WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CareerBuilder, LLC v. Names for sale
Case No. D2005-0186
1. The Parties
The Complainant is CareerBuilder, LLC, Chicago, Illinois of United States of America, represented by Latham & Watkins, United States of America.
The Respondent is Names for sale, Cumming, Georgia of United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <careersbuilder.com> is registered with Go Daddy Software.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 16, 2005. On February 17, 2005, the Center transmitted by email to Go Daddy Software a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 18, 2005, Go Daddy Software transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 3, 2005. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 23, 2005. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 1, 2005.
The Center appointed Dennis A. Foster as the sole panelist in this matter on April 6, 2005. 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’s business is that of an on-line employment recruiting agency with related services, including providing on-line personnel recruitment, personnel management information and job search information services; providing an interactive computer database featuring recruitment and employment information, employment advertising, career information and resources, resume creation and posting, resume transmittal and communication of responses via a global computer network. In 1996 the Complainant adopted the trademark “CAREERBUILDER” to facilitate its business, and the Complainant has registered this trademark in the United States (1997), Canada (2001), Mexico (2000) and throughout Europe (2000). The Complainant also owns and operates a website at the domain name, <careerbuilder.com>.
The Respondent is listed as the registrant of the disputed domain name and the record of registration was created on November 14, 2000. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to direct consumers to a directory of on-line employment-related search engines and websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
- In May of 1996, the Complainant adopted the “CAREERBUILDER” trademark in connection with an on-line employment recruiting agency and related services, namely, providing on-line personnel recruitment, personnel management information and job search information services; providing an interactive computer database featuring recruitment and employment information, employment advertising, career information and resources, resume creation and posting, resume transmittal and communication of responses via a global computer network. The Complainant’s services are generally offered through its website which can be accessed at <careerbuilder.com>.
- The Complainant has established substantial goodwill in its trademark through extensive promotion, advertising and use of that mark and, as a result, it has become distinctive and well recognized in employment recruiting throughout much of the world.
- The Complainant has registered its trademark in the United States (1997), Canada (2001), Mexico (2000) and throughout Europe (2000). The Complainant has also registered the mark, “CAREERBUILDER.COM,” in the United States (2004).
- Previous WIPO UDRP panels have recognized the Complainants rights in the mark.
- The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant and has not received any license or consent, express or implied, to use the “CAREERBUILDER” mark in a domain name or in any other manner. Moreover, the Complainant does not sponsor or endorse the Respondent’s usage of the mark in connection with the disputed domain name.
- The Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Respondent seeks to capitalize on the fame and good will of the Complainant’s mark, and is using the disputed domain name to divert consumers to other competing websites. The Respondent failed to respond to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter, demanding that the Respondent stop using the name and assign rights in it to the Complainant. The Respondent is offering the disputed domain name for sale and using it to “mousetrap” consumers who attempt to exit by opening a new browser window and simultaneously installing an unsolicited program.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to Paragraphs 4(a)(i-iii) of the Policy, the Complainant may prevail in this case and be granted ownership of the disputed domain name, <careersbuilder.com>, if the Complainant can demonstrate the following:
- the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
- the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
- the disputed domain name was registered and used by the Respondent in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established its rights in the mark, “CAREERBUILDER,” by exhibiting proof of its possession of several valid trademark registrations in various countries for the service mark “CAREERBUILDER,” (see Annex 5 for: U.S. Registration No. 2,082,443 [July 22, 2997]; Canadian Registration No. 548,118 [July 13, 2001]; Mexican Registration No. 640,961 [January 31, 2000] and European Union Registration No. 001,199,363 [December 11, 2000]).
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name, <careersbuilder.com>, is confusingly similar to its mark, and the Panel finds that argument compelling in light of previous cases settled under the Policy. The only difference between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s service mark is the letter “s,” which serves only to change the word “career” from singular to the plural. That alteration does little to change the apparent meaning of the name for prospective Internet users. Obviously, a user would expect to find multiple employment opportunities under either title and would likely think she was dealing with the same company. Alternatively, the user could simply intend to enter the Complainant’s website, <careerbuilder.com>, identical to the Complainant’s mark, and enter the Respondent’s website by the simple keystroke error of entering an additional “s” to the name. Earlier WIPO UDRP panels have found that such minor differences serve only to cause confusion among such users. See The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. v. Act One Internet Solutions, WIPO Case No. D2003-0103 (April 1, 2003), and AltaVista Co. v. Kausar, WIPO Case No. D2002-0934 (November 29, 2002)
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has successfully shown that the domain name in dispute is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has asserted that it granted to the Respondent no license or consent to use the Complainant’s mark in commerce, and the Panel accepts that assertion as true since the Respondent has offered no rebuttal. Given that the Complainant has well established trademark rights in its mark with which the Respondent appears to have been familiar, it is up to the Respondent to establish in some way its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See CareerBuilder, LLC v. Azra Khan, WIPO Case No. D2003-0493 (August 5, 2003) (where the Panel, after finding that the difference of one letter between the disputed domain name and the complainant’s mark did not prevent confusing similarity between the two, concluded that “[t]he Respondent has a case to make.”) Since the Respondent did not choose to file a response in this proceeding, the Panel must draw the inference that the Respondent cannot sustain a case that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Therefore, the Panel finds the Complainant has demonstrated that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has provided the Panel with evidence that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to employment-related search engines and websites (Annex 8). The Respondent has not entered into the record any rebuttal to this evidence. Clearly, since the Respondent is functioning in the same business, it must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademarked name and the obvious confusion such a similar name would cause Internet users as to who was providing the service under the disputed domain name. Thus, the Panel determines that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating the likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location, a circumstance giving rise to a finding of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name pursuant to Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
As discussed, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name, <careersbuilder.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Dennis A. Foster
Date: April 20, 2005