World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Barclays Bank PLC v. Above.com Domain Privacy, Host Master

Case No. D2012-1051

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Barclays Bank PLC of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“U.K.”) represented by Pinsent Masons LLP, U.K.

The Respondents are Above.com Domain Privacy and Host Master of Beaumaris, Australia and Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Overseas Territory of the U.K.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <connectbarcap.com> is registered with Above.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 17, 2012. On May 18, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 23, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from one named sole Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on May 23, 2012 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 amended Complaint on May 24, 2012, indicating as Respondents those here listed.

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 the Respondents of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 25, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 14, 2012. The Respondents did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondents’ default on June 18, 2012.

The Center appointed Gunnar Karnell as the sole panelist in this matter on June 25, 2012. 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 major financial service provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. It currently operates in over 50 countries, employing approximately 144,000 people.

The disputed domain name was registered on November 17, 2011.

The Complainant has requested that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain name <connectbarcap.com> contains the word “barcap” which is identical or confusingly similar to the name Barcap and the trademark BARCAP for which the Complainant has registered trademarks in relation to financial services (International registration No. 736306, July 16, 1999, and UK registration No. 2154329, December 23, 1997). The Complainant, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is also the registrant of the domain names <barcap.com> and <barcap.co.uk>.

The Complainant also claims that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a number of its registered trademarks BARCLAYS and its name Barclays.

The Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondents are not known by that name. It is being used for a holding page containing a number of finance related sponsored links which relate to products and services that compete with those offered by the Complainant. On that page, the disputed domain name redirects Internet traffic intended for the Complainant to such competitor products and services. The content found at the disputed domain name is pay-per-click sponsored links which relate to financial services. It is not a matter of noncommercial or fair use. The Respondents have not been authorized by the Complainant to register or to use any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademark.

The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondents must have been aware of the widespread use, reputation and notoriety of the BARCAP trademarks and that registration and use of the disputed domain name constituted and is a misappropriation of the Complainant’s intellectual property. The Respondents have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks.

B. Respondents

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

6. Discussion and Findings

The factual foundation of the Complainant’s contentions, while supporting its non-contradicted Complaint by written evidence, leads the Panel to the following conclusions:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel, although finding no similarity between the Complainant’s BARCLAYS trademarks or the name BARCLAYS and the disputed domain name, finds that the Complainant has rights in its currently used BARCAP trademarks, whose registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain name, and to which in this Panel’s view the disputed domain name is obviously confusing. The word “connect”, added to the trademark BARCAP in the disputed domain name, contributes to the confusion by creating a false impression of an association with the Complainant, thereby misleading the public from the Complainant to the Respondents.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondents lack rights and legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and there has been no rebuttal by the Respondents. Nothing in the case file provided by the Center to this Panel gives reason to believe that the Respondents have or have had any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Absent any indication in the case file of elements that might tell against giving credence to the Complainant’s assertions regarding facts leading up to its conclusions about registration and use in bad faith of the disputed domain name, and since all circumstances that have here more specifically been noted have been taken into account, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the conditions about bad faith registration and bad faith use for a transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant are satisfied.

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 <connectbarcap.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Gunnar Karnell
Sole Panelist
Dated: June 27, 2012

 

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