World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Allianz Insurance PLC v. Andrey Ataev / Moniker Privacy Services

Case No. D2011-0113

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Allianz Insurance PLC of Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Alexander Ramage Associates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Respondents are Andrey Ataev of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Moniker Privacy Services of Pompano Beach, Florida, United States of America.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <cornhilldirct.com> and <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> are registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 20, 2011. On January 20, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On January 24, 2011, Moniker Online Services, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on January 24, 2011 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 January 28, 2011.

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 February 1, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 21, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 23, 2011.

The Center appointed Sir Ian Barker as the sole panelist in this matter on March 7, 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

The Complainant is a United Kingdom insurance company which has carried on business under several different names since 1905. The name Cornhill has been associated with insurance for many years.

The Complainant owns registered trademarks for CORNHILL (registered October 1, 1986), CORNHILL DIRECT (registered August 23, 2006) and CORNHILL CHECKOUT (registered August 23, 2006). It also owns European Union Community Trademarks for CORNHILL.

The disputed domain names were registered on July 9, 2010. Both disputed domain names resolve to websites which provide sponsored links to the websites of third parties offering insurance services from competitors of the Complainant.

A cease and desist letter was sent to Moniker Privacy Services by the Complainant’s agents on October 15, 2010. No reply was received.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks.

The disputed domain name <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> consists of the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL DIRECT linked with the descriptive word “insurance” and with the domain suffix “.com”. Addition of the descriptive word “insurance” to the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL DIRECT does nothing to distinguish the disputed domain name from the trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

Alternatively, the disputed domain name <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> consists of the Complainant’s registered trademarks for CORNHILL, linked with the descriptive word “direct” and the descriptive word “insurance” and the domain suffix “.com”. Addition of the words “direct” and “insurance” to the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL does nothing to distinguish the disputed domain name from the trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

The Complainant has rights not only in the name CORNHILL but in the expression CORNHILL DIRECT and addition of the descriptive word “insurance” simply indicates the nature of the services offered by the Complainant and for which the Complainant’s trademarks CORNHILL and CORNHILL DIRECT are protected.

The disputed domain name <cornhilldirct.com> consists of the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL combined with a misspelling “dirct” of the descriptive word “direct” and the domain suffix “.com”. The expression “cornhilldirct” is only one letter different from the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL DIRECT.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and has not been licensed or otherwise permitted to use the Complainant’s registered trademarks or trading styles CORNHILL or CORNHILL DIRECT, or to apply for registration of the disputed domain names.

The disputed domain name <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> comprises the Complainant’s registered trademarks CORNHILL and CORNHILL DIRECT coupled with the word “insurance” which is descriptive of the service that the Complainant offers.

The disputed domain name <cornhilldirct.com> is identical with the Complainant’s registered trademark CORNHILL DIRECT except for the letter “e” missing in DIRECT.

The Respondent is not making legitimate use of the disputed domain names. Both resolve to websites which provide sponsored links to third party websites offering insurance services from the Complainant’s competitors.

The website to which “www.cornhilldirectinsurance.com” points has a “home page” to which the link entitled “Car Insurance” points, the page to which the link from “Quote Me Happy Car Cover” points, and the web page of a competitor a “www.aviva.co.uk”, being the page to which the “Quote Me Happy Car Cover” link points.

The website to which “www.cornhilldirct.com” points has a “home page” to which the link “Car Insurance Quote” points, the page to which the link “Direct Line Car Insurance” points, and the web page located at “www.directline.com”, being that of a competitor of the Complainant.

The Respondent is intentionally engaged in conduct which is misleading to consumers by diverting Internet users away from the Complainant’s websites at “www.cornhilldirect.co.uk”, and at “www.cornhilldirectbusiness.co.uk”.

The disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith by the Respondent for the purpose of disrupting the Complainant’s business, or for the purpose of diverting business that otherwise would have gone to the Complainant. In particular, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s websites, for the purpose of commercial gain through a “click-through” website, thus deliberately creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks.

A search against the expression “Cornhill Direct” conducted on January 16, 2011, using the GOOGLE search engine, returned 10 hits, all of which are linked directly to the Complainant, or which deal with products offered by the Complainant under the CORNHILL DIRECT trademark.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Under Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to prevail, a complainant must prove the following elements of a claim for transfer or cancellation of a respondent’s domain name:

(i) that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;

(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and

(iii) that the respondent’s domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Both disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks. The addition of the generic word “insurance” in <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> does not diminish the confusing similarity with the CORNHILL DIRECT trademark. The word “insurance” only strengthens the message that Cornhill Direct is an insurance provider.

The disputed domain name <cornhilldrct.com> is a crude attempt to differentiate the registered trademark CORNHILL DIRECT by omitting one letter. This is a classic case of “typosquatting” whereby a domain name registrant seeks to attract to its website users who might make a mistake in typing out the wording of a trademark in the search process.

The disputed domain names are also confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CORNHILL registered trademarks, for similar reasons. The words “direct” and “insurance” are merely generic add-ons to the trademarked word “Cornhill” which is a word associated with insurance because of the long history of the name Cornhill in insurance.

Accordingly, the first limb of Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is established.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant gave the Respondent no rights or licence to use its registered marks in the disputed domain names. Since there is no Response, that fact is sufficient in this case to establish the second limb of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides possible defences for respondents but the Respondent in this case has elected not to file a Response.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

In this Panel’s view, the CORNHILL name would have to be known to any party seeking to find insurance products on the Internet. The CORNHILL mark has been a feature of the insurance market for more than a century. It is almost impossible to conclude that the registration of these disputed domain names was other than in bad faith. Although the true Respondent appears to be based in Canada, one of his websites offers “UK Car Insurance for Less” so that the true Respondent can be taken as knowing about the United Kingdom insurance market, which includes the CORNHILL brand.

Bad faith use is obviously demonstrated. The Respondent’s websites intentionally attract Internet users who could easily be confused into thinking that the Respondent’s websites had some connection with or approval from the Complainant. The websites could easily divert business which would otherwise have gone to the Complainant since the websites are descriptive of the Complainant’s business. The Respondent’s activities clearly are encompassed by the conduct described in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy.

The Respondent’s failure to reply to the Complainant’s cease and desist letter provides further confirmation of bad faith.

The Complainant has therefore established the third limb of paragraph 4(a) 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 names <cornhilldirectinsurance.com> and <cornhilldirct.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sir Ian Barker
Sole Panelist
Dated: March 14, 2011

 

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