WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allstate Insurance Company v. WXN
Case No. D2010-2165
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 WXN of New York, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwallstate.com> is registered with eNom.
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 eNom a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 14, 2010, eNom 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 Complainant on December 20, 2010 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 20, 2010.
The Center verified that the Complaint, together with 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 21, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 10, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 13, 2011.
The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on January 20, 2011. 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 US $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 (issued 1961); 0761091 (issued 1963); and 0840187 (issued 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 <wwwallstate.com> was registered on February 9, 2000. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant. The disputed domain name did not appear to resolve to an active website as of the filing of the Complaint.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that (i) <wwwallstate.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.
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 <wwwallstate.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 directly incorporates Complainant’s registered trademark ALLSTATE, and merely adds the common typo “www” a mistake easily made by web users looking for a web site with the world wide web address beginning “www” -- but who sometimes mistakenly leave out the dot.
Numerous UDRP panels have agreed that supplementing or modifying a trademark with generic or descriptive words 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, Microsoft Corporation v. Step-Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-1500 (transferring <microsofthome.com>); General Electric Company v. Recruiters, WIPO Case No. D2007-0584 (transferring <ge-recruiting.com>); CBS Broadcasting, Inc. v. Y2K Concepts Corp., WIPO Case No. D2000-1065 (transferring <cbsone.com>). Panels also freely transfer domain names that are clearly set up as deliberate misspellings of trademarks. See 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>).
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 some 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 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 rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
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.” Although Respondent is not currently using the disputed domain name to resolve to an active website, this is not necessarily an indication that it lacks bad faith. Rather, the Panel must look at the totality of the circumstances. Here, although passively using the domain name, Respondent apparently had in mind shielding its name, since it listed its contact information with the registrar as “Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.” Furthermore, upon further investigation, Respondent listed its domain name as “WXN – This Domain Available For Sale.” Falsifying contact information can be an indication of bad faith. See for example Chanel v. 1, WIPO Case No. D2003-0218 (transferring <chanelbiz.com>); Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775 (transferring <wachovai.com>, <wachvia.com>, and <wochovia.com>); The Knot, Inc. v. In Knot We Trust Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2006-0340 (transferring <knot.com>). In this case, with this widely-known mark, the Panel finds that it is.
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.
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 <wwwallstate.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: February 3, 2011