WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
MasterCard International Incorporated v. Company Require / Admin Manager
Case No. D2006-1012
1. The Parties
The Complainant is MasterCard International Incorporated, New York, United States of America, represented by Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson, United States of America.
The Respondent is Company Require / Admin Manager, California, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mastermoney.com> is registered with eNom.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 8, 2006. On August 10, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On August 10, 2006, eNom transmitted by email to the Center its verification response identifying the owner of the disputed domain name as Admin Manager1 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 15, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 4, 2006. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 6, 2006.
The Center appointed Jeffrey M. Samuels as the Sole Panelist in this matter on October 20, 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 MasterCard is a leading global payments solutions company providing a broad variety of services in support of their global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business, and related payment programs. MasterCard, through its predecessors in interest, has been in the payment card business since 1966, and has operated under the name and mark MASTERCARD since at least as early as 1980.
Complainant owns trademark registrations for the mark MASTERCARD in virtually every country and owns over 100 U.S. registrations for other marks that incorporate the term “MASTERCARD”. See Complaint, Exhibit F. Complainant also owns U.S. Registration No. 2,487,725 for the mark MASTERMONEY, as used in connection with “financial services, namely, providing debit card services”, as well as U.S. Registration No. 2,243,624 for the mark MASTERMONEY BUSINESSCARD, as used in connection with “financial services, namely, providing debit card, funds transfer and card account information services to financial institutions and for corporate and business accounts”.
The disputed domain name <mastermoney.com> was registered on January 28, 2006. The domain name is used in connection with a website displaying links to pages which, in turn, contain a wide variety of sponsored, commercial links and advertisements. Some of the sponsored links direct users to credit card applications for MasterCard’s competitors. See Complaint, Exhibit G.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its MASTERMONEY mark because it incorporates the entirety of the mark and, in fact, is identical to it. Complainant further maintains that the domain name <mastermoney.com> is confusingly similar to the mark MASTERCARD because it incorporates the most prominent portion of such mark, adding only the non-distinctive term “money”.
Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. According to Complainant, Respondent is not generally known by the <mastermoney.com> domain name, is not licensed by Complainant to use any of Complainant’s marks, is not engaged in a bona fide offering of goods and/or services, and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name.
With respect to the issue of “bad faith” registration and use, Complainant argues that Respondent is deliberately using the <mastermoney.com> domain name for commercial gain to attract internet users to Respondent’s website based on a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s MASTERMONEY and MASTERCARD marks, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. Complainant also contends, upon information and belief, that Respondent fraudulently registered and changed its domain name registration from the name “Company Require” to “Admin Manager”.
According to Complainant, given the widespread use and fame of its marks in the credit card industry, there is no plausible reason for Respondent’s selection of the disputed domain name other than as a deliberate attempt to profit unfairly from confusion with Complainant’s MASTERMONEY and MASTERCARD marks.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name <mastermoney.com>, for all intents and purposes, is identical to Complainant’s MASTERMONEY mark. The domain name incorporates the mark in full, adding only the generic top-level domain “.com”.
The Panel further concludes that, as a result of Complainant’s longstanding use of, and registration for, the MASTERMONEY mark, Complainant has rights in the mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel concludes that Complainant has established a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and that there is no evidence to rebut such presumption. Given the infringing, commercial nature of the “www.mastermoney.com” website, it is clear that Respondent is not using the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and/or services or in a noncommercial or fair manner.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel determines Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The evidence supports a determination that, by using the <mastermoney.com> domain name, Respondent intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s MASTERMONEY mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of such site, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The long period of use and strength of Complainant’s marks establish, as Complainant contends, that there is no plausible reason for Respondent’s selection of the disputed domain name other than as a deliberate attempt to profit unfairly from confusion with Complainant’s MASTERMONEY and MASTERCARD marks.
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 <mastermoney.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Jeffrey M. Samuels
Dated: October 27, 2006
1 The Center’s request for verification identified the owner of the disputed domain name as Company Require.