WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. CCIC, Radoslaw Roszczyk and Hosting Systems, Paul Hughes
Case No. D2013-0289
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE of Munich, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is CCIC, Radoslaw Roszczyk of Warsaw, Poland / Hosting Systems, Paul Hughes of Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianz-guarantee.com> is registered with eNom (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 11, 2013. On February 11, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 11, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response, confirmed on February 15 and 20, 2013, 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 21, 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 February 22, 2013. On February 21, 22 and 25, 2013, the named Respondent sent three email communications to the Center.
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 amended Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 25, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 17, 2013. The Respondent did not file a formal Response with the Center. On March 18, 2013, the Center informed the Parties that the Center would have proceeded to Panel Appointment.
The Center appointed Daniel Kraus as the sole panelist in this matter on April 2, 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.
As of date of filing of the Complaint by the Complainant February 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM, the owner of the disputed domain name was CCIC, Radoslaw Roszczyk. However, on February 11, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. Geneva time, the registrant information and contact details for the disputed domain name were changed to Hosting Systems, Paul Hughes, in violation of paragraph 8(a) of the UDRP.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is the owner of the trademark ALLIANZ, registered worldwide, for example in the European Union under numbers 000013656 (registered on July 22, 2002) and 002981298 (registered on April 5, 2004).
The disputed domain name was created on November 26, 2012.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is the ultimate parent company of one of the oldest and largest international insurance and financial services groups in the world. The first company of the present group was founded in 1890. Currently, the group employs some 142,000 employees worldwide and has approximately 78 million customers in over 70 countries.
The trademark ALLIANZ is a distinctive and well-known trademark that has been used by the Complainant for well over 100 years. It has been registered worldwide. The brand’s value has been estimated to be USD 5,345 million in 2011. Its fame has been confirmed by different authorities, including the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (“OHIM”).
Internet users will recognize the well-known trademark of the Complainant in the disputed domain name. The descriptor “insurances” confirms this recognition because it relates to the Complainant’s core business, namely insurance services.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to use the trademark ALLIANZ. The Respondent is also not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name has been used in connection with a fraud-scheme, in which an email sent from the address “[…]@allianz-guarantee.com” in relation to guarantees and credits offered by “Allianz Guarantee and Credit LTD”, a firm that does not exist.
The Respondent has tried to pass itself off as the Complainant or an affiliate of the Complainant and intends to make illegitimate profits by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.
The Respondent did not formally reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The named Respondent wrote to the Center on February 21, 2013 stating that “We are the provider of this domain name registration but we didn't update the details though you are correct in saying they are showing our details. The current owner of the domain name: CCIC, Radoslaw Roszczyk has not changed”.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has registered the trademark ALLIANZ in many countries and in view of the evidence submitted by the Complainant, it clearly is a well-known trademark in the insurance and financial services industries.
The disputed domain name includes the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety and combines it with the word “guarantee”, a common English word devoid of any distinctive character in relation to the Complainant’s services. Such use of a descriptive or generic word in connection with a well-known trademark is bound to enhance the association of the disputed domain name with the well-known trademark.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The consensus view among UDRP panels is that paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy shifts the burden to the Respondent to come forward with evidence of a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, once the Complainant has made a prima facie showing indicating the absence of such rights or interests. See, e.g., Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0270 and paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”).
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name by asserting that it has not authorized the use of the disputed domain name and that the Respondent is not commonly known by that name. The Respondent has chosen not to reply to these contentions.
Therefore the Panel finds under the circumstances mentioned above that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has submitted evidence that the disputed domain name is used in connection with fraudulent activities. A similar scheme was recently considered by the UDRP panel in Allianz SE v. Omar Guerrero / 1&1 Internet, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2012-2307, to be evidence of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name in that case, <allianz-insurer.com>.
This Panel finds on the record of this case that the disputed domain name is clearly used to create an incorrect association with the Complainant to mislead Internet users in order to benefit from the Complainant’s trademark. Such activity, which may also be against respective laws, is in itself evidence of the Respondent’s illegitimate interests.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the transfer of disputed domain name <allianz-guarantee.com> from Radoslaw Roszczyk to Hosting Systems, Paul Hughes, be cancelled and that same domain name <allianz-guarantee.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 16, 2013