World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Barclays Bank PLC v. Chen Yan Hua

Case No. D2011-0696

1. The Parties

Complainant is Barclays Bank PLC of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Pinsent Masons LLP of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Respondent is Chen Yan Hua of Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <barclaysbranchcreers.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 April 21, 2011. On April 21, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Moniker Online Services, LLC. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 21, 2011, Moniker Online Services, LLC. 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 April 28, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 18, 2011. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on May 19, 2011.

The Center appointed Sandra A. Sellers as the sole panelist in this matter on May 26, 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 major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, and investment and wealth management, which operates in over 50 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Complainant has traded as Barclays PLC since 1985, and under prior Barclays trade names since 1896. It is well-known internationally and has acquired a reputation and goodwill in financial services over its 114 years of existence.

Complainant owns various marks registered in the United Kingdom and also various Community trademarks containing BARCLAYS for an array of financial services.

Complainant owns domain names containing the BARCLAYS mark, including <barclays.com> (registered on November 23, 1993), and <barclays.co.uk> (registered before August 1996). Complainant uses these domain names to promote its banking and financial services.

The disputed domain name, <barclaysbranchcreers.com> was registered on July 28, 2010. The disputed domain name reverts to a page containing links to online banking service providers who compete with Barclays.

Complainant’s agents sent letters to the Registrar, Moniker Privacy Services, on October 11, 2010, October 20, 2010, November 5, 2010, December 13, 2010, and January 18, 2011, in which Complainant informed the Registrar that the disputed domain name infringed Complainant’s marks. In response to the first letter, Moniker said it forwarded the October 11, 2010 letter to the Registrant. Complainant received no further responses from either Moniker or the Registrant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name contains a word that is identical and therefore confusingly similar to the BARCLAYS registered marks. Further, Complainant contends that inclusion of the generic word “branch” does not avoid confusion, and if anything, it increases the potential for confusion because Barclays has many branches. Complainant also alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and is using the disputed domain name as a holding page containing sponsored links to competitors’ banking services, such that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to divest a respondent of a disputed domain name, a complainant must demonstrate each of the following:

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

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

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

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant owns various marks registered in the United Kingdom and also various Community trademarks containing BARCLAYS for an array of financial services. Complainant has used the BARCLAYS mark in conjunction with banking and financial services continuously since 1896. Currently Complainant operates in over 50 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the BARCLAYS mark.

The disputed domain name, <barclaysbranchcreers>, contains Complainant’s BARCLAYS mark in its entirety. The inclusion of the generic word “branch” does not avoid confusion, and if anything, it increases the potential for confusion because Barclays has many branches. Similarly, the addition of the word “creers” does not avoid the confusing similarity.

The Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the BARCLAYS mark, and that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered mark; therefore, Complainant meets the first criterion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Because it is generally difficult for a complainant to prove the fact that a respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, previous UDRP decisions have found it sufficient for Complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion.

Respondent is not affiliated with or related to Complainant, nor is Respondent licensed or authorized to use the BARCLAYS mark. On the evidence before the Panel, Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. The Panel is satisfied that Complainant has made a prima facie showing of Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Respondent is in default, and has not provided any evidence in its own favor.

The Panel finds that the evidence is sufficient to establish that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and thus Complainant meets the second criterion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant has provided banking and financial services under the BARCLAYS mark continuously since 1896, and currently operates in over 50 countries on several continents. Additionally, the disputed domain name promotes banking services competitive with Complainant’s. Based on these facts, this Panel infers that Respondent was aware or must have been aware of Complainant’s mark when Respondent registered the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Complainant sent the Registrar, Moniker Online Services LLC, many letters informing it that the disputed domain name infringed the BARCLAYS mark. Moniker responded that it had forwarded the October 11, 2010 letter to Respondent. This Panel infers that Respondent had specific knowledge of Complainant’s marks and therefore has continued to use Complainant’s mark as part of the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, the Panel may find that Respondent has used the disputed domain name in bad faith if, “[respondent] has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] website 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] web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”

Here, the disputed domain name resolves to a website that contains links to other sites for banking services that directly compete with Complainant’s banking and financial services. Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name clearly is an attempt to create confusion to attract Internet users to Respondent’s website for commercial gain.

It is now a well-known practice to display on a web page or search engine various links to other commercial websites under a pay-per-click commission scheme: every link activated by an Internet user enables the host of the search engine to collect financial remuneration proportional to the number of connections. See, e.g., Deutsche Telekom AG v. WWW Enterprise, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-1078. Therefore, in the Panel’s view, it is evident that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name with the intent to attract Internet customers looking for Complainant’s banking and financial services, thereby likely profiting from click-through revenue generated by the sponsored links.

This Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy and that Complainant meets the third criterion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For 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 <barclaysbranchcreers.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Sandra A. Sellers
Sole Panelist
Dated: June 6, 2011

 

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