence of evidence reported by the Applicant that the elements reported by the Respondent , that the Administrative Commission is unable to conclude that there is no right or legitimate interest of the Respondent relating to the disputed domain name and therefore the criterion set out in paragraph 4 (a ) (ii) of the Guidelines is not filled .
In this case , the Panel notes that the disputed domain name was registered in 1997 and that the Applicant has not contacted the Respondent in 2010, only to propose to repurchase its domain name .
It was only later that the end of 2012 the Board of the Applicant gave notice to the Respondent him surrender the disputed domain name because of an alleged infringement of earlier rights .
In its pleadings, the Applicant has not demonstrated how the Respondent could have been in bad faith when he registered the disputed domain name .
More precisely and under the conditions imposed by paragraph 4 (a) ( iii ) of the Policy , the Complainant does not justify the disputed domain name was registered for the purpose of resale, blocking, disruption of a competitor or creating a likelihood of confusion.
The Applicant does not demonstrate either that its trade mark has a reputation that could justify that the Respondent was aware of it at the date of registration of the disputed domain name vernet.com in 1997, or allowing it to claim protection beyond the products listed in different deposits , although it is undisputed that the parties are in completely separate areas of activity.
There is evidence , however, that the Respondent has never put up for sale the disputed domain name and has furthermore declined all offers to purchase that were made to it by the Applicant, thus removing any speculative intent.
Finally, the use , the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to turn a page of the website of his company devoted to the painter Joseph Vernet, on which there is a biographical note , reproductions of works and a listing of these works on the art market .
The Administrative Commission considers that this use can not be considered an act of bad faith when it is not disputed that the name Vernet is equally as a surname the name under which the Applicant’s activities .
Accordingly, pursuant to paragraph 4 (a ) (iii) of the Guidelines and in view of the foregoing , the Panel finds that the Complainant has not demonstrated that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.
7 . Hijacking domain name
The Respondent considers that the applicant acted in bad faith and seeks recognition of a circumstance of hijacking domain.
Merely not meet the conditions laid down by the Guidelines is obviously not a sufficient circumstance to consider that the Applicant acted in bad faith.
The hiring process for many years after the registration of the disputed domain name is not a decisive factor “reverse domain name hijacking ” .
However, this is the case when the Applicant has no right to make or he is fully aware of the legitimate rights and interests of the Defendant or his good faith.
This is also the case when the Complainant knew or should have known he could not satisfy one of the conditions laid down by the Guidelines.
In this case , the Panel notes that the Applicant initially tried to buy the disputed domain name the Respondent to change strategy to demand its return on the basis of his rights.
That the Complainant has used successively two distinct strategies are not sufficient to establish that he knew when to initiate proceedings that could not meet the conditions laid down by the Guidelines.
Therefore, the facts of the case lead the Administrative Commission to consider that the Applicant has not acted in bad faith and that there was no attempt hijacking domain.