WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Credit Suisse Group v. Credit Suisse Group
Case No. D2005-0213
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Credit Suisse Group, Zürich, Switzerland, represented by E. Blum & Co., Zürich, Switzerland.
The Respondent is Credit Suisse Group, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cs-pb.com> is registered with Bizcn.com, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 24, 2005. On February 24, 2005, the Center transmitted by email to Bizcn.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 25, 2005, Bizcn.com, Inc. 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. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on March 16, 2005. The Center verified that the Complaint, together with the amendment to 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 24, 2005. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 13, 2005. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 28, 2005.
The Center appointed Peter G. Nitter as the Sole Panelist in this matter on May 13, 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
Complainant is an international bank and financial institution, and has registered the trademarks CREDIT SUISSE and CREDIT SUISSE PRIVATE BANKING in many countries all over the world, including China and the United Kingdom, the trademark CS in Switzerland, and the trademark CSPB in Switzerland and the United Kingdom, for goods and services connected with its business.
Respondent has registered and used the domain name at issue <cs-pb.com>.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The domain name at issue is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks in which Complainant has rights.
The term “cs-pb” is in fact the abbreviation for “Credit Suisse Private Banking” as can be seen on the Respondent’s website, which appears as a slavish copy of the Complainant’s own website, including company name, company logo and other items, designed to make the public believe that it is a website of the Complainant.
The Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name at issue.
The disputed domain name appears to be the combination of “cs” and “pb”.
“cs” is the commonly known and used abbreviation of the Complainant’s corporate name “Credit Suisse”. CS is a trademark of the Complainant, and “pb” is a commonly used abbreviation of “private banking”.
While the Complainant has no separate trademark registration for “PB” alone, he does have worldwide trademark protection for the full words, as well as the trademark CSPB.
That the allegation that “cs-pb” is the abbreviation for “Credit Suisse Private Banking” is true, can be seen on the Respondent’s web-site, which identifies itself as “Credit Suisse Private Banking”.
Moreover, the Respondent uses a false name to identify himself as the owner of this domain name and website, which name is identical to the Complainant’s name.
It is clear from this that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue, which he fraudulently uses to make the public believe that his domain name and his website are a domain name and website of the Complainant.
The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A simple look at the registered details for the disputed domain name in the WHOIS-database shows that the Respondent cannot be in good faith, since he used the Complainant’s name and not his real name to register the disputed domain name.
A simple look at the Respondent’s website should be sufficient to show that he cannot be in good faith using the domain name, since he makes believe that his website is a website of the Complainant.
The title on the Respondent’s website “CREDIT SUISSE PRIVATE BANKING” combined with the domain name at issue, which is the abbreviation of the title of the website show clearly that this domain name has been registered and is used in bad faith.
The domain name itself, as well as the website, are both chosen to make the public believe that this is a website of the Complainant. The Complainant refers to the interaction of the website and the domain name; they must be considered together, as a whole. The public will immediately believe that this website and this domain name belong to the Complainant, but in fact it is a fake made to lure the public into giving away their secret user-name and password to access their bank account at the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainant has raised the question whether the language of these proceedings are Chinese, pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Policy, since the Registrar is domiciled in the People’s Republic of China, and the Registration Agreement is Chinese.
Complainant has, however, at the same time held that since the Respondent (at least as far as can be determined) is domiciled in the United Kingdom and since the website the Respondent has activated under the domain name at issue is also in English, it appears that there are no connections whatsoever with China, and that it is more than likely that the Respondent chose to register this domain name with a Registrar in China in order to evade criminal and civil prosecution, including submission to the UDRP. Complainant has therefore asked that the Panel agree to conduct this dispute in the English language.
Taking into account the circumstances of the administrative proceeding, particularly the fact that Respondent has published a website with contents in the English language in connection with the disputed domain name, and is an entity registered in the United Kingdom, both indicating that Respondent would be sufficiently proficient in the English language, the Panel determines that the language of the proceeding shall be English, irrespective of what language is used in the Registration Agreement.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s registered trademark CSPB, with the exception of an hyphen added between the letters “s” and “p”. As Complainant has evidenced, “CSPB” is an abbreviation of “CREDIT SUISSE PRIVATE BANKING”, also a registered trademark of Complainant.
In the view of the Panel, the addition of an hyphen between the letters “s” and “p” in an otherwise identical combination of letters, is not sufficient to avoid the risk of confusion with Complainant’s trademark CSPB. The risk of confusion is also further enhanced by the title on the Respondent’s website corresponding to the domain name at issue: “CREDIT SUISSE PRIVATE BANKING”.
Hence, the Panel finds that there is confusing similarity between the domain name at issue and Complainant’s trademark CSPB.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel has considered the allegation made by Complainant that Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue. Respondent is in default and has therefore not contested these allegations.
It is generally difficult for the Complainant to prove the negative that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue. For Respondent, on the other hand, it would be fairly simple to demonstrate that he has any such rights or legitimate interests pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. In the event of a Respondent’s default, previous decisions under the UDRP have therefore found it sufficient for Complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion.
Complainant has documented that it is a major international bank and financial institution, which has a distinctive and well-known name and a wide range of trademark registrations throughout the world. Complainant has furthermore denied that it has granted Respondent any rights to use its name, or that it has ever been affiliated with Respondent.
Respondent has not used and is not using the disputed domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”, nor is there a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds it unlikely that Respondent would have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and Complainant has thus made a prima facie showing of its assertion.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant has evidenced that Respondent has used the website corresponding to the domain name at issue to deceive the public into thinking that the website is an official website of the Complainant, and thereby lure the public into giving away their secret user-name and password, which is necessary to access their bank accounts in the bank of Complainant.
Respondent’s registration and use of the domain name at issue is thus not only an attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website corresponding to the domain name at issue, which is an example of circumstances indicating bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv), but also appears to be an attempt at fraud.
It is thus clear to the Panel that the domain name at issue has been registered and used 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 <cs-pb.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Peter G. Nitter
Dated: June 1, 2005