WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Jackson National Life Insurance Company v. Zheng Zhongxing
Case No. D2007-0028
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Michigan, United States of America, represented by Butzel Long, United States of America.
The Respondent is Zheng Zhongxing, Shanghai, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jnlife.com> is registered with Abdomainations.ca Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 9, 2007. On January 11, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Abdomainations.ca Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On January 12, 2007, Abdomainations.ca Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), 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 January 16, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 5, 2007. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 6, 2007.
The Center appointed Peter G. Nitter as the sole panelist in this matter on February 20, 2007. 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 the owner of several trademarks for life insurance- and investment-related services beginning with or prominently featuring the acronym “JNL”.
Complainant has used these marks in commerce since at least April 13, 1961.
Complainant has registered the following trademarks for insurance- and investment-related services with the Patent & Trademark Office of the United States of America;
- JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY;
- JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE;
- JNL ADVISOR VUL;
- JNL GENERATIONS UL;
- JNL PROTECTOR;
- JNL TARGET SELECT;
- JNL/NY ADVISOR VUL;
Complainant offers the services identified with these marks on the Internet via its website located at “www.jnl.com”.
The domain name <jnlife.com> was registered on February 23, 2006.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant maintains that the contested domain name taken as a whole is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks.
According to Complainant the company has trademark rights in the letters JNL which are included in the beginning of the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name also includes the word ‘life’ which appears in several of Complainant’s trademarks and which, according to the Complainant, is associated with the primary service identified to all of Complainant’s marks.
Complainant further asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
According to Complainant Respondent is not making a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of <jnlife.com>, but intends to misleadingly divert potential consumers of the Complainant for Respondent’s own commercial gain, by creating a likelihood with the Complainant’s JNL marks.
For this reason, the Complainant also asserts that the disputed domain is registered and is being used in bad faith. By clicking on the links posted at the website to which the disputed domain name refers, the uster is directed to links diverting the user to competitors of the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s trademark JNL with the addition of the letters “ife” and the generic top level domain denominator “.com”.
Previous Panel decisions under the UDRP have concluded that the generic top level domain denominator is irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a protected trademark. Thus, the first issue only concerns the part of the disputed domain name which consists of “jnlife”.
The contested domain name is not identical to any of Complainant’s trademarks, and the question is therefore whether there is confusing similarity between the domain name and any of the Complainant’s marks.
The Panel considers Complainants trademark JNL to be an abbreviation of Complainant’s trademark JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE. The term “ife” does not to the Panel’s knowledge hold any meaning on its own. In the Panel’s view an Internet user is likely to interpret “jnlife” as “jn-life”. Thus, to an Internet user the disputed domain name will seem to consist of the first two letters of Complainant’s trademark, “j” for Jackson and “n” for National, and the word “life” which forms the last element of the trademark.
In the Panel’s view an Internet user or consumer viewing the term “jnlife” is likely to confuse the term with Complainant’s trademarks JNL and JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE.
Further the word “life” is associated with the service for which Complainant’s trademark is identified.
Thus, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name seen as a whole is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant asserts that Respondent does not have any connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and that it has not received any license or consent to use the “jnlife” name in a domain name or any other manner.
Respondent has not provided any Response. None of the Complainant’s assertions have thus been contested by the Respondent. In the event that any such connection or affiliation existed, it would have been easy for the Respondent to substantiate this.
In the event of a respondent’s default, previous decisions under the UDRP have therefore found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion. See for instance Neusidler Akttiengesellshaft v. Kulkarni, WIPO Case No. D2000-1769 and Dow Jones LP v. The Hephzibah Intro-Net Project Limited, WIPO Case No. D2000-0704.
In accordance with the above, there is no evidence allowing the Panel to conclude that the circumstances listed in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply to the Respondent’s situation.
Complainant has provided evidence that the Respondent has directed the domain name at issue to an Internet website offering links to other commercial websites, including websites providing insurance services offered by competitors of the Complainant. The Panel finds it unlikely that Respondent would have any rights or legitimate interests in the use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to the JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE trademark in connection with offering such a service.
The Complainant has thus made a prima facie showing of its assertion, and has sufficiently established that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
On the basis of the evidence presented to it, the Panel finds that the website affiliated with the disputed domain name provides links to entities selling life insurance underwriting services, which is also the primary service identified with Complainants trademarks.
Further, according to printouts from the website provided by Complainant as evidence, links to websites providing life insurance services are categorized under the heading “Popular Categories”, indicating that one of the primary functions of the registration and use of the disputed domain name is to provide information on life insurance.
Seen in connection with the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and Complainant’s trademarks, this indicates that Respondent registered <jnlife.com> to attract Internet users to the website by creating confusion with Complainant’s trademarks.
The Panel has considered Complainant’s assertions and evidence with regard to the Respondent’s registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. By not submitting a Response, Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances that could demonstrate that it did not register and use the domain name at issue in bad faith.
On this background, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name for the purpose of intentionally attempting to attract users to its website for financial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <jnlife.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Peter G. Nitter
Dated: March 7, 2007