CECIA is a French company that works in the food processing sector. The company’s name CECIA is an abbreviated form of its full name, i.e., Cabinet d’Etude et de Conseil en Industrie et Agroalimentaire. The company was aggrieved when someone registered and started using the domain name CECIA.com. A complaint was thus filed at WIPO.
The Complainant presented the possession of several trademarks related to the CECIA mark established since 1990. The Complainant’s parent company had registered the domain name CECIA.fr in 2018 as well.
The Respondent was a Pakistani domain name investor and operates a portfolio of domain names at AbidNetwork.com. The portfolio presents a list of around 100 domain names among which CECIA.com finds its mention.
The Respondent argued that he had acquired the domain name based on the common use of the term as the common name of a French girl. The Respondent never visited France nor was he aware of the Complainant. An internet search outside France would also not have prominently shown the Complainant.
The panel agreed in the first part of the Complaint that the domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark. However the Court could not find bad faith in registration of the domain name by the Respondent. The panel couldn’t establish that the Respondent registered the domain name primarily to target the Complainant’s IP and trademarks.
The Complainant was thus denied.
You can read the full case here.