Luc Chammard of Nanterre, France, and the company Neuron SA of Paris, France, represented by Mr. Cohen, Lawyer, France was just found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) on the domain name Neurones.com in a decision handed down by a three member WIPO UDRP panel
The domain holder was represented by UDRP POLICE DBS, United Kingdom
The three member panel consisted of Philippe Gilliéron, Richard G. Lyons and Christiane Feral-Schuhl.
It should be noted that the decision was published in French and I used Google translate:
The Complainant has a registered trademark on the term NEURONES since July 11, 2008 the domain name neurones.com was registered on December 25th 1996. The domain holder registered the domain in connection with a business he operated for many years so the panel found not only was the domain not registered in bad faith but it was registered and used in good faith.
The panel also called out the Complainants for waiting 8 years after the domain was registered to even contact the domain owner:
“”Finally, the Panel notes that the disputed domain name was registered in 1996 and that, subject to a first contact initiated eight years later by the Applicants in 2004, no contact has occurred between the parties.
In this case, there is nothing to explain why the Applicants waited in first eight years before entering a first contact with the Respondent to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name their favor and, even more, nine years before resuming again contact while having so some knowledge of the disputed domain name, fifteen years after its registration. During this period, the Respondent appears to have a legitimate use of the disputed domain name in connection with its Neural Technologies.””
Here are the highlights:
The Complainant owns the domain names neurones.fr and neurones.net which were registered on December 4th, 1996 and July 26th, 1999 respectively.
The group which it belongs had at 31 December 2014, 4,100 employees for a turnover of around EUR 355 million.
The Respondent is a graduate engineer of the Ecole Centrale in Paris, where he studied from 1987 to 1990.
The Respondent is one of the founding members of the company Neural Technologies, based in Rabat, Morocco.
This company was incorporated as a limited liability company and registered in the commercial register of Casablanca, Morocco 22 January 1992; it has especially designed the provision of electrical and computer facilities.
This company holds the Moroccan word mark NEURON TECHNOLOGIES, recorded with a priority date back to 18 September 1998 in Class 9 of the Nice Classification.
Two years later, on December 11, 1995, the Respondent founded the company Elan Online, based in Casablanca in Morocco and entered in the commercial register of this city in the form of a limited liability company, of which he is the one of the two managers.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name
Both the company that the company Neural Technologies Elan Online continuing their activities to date. T
he Respondent states that the company Neural Technologies partners include companies such as HP, Cisco and provides its services to include offices of public administration including several ministries, various public institutions whether university hospitals, universities or even Casablanca or Agadir airports, banks whose business or Agricole Credit as Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche to name a few. This is especially under the disputed domain name
In July 2009, the Respondent sold his shares in the company Neural Technologies while maintaining the disputed domain name
In 2004, the Applicants have first contacted the Respondent to propose to exchange the domain name
The Respondent refused the offer.
Nine years later, by letters of 1 and 7 March 2013, the Applicants have addressed the Respondent through their counsel a letter of formal notice sent by registered mail with return receipt, drawing attention to the existence of NEURONES mark, that the disputed domain name neurones.com manifestly of no interest to the Respondent, and violated the rights of the Petitioners. They invited the Respondent therefore said to transfer their domain name within eight days.
The letters, however, are income back without reaching the recipient.
In this case, it is established that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name
The question of how far the Respondent continues to have a legitimate interest in preserving the disputed domain name since then despite its lack of connection to any website whatsoever since 2009 can be left undecided, the Applicants have not all if not shown that the disputed domain name neurones.com was registered in bad faith as demonstrated below.
Far from having occurred in bad faith, the Respondent has demonstrated to have used the disputed domain name
His subsequent detention without relating the disputed domain name to an active website is not enough in itself to build detention in a bad faith use.
Finally the Administrative Commission notes that the site results in a PPC parked page with links to Web sites not targeted in any case the Applicants and their activities.
Finally, the Panel notes that the disputed domain name was registered in 1996 and that, subject to a first contact initiated eight years later by the Applicants in 2004, no contact has occurred between the parties.
In this case, there is nothing to explain why the Applicants waited in first eight years before entering a first contact with the Respondent to obtain the transfer of the disputed domain name their favor and, even more, nine years before resuming again contact while having so some knowledge of the disputed domain name, fifteen years after its registration. During this period, the Respondent appears to have a legitimate use of the disputed domain name in connection with its Neural Technologies.
The Panel considers that given the specific circumstances of this case, the complaint was filed in bad faith.
Petitioners in their complaint forward any argument or evidence to show that the disputed domain name was registered or used in bad faith would and simply paraphrase two sentences, paragraphs 4 (a) (ii) and (iii) of the Policy without any factual circumstances to substantiate their allegations.
This element is the fact that the Petitioners did not explain why they waited nine years after their first contact with the Respondent, respectively fifteen years after the registration of the disputed domain name to file their complaint . Taken together, these factors underscore the lightness with which the Applicants have filed such a complaint and thus their bad faith in the filing of such a complaint knowing that they were unable to establish the achievement of conditions set by the Guidelines (see paragraph 4.17, 2.0 Synthesis).
In view of the above, the Panel considers that the complaint was brought in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 15 (e) of the Rules