WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Privacy Gods / Privacy Gods Limited
Case No. D2016-1973
1. The Parties
Complainant is TTT Moneycorp Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United States of America.
Respondent is Privacy Gods / Privacy Gods Limited of London, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwmoneycorp.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Rebel.com Corp. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 29, 2016. On September 29, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On September 29, 2016, the Registrar 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 and 4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 10, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 30, 2016. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 2, 2016.
The Center appointed Clive L. Elliott Q.C. as the sole panelist in this matter on November 8, 2016. 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 company incorporated in the United Kingdom, having its registered office in London, England. Complainant has used the trade mark MONEYCORP in trade since 1979. It has also registered the MONEYCORP trade mark at, inter-alia, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (March 26, 1999) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (October 31, 2000), (the “Complainant’s Trade Mark”).
According to WhoIs the Domain Name was registered on June 7, 2015. The Domain Name resolves to a website that provides pay-per-click links to both Complainant and Complainant’s competitors.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant states it is a United Kingdom based company, generally known as “Money Corp”, offering foreign exchange (bureau de change) services to individual and corporate customers, operating in a number of countries and also providing bulk foreign notes and travel money services via a number of travel companies and airlines.
Complainant asserts that it has been operating in the financial services industry since 1979. It further asserts that Complainant has grown rapidly and that its gross profit for 2014 was 147 million pounds, it carried out 7.2 million transactions and dealt with over 90 different currencies.
Complainant asserts that it has made a niche space for itself in the financial services industry as it offers competitive pricing and products compared to banks. The three major types of services offered to their customers are Bureau de Change, Commercial Foreign Exchange and Wholesale Banknotes.
Complainant asserts that its brand MONEY CORP has been used in trade since 1979 thereby acquiring common law rights. It also relies on Complainant’s Trade Mark. Since 1998 it has run a website at “www.moneycorp.com”, which is available in different languages such as English, Spanish, Portuguese and French to cater to a global customer base. Complainant attributes its rapid growth to its web presence.
Complainant asserts that it has extensively used and promoted Complainant’s Trade Mark worldwide in respect of, inter alia, financial services, and because of this extensive marketing and promotional activities and that as a result the trade mark or name MONEY CORP has become highly distinctive and a famous trade mark/brand that symbolises substantial goodwill.
The Domain Name was registered on June 7, 2015, more than 15 years after the date of registration of Complainant’s website “www.moneycorp.com”, Complainant states that Respondent has registered the Domain Name incorporating Complainant’s registered trade mark MONEY CORP in full with the addition of “www” take advantage of the unintentional typo errors of an internet user. Complainant submits that Respondent is using the Domain Name to profit commercially by attracting internet users and providing pay-per-click links to both Complainant and Complainant’s competitors websites, thereby taking unfair advantage of the reputation of Complainant’s trade mark.
Complainant submits that to the best of its knowledge there are no demonstrable preparations for use of the Domain Name as a business or trade. To the best of Complainant’s knowledge, Respondent is not known by a name consisting in whole or in part of the word “money corp” but instead Respondent identified in this complaint is known as “Privacy Gods”. Complainant confirms that Respondent is not an authorized agent or licensee of Complainant.
Respondent has listed the Domain Name for sale on “www.sedo.com”. It is contended that Respondent does not have any legitimate rights or interests in the Domain Name and the fact that it is offering the Domain Name for sale is evidence of bad faith.
Complainant submits that Respondent has registered using the name “Privacy Gods” and a search conducted for this Respondent revealed their domain portfolio. Respondent “Privacy Gods” has been party to three UDRP decisions heard by WIPO.
Complainant submits that Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent Complainant having access to that Domain Name, and further that Respondent is involved in a behavior pattern of registering well-known trade marks in the financial sector, for example <wwwpaypoint.com>, <wwwregus.com> and <wwwunionbankph.com>.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has established use and registration of the trade mark MONEYCORP (“Complainant’s Trade Mark”). MONEYCORP comprises the entirety of Complainant’s Trade Mark, whether rendered as one or two words. When combined with the well-known descriptor or prefix “www” it aptly describes a business in the financial services area which operates online. Complainant has operating since approximately 1979 and it is reasonable to infer that it has been active online for a good number of these years.
Complainant argues that Respondent has registered the Domain Name incorporating Complainant’s Trade Mark in full with the addition of “www” to take advantage of the unintentional typo errors of an internet user. The Domain Name includes Complainant’s Trade Mark in its entirety. Complainant’s Trade Mark is clearly identifiable within the Domain Name, notwithstanding the addition of “www”. The Panel is satisfied that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s Trade Mark.
It is therefore found that Complainant has rights in Complainant’s Trade Mark, that Complainant’s Trade Mark comprises a dominant and confusing part of the Domain Name, and that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant asserts, without contradiction by Respondent, that Respondent is using the Domain Name to profit commercially by attracting internet users and providing pay-per-click links to both Complainant and Complainant’s competitors’ websites. Complainant asserts that by doing so Respondent is taking unfair advantage of the reputation of Complainant’s Trade Mark.
Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant and has not been authorized by Complainant to use and register its trade marks or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating Complainant’s Trade Mark.
The registration and use of Complainant’s Trade Mark preceded the registration of the Domain Name. The Domain Name makes an obvious and direct reference to Complainant’s Trade Mark and services supplied in the financial services industry, particularly the online financial services sector, all of which are closely associated with Complainant.
In the absence of any explanation from Respondent as to why and how Complainant’s Trade Mark found its way into the Domain Name and why Respondent might have a legitimate interest in the Domain Name, the Panel finds that Respondent’s conduct is not consistent with relevant rights or legitimate interests on Respondent’s part.
It is therefore established that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Panel infers, in the absence of any submissions, explanation or evidence to the contrary, that Respondent knew or must have known of Complainant’s Trade Mark at the time it registered the Domain Name. The MONEYCORP trade mark has been in public use since approximately 1979 and Complainant has previously registered Complainant’s Trade Mark in at least the United Kingdom and the United States of America. It is therefore reasonable to infer that Respondent knew or must have known of Complainant’s Trade Mark.
Given such earlier use and registration of Complainant’s Trade Mark along with Respondent’s failure to claim good faith use of the Domain Name, the Panel accepts Complainant’s argument that Respondent, by setting up a pay-per-click arrangement has taken unfair advantage of the reputation of Complainant’s Trade Mark.
This enables the Panel to conclude that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <wwwmoneycorp.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Clive L. Elliott Q.C.
Date: November 23, 2016