World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

US Community Credit Union v. Moniker Privacy Services, Inc.,

Registrant [2918496] / Guowei Hai Gui

Case No. D2010-1136

1. The Parties

The Complainant is US Community Credit Union of Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

The Respondent is Moniker Privacy Services, Inc., Registrant [2918496] of United States of America / Guowei Hai Gui of People’s Republic of China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <uscommunitycreditunion.com> is registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 9, 2010. On July 9, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 12, 2010, the Registrar 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 administrative proceeding was suspended on July 15, 2010, and was reinstituted on July 21, 2010. Thereafter, on the same date, the Center sent an email communication to the Complainant 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 amendment to the Complaint on July 22, 2010.

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” 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 July 26, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 15, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 16, 2010.

The Center appointed Adam Taylor as the sole panelist in this matter on September 1, 2010. 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 offers credit union services to employees and retirees of the federal and local government. It changed its name from “US Courthouse Credit Union” to “US Community Credit Union” in January 2005.

The Complainant possesses a State of Tennessee service mark registration for “US Community” in class 36, bearing a first use date of January 21, 2005.

The disputed domain name was registered on June 15, 2006.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or Confusingly Similar

Since its name change in January 2005, the Complainant has spent over USD1,000,000 marketing its name. Most of the Complainant's marketing efforts are undertaken through its website at “www.uscommunitycreditunion.org”. The Complainant is known to the federal government of the United States of America as “US Community Credit Union” and is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Since January 2005, Complainant has sought to acquire and has acquired new members through establishing relationships with other entities.

The Complainant therefore has strong and well-established common law rights in the marks US COMMUNITY and US COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION.

The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's marks.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use the disputed domain name and the Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Respondent's use of the disputed domain name for a website that contains links to other sites, without offering any original content, is not a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent cannot make any bona fide offering, because its use of the disputed domain name infringes the Complainant's US COMMUNITY and US COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION marks.

Furthermore, the links provided on the Respondent's website include links to products that compete with those of the Complainant, suggesting that the Respondent is seeking to attract visitors seeking the Complainant's website and then diverting them for commercial gain.

The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to attract visitors seeking the Complainant's website and presumably generating "click through" revenue when redirecting them to other competing sites.

The disputed domain name is a "typosquat" version of the Complainant's mark.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established common law rights in the mark US COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION arising from its use in the United States since 2005.

The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s mark, disregarding the domain name suffix.

The Complainant has therefore established the first element of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant must establish at least a prima facie case under this heading and, if that is made out, the evidential onus shifts to the Respondent to rebut the presumption of absence of rights or legitimate interests thereby created. See, e.g., Atlas Copco Aktiebolag v. Accurate Air Engineering, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2003-0070.

The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its trade mark.

As to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, the Panel has concluded below that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, confuse and profit from Internet users seeking the Complainant’s products and services. Such use of the disputed domain name could not be said to be bona fide.

There is no evidence that paragraphs 4(c)(ii) or (iii) of the Policy apply.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights and legitimate interests and there is no rebuttal by the Respondent.

The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Complainant has therefore established the second element of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant asserts that the website at the disputed domain name was used for sponsored links to products competing with those of the Complainant. However, the Complainant has not provided any proof of such use.

Paragraph 4.5 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel View on Selected UDRP Questions states as follows:

Consensus view: A panel may visit the Internet site linked to the disputed domain name in order to obtain more information about the respondent and the use of the domain name”. Accordingly, the Panel visited the website at the disputed domain name on September 15, 2010, and has ascertained that it was indeed being used for a parking site comprising links to financial services websites competing with the Complainant

Accordingly, and given the identity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s mark, it is obvious that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the Complainant in mind.

The Respondent has not come forward to deny that the Complainant’s assertions of bad faith. It is difficult to conceive of any genuine reason why the Respondent would wish to register the disputed domain name and the Respondent has offered no explanation. Indeed, on receipt of the Complaint, the Respondent indicated consent to transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant (but did not follow through on its offer).

The Panel concludes from the foregoing that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade mark.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <uscommunitycreditunion.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Adam Taylor
Sole Panelist
Dated: September 15, 2010

 

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