World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Tumblr, Inc. v. Fundacion Private Whois / PPA Media Services, Ryan G Foo

Case No. D2013-0203

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Tumblr, Inc. of New York, United States of America, internally represented.

The Respondent is Fundacion Private Whois of Panama, Panama / PPA Media Services, Ryan G Foo of Santiago, Chile.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <tmblr.com> is registered with Internet.bs Corp. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 29, 2013. On January 30 and February 4, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 5, 2013, the Registrar 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 the Complainant on February 6, 2013 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 the same date.

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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 7, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 27, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 28, 2013.

The Center appointed Torsten Bettinger as the sole panelist in this matter on March 6, 2013. 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 social media and networking service that was founded in 2007. Since its inception, the service has rapidly gained popularity, and by January of 2013 the Complainant’s website at “www.tumblr.com” was hosting over 91 million blogs and receiving over 140 million unique visitors per month. The Complainant’s TUMBLR mark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and has a first use in commerce date in February 2007.

The disputed domain name was initially created on April 5, 2006 and, according to the Domain Tools records provided by the Complainant, was transferred to the current Respondent sometime between April 5 and April 20, 2012. Most recently, the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a sham “prizewinner” website, designed to deceive Internet users into providing personal information.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts that each of the elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been satisfied.

With regard to the first element of the Policy, the Complainant states that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered TUMBLR trademark. The disputed domain name merely removes the “u” in the second-level text, and as such is an example of typosquatting.

Concerning the second element of the Policy, the Complainant confirms that it is in no way affiliated with the Respondent, and has not licensed or permitted the Respondent to use its trademark in any fashion. The Complainant notes that the Respondent’s only use of the disputed domain name has been in connection with what appears to be a “phishing” scheme, in which Internet visitors are baited to click on links in order to claim advertised prizes. If a user clicks on one of these links, he or she is then prompted to divulge personal information in order to “deliver” the alleged prize or winnings. Further, the Complainant notes that there is nothing in either the WhoIs records or available on the disputed domain name to indicate that the Respondent is commonly known by any name corresponding to the disputed domain name.

With regard to the final element of the Policy, the Complainant notes that its TUMBLR trademark was registered well prior to the Respondent’s selection of the disputed domain name. The Complainant notes that previous UDRP decisions have held typosquatting to constitute evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith, and further states that the use of the disputed domain name to engage in illegal activities is further indication of bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

In order to succeed under the first element of the Policy, the Complainant must demonstrate both its rights in the relevant trademark and that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to said trademark. Here, the Complainant has provided evidence of its TUMBLR trademark registration and, accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has demonstrated its rights for the purposes of the Policy.

The textual string of the disputed domain name is “tmblr”, which represents the entirety of the Complainant’s mark, with the internal “u” removed. This minor alteration does not change the overall impression created by the disputed domain name, and appears to constitute a classic case of typosquatting. See Allstate Insurance Company v. PrivacyProtect. org / Purple Bucquet, WIPO Case No. D2011-0003 and Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Wei Jinping, WIPO Case No. D2011-1321.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s TUMBLR trademark, and that the Complainant has established the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It is, however, the consensus view among UDRP panelists that if the complainant makes a prima facie case that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests, and the respondent fails to show one of the three circumstances under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, then the respondent may lack a right or legitimate interest in the domain name. See Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110 and paragraph 2.1. of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”).

In this case, the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant confirms that it has not licensed or authorized the Respondent to use its TUMBLR mark in any fashion and that there is no connection between the Respondent and the Complainant. There is no evidence on the present record, or in the publicly-available WhoIs data, to indicate that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name. Additionally, the website is being used to draw Internet users into a phishing scam, whereby the Respondent may deceive unsuspecting visitors into divulging personal or sensitive information. Such use cannot constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services under the Policy, and is neither indicative of a noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. See The Coca-Cola Company v. Private Whois mycokerwards.com, WIPO Case No. D2012-0482.

The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is also satisfied.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant has provided evidence that its TUMBLR mark has been registered for roughly six years, and for five years prior to the creation of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has also demonstrated that its TUMBLR mark is used in connection with its popular social networking website. The word “tumblr” has no dictionary meaning, and neither does the misspelled version adopted by the Respondent, “tmblr.” In the absence of any explanation to the contrary, the Panel finds it highly unlikely that the Respondent selected the disputed domain name without knowledge of the Complainant’s mark and brand, and further that the Respondent likely chose the disputed domain name in order to capitalize on Internet traffic intended for the Complainant’s website.

By registering a domain name which represents a minor spelling variation from the Complainant’s TUMBLR mark, and using the disputed domain name to redirect to a website designed to extract personal information from Internet users via a phishing scam, the Respondent’s bad faith intent is clear. As the Respondent likely derives financial benefit from such activities, the Respondent’s actions also constitute bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. See The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc v. Secret Registration Customer ID 232883 / Lauren Terrado, WIPO Case No. D2012-2093 and Banca Mediolanum S.p.A. v. Rita Espsoto/ BlueHost.com- Inc, WIPO Case No. D2010-0966.

The Panel therefore concludes that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has also been met.

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 <tmblr.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Torsten Bettinger
Sole Panelist
Date: March 18, 2013

 

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