World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Allstate Insurance Company v. Acme mail

Case No. D2010-2162

1. The Parties

Complainant is Allstate Insurance Company of Illinois, United States of America, represented by Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., United States of America.

Respondent is Acme Mail of Florida, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <allsate.com> is registered with Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a DirectNIC LTD.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 13, 2010. On December 14, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a DirectNIC LTD. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 14, 2010, Intercosmos Media Group d/b/a DirectNIC LTD. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 23, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 12, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 14, 2010.

The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on January 19, 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

Complainant is a personal insurance company, offering various types of insurance including life, annuity, accident and health insurance. Over the years, Complainant’s business has grown, with revenues in 2009 reaching USD 32 billion. Complainant is the owner of the ALLSTATE mark, and has several registrations in the United States, where Respondent lists its address of record. These registered marks include United States Registration Nos. 0717683 (registered on June 27, 1961); 0761091 (registered on December 3, 1963); and 0840187 (registered on December 5, 1967). Complainant uses its ALLSTATE marks in association with its various insurance services. As a result of its successful marketing efforts and expenditures surrounding its brand, Complainant’s ALLSTATE marks enjoy some degree of renown.

Complainant is the registrant of several domain names associated with its ALLSTATE marks. Complainant registered <allstate.com> in May 1995. Complainant registered <allstate.net> in July 1997. Complainant registered <allstate.org> in July 1998. Complainant markets its insurance services under associated URLs linked to these and related websites.

The disputed domain name <allsate.com> was registered on December 27, 2000. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant. Rather, Respondent has provided sponsored links from the URL associated with the disputed domain name to websites that describe or advertise goods or services that are unaffiliated with Complainant or Complainant’s services. These include competing products and services for insurance services. Complainant has not authorized these links, nor the use of its trademarks therewith.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that: (i) <allsate.com> is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions in this proceeding.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

This Panel must first determine whether <allsate.com> is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel finds that it is.

The disputed domain name is exactly the same as Complainant’s registered trademark ALLSATE, with the one change of a missing letter “t” in the middle, a mistake easily made by web users quickly typing in a domain name. Numerous UDRP panels have agreed that the deliberate and obvious misspelling of a mark constitutes “typosquatting”, and does not make a domain name any less “identical or confusingly similar” for purposes of satisfying this first prong of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. See, for example, Yahoo! Inc. and GeoCities v. Data Art Corp., DataArt Enterprises, Inc., Stonybrook Investments, Global Net 2000, Inc., Powerclick, Inc., and Yahoo Search, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0587 (transferring, inter alia, <ayhoo.com>, <chatyahoo.com>, <geocitie.com>); Dow Jones & Co., Inc. and Dow Jones LP v. John Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2000-0578 (transferring <wallstreetjounal.com> and <wallstreetjournel.com>); and Xerox Corp. v. Stonybrook Investments, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2001-0380 (transferring <zerox.com>).

This Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Policy provides guidance to respondents on how to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue in a UDRP dispute. For example, paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show a respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue”.

No evidence has been presented to this Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Rather, as mentioned in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the disputed domain name to divert Internet users via sponsored links, to websites that are unaffiliated with Complainant or Complainant’s services.

Therefore, this Panel finds that Complainant has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of “rights or legitimate interests” in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] 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 [respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the] web site or location”. As noted in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has provided sponsored links from the URL associated with the disputed domain name to websites that describe or advertise goods or services that are unaffiliated with Complainant or Complainant’s services. These include competing products and insurance services. Complainant has not authorized these links, nor the use of its trademarks therewith. Hence, Respondent is trading on the goodwill of Complainant’s trademarks to attract Internet users, presumably for Respondent’s own commercial gain.

Additionally, a complainant may show that a respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in violation of the UDRP, in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(ii).

Here, Complainant has submitted a list of multiple domain names that are listed as being registered to Respondent. Many of these contain misspellings of well-known marks such as that at issue in this proceeding. For example, Respondent has registered <diectv.com>; <americanepress.com>; <accessholywood.com>; <accessholywood.html>; <comedycenral.com>; <cosmopoliten.com>; and <nationlgeographic.com.>. The Panel finds that this amounts to be a pattern as contemplated by paragraph 4(b)(ii).

Therefore, this Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 disputed domain name <allsate.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Lorelei Ritchie
Sole Panelist
Dated: January 27, 2011

 

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