The Complainant is Jackson National Life Insurance Company of Michigan, United States of America, represented by Butzel Long, United States of America.
The Respondent is Nijat Hassanov of Baku, Azerbaijan.
The disputed domain name <jacksonnationallifeins.com> is registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 2, 2008. On October 3, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 7, 2008, Moniker Online Services, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 8, 2008 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 13, 2008. The Center verified that the amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), 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 October 14, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 3, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 7, 2008.
The Center appointed Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman as the sole panelist in this matter on November 14, 2008. 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.
The Complainant is the Jackson National Life Insurance Company with an address in Florida, United States of America. It is the owner of registered trademarks related to the Company name as follows:
JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY; U.S. Reg No. 2338319
JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE; U.S. Reg. No. 1489625
JACKSON NATIONAL; U.S. Reg. No. 1489626
Each is registered in the following classes:
IC 35: “Insurance marketing consulting services for agents and brokers”
IC 36: “Life insurance underwriting services”
The Complainant has also made a trademark application as follows:
JACKSON; U.S. App. Ser. No. 78949574
IC 35: “Insurance marketing consulting services for agents and brokers”
IC 36: “Life insurance and annuity underwriting services”
The Complainant refers to the above trademarks as the “Jackson National Life Marks”.
Nothing is known about the Respondent except what is provided in the registration for the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 21, 2005.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which it has rights. The Complainant has used the Jackson
National Life Marks in commerce with respect to the identified services since at least as early as April 13, 1961. It is aware of no other entity in the United States of America or abroad offering similar or related services under a company name, trade name, or service mark containing the phrase “Jackson National Life Insurance”. No registered or pending trademarks containing the phrase “Jackson National Life Insurance” appear on the online database of the United States Patent Trademark Office except those belonging to the Complainant and the Complainant is not aware of any identical foreign trademark.
The Complainant says that it offers the services identified by the Jackson National Life Marks at its own website, “www.jnl.com”. The Respondent's domain name contains the phrase “Jackson National Life Ins” and the website to which it resolves offers links to other entities selling life insurance underwriting services. The Respondent displays the disputed domain name at the top of its home page in a prominent manner, constituting a trademark use of the Jackson National Life Marks. Several screenshots of the Respondent's website are submitted in evidence. Taken as a whole, the disputed domain name should be found to be confusingly similar to the Jackson National Life Marks as to sight, sound and meaning.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, but intends misleadingly to divert consumers for commercial gain. By clicking on the links for “Life Insurance Quote”, “Insurance”, and “Term Life Insurance”, for example, the user is directed to pages of links for websites operated by other life insurance companies.
It is contended that the Respondent's use of the disputed domain name is calculated to mislead consumers who may be trying to reach the Complainant, by diverting them to the Respondent's website, where those consumers will be misdirected to the Complainant's competitors in a manner that commercially benefits the Respondent.
The Complainant further contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to the Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's website or of a product or service thereon.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
The Complaint initially named the Respondent as Moniker Privacy Services and the disputed domain name. In response to the Center's enquiry, Moniker Online Services LLC disclosed the registrant of record to be Nijat Hassanov, with the contact details provided by that person. The amended Complaint named the Respondent as before, followed by Nijat Hassanov. A respondent is defined in the Rules as “the holder of a domain-name registration”. The Panel is satisfied that the registrant Nijat Hassanov
should be named as the Respondent and has amended the intituling accordingly.
The Center has attempted to communicate with the Respondent at the email and physical addresses provided, and additionally through Moniker Privacy Services. The Panel is satisfied that the Center has at the least fulfilled its responsibility under paragraph 2 of the Rules to employ all reasonably available means to serve actual notice of the Complaint upon the Respondent.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Respondent is required:
“to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a “complainant”) asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that:
(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
The Complainant has made the relevant assertions as above. The dispute is properly within the scope of the Policy and the Panel has jurisdiction to decide the dispute.
The Complainant has provided ample documentary evidence that as the Jackson National Life Insurance Company it holds and has rights in the trademarks listed above.
The disputed domain name is <jacksonnationallifeins.com>. It is not uncommon for business names to comprise words run together without punctuation or spaces, and spaces are not permitted in domain names in the present context for technical reasons. The disputed domain name is easily read as “Jackson National Life Ins”, and it is the Panel's view that in the context of the whole domain name, many readers would associate the portion “Life Ins” with “Life Insurance”. The Panel finds confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the registered trademarks JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY and JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE. The trademarks JACKSON NATIONAL and JACKSON are registered or applied for in the Complainant's full name for “insurance marketing consulting services for agents and brokers” and “life insurance ... underwriting services”, and the disputed domain name is found to be confusingly similar to these trademarks within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Complainant must prove that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant states that it has made enquiries and has found no evidence of any other company with the same name, in the United States of America or elsewhere. It states that it can find no evidence of the Respondent's use of the disputed domain name or a corresponding name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The use of the corresponding website includes links to
commercial entities in competition with the Complainant and is therefore commercial in nature and is not a noncommercial fair use.
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case in the terms of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Respondent has the opportunity to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as provided for in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, or otherwise, but has made no reply. The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant must prove that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four circumstances that, without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. The last of these, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, reads as follows:
“by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”
The Complainant has its own website, “www.jnl.com”, which presents comprehensive life insurance and related products, and offers an on-line explanatory video presentation.
The Respondent's website, according to the evidence, offers viewers a number of links related directly to life insurance and other insurance, some of the links offering to provide price quotations. The business model known as pay-per-click, or click-through, in which a website operator collects revenue from other businesses for each Internet user referred to them, is so standard and well recognized that it can be concluded on the balance of probabilities that it forms the basis of the present Respondent's activity in respect of the disputed domain name.
In itself, the collection of revenue from pay-per-click referrals is generally regarded as legitimate. The present Respondent, however, does this by means of a domain name easily read as “Jackson National Life Ins”. The Panel can conceive of no plausible reason for the adoption of what is essentially the Complainant's trademark as the Respondent's domain name, other than an intention by the Respondent to attract visitors who were seeking the Complainant or the types of services offered by the Complainant, either directly or through search engines. At least some of the visitors attracted to the Respondent's website in this way are likely to be confused into thinking that the website is related to or endorsed by the Complainant. It may reasonably be assumed that when visitors follow links from the website they generate revenue for the Respondent, at the expense of the Complainant's trademark and good name. In the terms of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy the Respondent has attempted to attract Internet users, for commercial gain, by confusion with the Complainant's trademark as to the endorsement of the Respondent's website or the source of the products it offers.
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 <jacksonnationallifeins.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman
Dated: November 28, 2008