WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Jackson National Life Insurance Company v. Private WhoIs wwwjacksonnationallife.com N4892
Case No. D2011-1855
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Jackson National Life Insurance Company of Lansing, Michigan, United States of America, represented by Dickinson Wright, PLLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Private WhoIs wwwjacksonnationallife.com N4892 of Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwjacksonnationallife.com> is registered with Internet.bs Corp.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 26, 2011. On October 27, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to Internet.bs Corp. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 3, 2011, Internet.bs Corp. 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 disputed domain name.
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 November 3, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 23, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 24, 2011.
The Center appointed David Levin Q.C. as the sole panelist in this matter on December 1, 2011. 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 United States-based company, which offers life insurance, underwriting and financial investment services.
The Complainant owns the following three United States (“U.S.”) Trademarks:
- JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE, U.S. Trademark Registration No. 1,489,625, for “life insurance underwriting services,” registered on May 24, 1988;
- JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, U.S. Trademark Registration No. 2,338,319, for “life insurance underwriting services,” registered on April 4, 2000; and
- JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, U.S. Trademark Registration No. 3,529,316, for “life insurance and annuity underwriting services,” registered on November 4, 2008.
5. Parties’ Contentions
On June 9, 2010, the Respondent, without any the permission of the Complainant, registered the disputed domain name <wwwjacksonnationallife.com>.
By its Complaint, the Complainant maintains that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks or service marks in which it has rights. It maintains that the disputed domain name is made up of the words which constitute the registered mark or marks by which it is known, namely “Jackson National Life”.
The Complainant also contends that the Respondent has never been, and is not currently, commonly known by the disputed domain name. The name of the Respondent does not relate in any way to the name “Jackson National Life” nor is its business somehow connected with the products of the Complainant. Further, the Respondent does not hold any trademarks or other rights consisting, in whole or in part, of the words or any combination of the words “Jackson National Life”. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name but on the contrary has been attracting Internet users by explicitly using the trademarks owned by the Complainant.
Finally the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is registered and is being used in bad faith contrary to UDRP paragraphs 4(a)(iii) and 4(b). It supports this contention with a series of propositions supported by evidence, which suggest that the registration was undertaken in bad faith and the domain name is currently being so used.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is nearly identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks. It consists of the precise words contained in the Complainant’s marks with the addition of “www” at the beginning of the disputed domain name. The use of a words, as part of a domain name, formed from all or part of a trademark, or well-known trade name, with the addition of letters or words that are commonly inaccurately typed onto a keyboard has come to be known as “typosquatting”. The disputed domain name in this case, <wwwjacksonnationallife.com> combines the abbreviation for the World Wide Web, “www” used as a prefix to the words comprising the trademarks of the Complainant and the omission of the usual “.”, which ordinarily follows “www” in Internet addressing protocols. In the opinion of the Panel this constitutes mere typosquatting.
The Panel accepts that typosquatting does not alter the character of the disputed domain name and the name must be considered to retain the dominant feature of the marks. See Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. v. domain administrator email@example.com, WIPO Case No. D2003-0232.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant contends that it has never authorised any use by the Respondent of its name or mark. The Respondent has not attempted to provide evidence of any authorisation from the Complainant to it to permit the use of the Complainant’s marks. The Respondent has hidden its name behind a “Private Whois” registration, as it is entitled to do, but has thereby denied the Complainant the ability to discover the name by which the Respondent conducts its activities. The Panel concludes that the Respondent possesses no entitlement to use the name or the words in the Complainant’s marks and infers from its lack of response to this Complaint and from the “Private Whois” registration that it is not known by such name. There is no evidence of the Respondent ever being commonly known by the name or words now included in the disputed domain name.
The Panel determines that the Respondent had no authority to use the Complainant’s trademarks and therefore lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The evidence before the Panel is that the disputed domain name provides links to websites for competitors of the Complainant who sell life insurance, annuities, and other financial services similar to the Complainant’s without the authorisation of the Complainant. The Panel accepts that domain names, which resolve to a commercial search engine with a series of sponsored hyperlinks that direct consumers to competitors of the holder of a trademark, or name, confusingly similar to that of the disputed domain name, and which are in direct competition with a Complainant may be evidence of a Respondent’s bad faith registration and use. See Klimex International BV v. Manager, Domain, Designbureau, WIPO Case No. D2007-1047.
The Panel finds that by using the disputed domain name, incorporating the Complainant’s marks, to attract Internet users who might be seeking the products of the Complainant and erroneously omit the stop (“.”) after ”www” and therefore type onto the keyboard the disputed domain name is evidence of bad faith registration and bad faith use of the disputed domain name.
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 <wwwjacksonnationallife.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
David Levin Q.C.
Dated: December 23, 2011