WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Canara Bank v. Canarabank
Case No. D2006-0412
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Canara Bank, Bangalore, India, represented by Pavan Duggal & Associates, India.
The Respondent is Canarabank, Georgetown, Grand Cayman GT, KY, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <canarabank.com> is registered with Address Creation.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 31, 2006. On April 3, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Address Creation a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On April 19, 2006, Address Creation 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 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 April 20, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 10, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 11, 2006.
The Center appointed Peter G. Nitter as the sole panelist in this matter on May 24, 2006. 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 a banking company residing in India operating under the name Canara Bank for the past 100 years.
Complainant has also conducted commerce under the name Canbank and has established an Internet website comprised of this name on “www.canbankindia.com”.
Respondent has registered and used the contested domain name <canarabank.com>.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The contested domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the CANARA BANK trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant has common law rights to the trademark CANARA BANK and has consistently used the trademark in connection with the banking business over the last 100 years.
It is submitted that there is no relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant. The Respondent is neither a licensee of the Complainant, nor has it otherwise obtained authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the contested domain name.
The contested domain name bears no relationship to the business of the Respondent and has never commonly been known by the trademark, trade name or domain name of CANARA BANK. Thus, the Respondent can attribute no legitimate cause to the registration of the aforesaid domain name for its own purposes.
It is clear that the Respondent is using the domain name for the purpose of hosting sponsored links making a profit with “pay-per-click” programs. The Respondent is a cyber squatter and wants to divert traffic aimed for the website of the Complainant, in this way making a profit using Complainant’s goodwill and reputation.
The domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
By using the contested domain name the Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract Internet users to its website for financial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark.
The Respondent has registered the contested domain name in full knowledge of the Complainant’s business, goodwill and credibility.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy the Complainant has the burden, on the balance of probabilities, to submit evidence in order to convince the Panel of three elements if it wishes to have the Domain Name transferred. It is incumbent upon the Complainant to cumulatively prove that:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of such domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered in bad faith and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The first issue is whether the Complainant has rights in a trademark, and whether the disputed domain name, <canarabank.com>, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark.
Previous Panel decisions under the UDRP have concluded that the generic top level domain denominator is irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a protected trademark. Thus, the first issue only concerns the part of the disputed domain name which consists of “canarabank”.
Complainant has established common law rights in its trademark CANARA BANK by extensive use of the trademark and name CANARA BANK for over 100 years in association with banking. Complainant has provided extensive documentation of advertising including the trademark and name.
The distinctive portion of the disputed domain name consists of the words “canara” and “bank”. The placing of the two words together in the disputed domain name is a technicality.
The Panel finds that the domain name at issue is identical to Complainant’s trademark CANARA BANK.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has informed that Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and that it has not received any license or consent to use the Canara Bank name in a domain name or any other manner. Respondent has not provided any response. None of the Complainant’s assertions have thus been contested by the Respondent. In the event that any such connection or affiliation existed, it would be easy for the Respondent to substantiate this. 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.
In accordance with the above, there is no evidence allowing the Panel to conclude that the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply to the Respondent’s situation. Complainant has provided evidence that the Respondent has directed the domain name at issue to an Internet website offering links to other commercial websites. The Panel finds it unlikely that Respondent would have any rights or legitimate interests in the use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to the CANARA BANK trademark in connection with offering such a service. The Complainant has thus made a prima facie showing of its assertion, and has sufficiently established that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
As a result of the distinctiveness of the trademark CANARA BANK and the reputation, at least in India, of the Complainant’s trademark CANARA BANK, the Panel finds it proven that the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant’s rights to the trademark CANARA BANK at the time of registration of the contested domain name, and that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The Panel has considered Complainant’s assertions and evidence with regard to the Respondent’s registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. By not submitting a response, Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances that could demonstrate that it did not register and use the domain name at issue in bad faith. On this background, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the domain name at issue for the purpose of intentionally attempting to attract users to its website for financial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the 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 <canarabank.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Peter G. Nitter
Dated: June 7, 2006