World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Barclays Bank PLC v. Andrew Dennis

Case No. D2012-2084

1. The Parties

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

The Respondent is Andrew Dennis of Brooklyn, New York City, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <barclaydcardus.com> is registered with Network Solutions, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 19, 2012. On October 19, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 19, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 26, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 15, 2012. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 16, 2012.

The Center appointed Dr. Hong Xue as the sole panelist in this matter on November 28, 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 financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards and other services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia and owns trademark registrations for BARCLAY, BARCLAYS and BARCLAYCARD in association with financial services.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <barclaydcardus.com> on April 14, 2012.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <barclaydcardus.com> is confusingly similar to the trademarks BARCLAY and BARCLAYCARD the registration and use of which by the Complainant long precede the registration of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name <barclaydcardus.com> be transferred to it.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i), a complainant must prove that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. In line with such requirement, a complainant must prove its trademark rights and the similarity between the disputed domain name and its trademark.

The Panel finds that before the registration of the disputed domain name the trademarks BARCLAY, BARCLAYS and BARCLAYCARD had been registered and used in relation to the Complainant’s financial services, in a number of countries.

The disputed domain name is <barclaydcardus.com>. Apart from the generic top-level domain suffix “.com”, the disputed domain name consists of “barclaydcardus”, which can easily be read as “barclay”, “d”, “card” and “us”. It is established by numerous decisions made under the Policy that adding generic words to a complainant’s mark may not preclude a finding of confusing similarity (Prada S.A. v. Roderick G. Arnold, WIPO Case No. D2002-0928). Although the Respondent attaches the generic components, i.e. “card” and “us” and letter “d” to the Complainant’s mark BARCLAY, “barclay” that is incorporated in its entirety is still the most distinctive part of the disputed domain name. Therefore, the disputed domain name, as a whole is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark BARCLAY. Given that BARCLAYCARD is also the Complainant’s mark, the disputed domain name that embraces both “barclay” and “card” is likely to confuse with that mark and addition of “us” that may be misled as the service location of BARCLAYCARD increases, rather than diminishes, the likelihood of the confusion.

The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name <barclaydcardus.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks BARCLAY and BARCLAYCARD. Accordingly, the Complainant has proven the first element required by paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant asserts, and provides evidence to demonstrate, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and, as stated above, the Respondent did not provide any information to the Panel asserting any rights or legitimate interests it may have in the disputed domain name.

It is apparent from the Complaint that there is no connection between the Respondent and the Complainant or its business. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy lists a number of circumstances which can be taken to demonstrate a respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. However, there is no evidence before the Panel that any of the situations described in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply here. To the contrary, the lack of a Response leads the Panel to draw a negative inference.

Therefore, and also in light of the Panel’s findings below, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has proven the second element required by paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has bad faith by letting the disputed domain name resolve to a website containing a number of finance related sponsored links which relate to competitor products and services to those offered by the Complainant. The Respondent did not respond to these contentions.

Since the disputed domain name was registered and would appear to be fully controlled by the Respondent, the Respondent is responsible for any use of the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name that is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark to attract consumers to a website containing a number of finance related sponsored links which relate to the Complainant’s competitor products and services is highly likely to cause confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or of the source of the products or services shown on the Respondent’s website. The use of the domain name confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark on same or similar financial services offered by the Complainant is particularly disruptive to the business of BARCLAY cards and misleading to the card users.

The Panel finds that this is adequate to conclude that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith under the Policy, paragraph 4(b). Therefore, the Complainant has successfully proven the third element required by 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 name <barclaydcardus.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Dr. Hong Xue
Sole Panelist
Date: December 12, 2012

 

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