WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Barclays Bank PLC v. X. Lei Wang
Case No. D2012-2082
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Barclays Bank PLC of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Bird & Bird LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is X. Lei Wang of China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <barclaysweath.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 19, 2012. The registrar of the disputed domain name as of the date of the filing of the Complaint was Dynadot, LLC.
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the then registrant (Huang Li Technology Corp c/o Dynadot Privacy) of the Complaint by e-mail and courrier, and the proceedings commenced on November 7, 2012. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was November 27, 2012. No Response was received. Accordingly, the Center notified the default on November 29, 2012. The Center appointed Gérald Page as the sole panelist in this matter on December 12, 2012.
The Center, however, noted that the disputed domain name was deleted on December 25, 2012 and further registered on January 31, 2013 by “X.Lei Wang” with a different Registrar, i.e., Wild West Domains, LLC. Consequently, the Center contacted both Registrars in order to clarify the situation. Further to the Center’s request, Dynadot, LLC stated that the disputed domain name was now registered at Wild West Domains, LLC. Wild West Domains LLC confirmed that the disputed domain name has been registered by “X.Lei Wang” with them as of January 31, 2013.
On March 4, 2013, the Panel ordered the Center to request the Complainant to submit an amended Complaint (or amendment to the Complaint) and provided any additional comments or submissions in light of the circumstances. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 11, 2013.
On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 1 and 18, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that the amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Policy, the Rules, and the Supplemental Rules.
In accordance with the Panel Order, the Center notified the Respondent of the amended Complaint by e-mail and courier on March 12, 2013. In accordance with the Panel Order, the due date for Response was April 1, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default in this regard on April 4, 2013.
4. Factual Background
The Respondent has registered on January 31, 2013 the disputed domain name <barclaysweath.com>.
The Complainant, Barclays PLC, is a bank incorporated on July 20, 1896 in the United Kingdom. It holds a large number of establishments and is active in financial services both in the United Kingdom and in over 50 countries.
The Complainant is the owner of the United Kingdom registered trademarks BARCAP, BARCLAY-BARCLAYS, BARCLAYS SKILLS BANK, BARCLAYS, BARCLAY BANK, BARCLAY CARD, BARCLAY CARD SMART PAY, BARCLAY CARD EASYPAY, BARCLAY CARD BP , INSTANT BARCLAY CARD in class 36 of the International Classification of Nice but for some trademarks also in classes 9, 16, 35, 38 and 41. It also owns several other trademarks containing, in combination with a suffix, the word “barclays”. It also owns the United Kingdom word/figurative trademarks No. 2486138 and No. 2486313 BARCLAYSWEALTH, as well as the word trademarks BARCLAYSWEALTH, BARCLAYSWEALTH ADVISORY PLUS, BARCLAYSWEALTH EXECUTIONPLUS, BARCLAYSWEALTH INSIGHTPLUS and BARCLAYSWEALTH GLOBALTRADER.
The Complainant also holds trademarks containing the word “barclays” as Community Trademarks.
Without it being challenged, it is shown that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name on a website, containing a holding page displaying several sponsored links related to financial products. It is also alleged by the Complainant, without being challenged, that the domain name is simply used to redirect internet traffic, directing Internet users away from the Complainant’s web page using the word “barclays”.
There is no evidence that the Respondent itself is or has been active in financial services otherwise.
No further explanations or evidence are in the case file with regard to the effective use of the web page under the disputed domain name. Neither party gave any further explanations nor the Respondent filed any Response within the deadline set by the Center and Panel Order.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant essentially explains that it has been, through various registered entities containing the word “Barclays” or “Barclays Bank”, incorporated and active in financial services for a very long time, in the United Kingdom and over 50 countries in the world. The Complainant’s companies as well as the trademarks it holds, were registered well before registration of the disputed domain name by the Respondent.
The disputed domain name <barclaysweath.com> is not identical to its trademarks but because it contains the word “barclays”, it is confusingly similar.
“Barclays”, as a worldwide institution, has been well known for many years. The Respondent is unknown in an activity using the denomination “barclays”, but for the web page using the disputed domain name <barclaysweath.com> used only for redirecting Internet traffic.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent intends to attract traffic otherwise directed to the Complainant’s institutions and make unlawful gains from such traffic through the use of sponsored links, redirecting the traffic to other, possibly competitive, websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In light of the registration details confirmed by the Registrar reflecting the registrant “X. Lei Wang” as from January 31, 2013, and the Complainant’s amended Complaint naming the registrant as Respondent, the Panel finds “X. Lei Wang” to be the Respondent for purposes of these proceedings.
A. Identical or confusingly similar
The disputed domain name is not identical to any of the trademarks or corporate names owned by the Complainant.
The Panel must therefore determine whether it is confusingly similar. The only part of the disputed domain name which is identical to the Complainant’s trademark is the word “barclays”.
“Barclays” is a word which is, as a trademark and corporate name, famous, distinctive and well known in the world. It is associated by the vast majority of consumers with the traditional United Kingdom and international banking institution.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name <barclaysweath.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and is in fact used in a manner which creates such confusion (by removing the letter “l” from the word “wealth”, associated with the activity of the Complainant and appending it to the Complainant’s mark).
Accordingly, the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In the present case, the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent did not allege any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name at all. Consequently, there is no evidence in the record that the Respondent is in any way associated with the Complainant, that the Respondent is now or was ever commonly known by the disputed domain name, or that the Respondent has any authority, license or permission to use the Complainant’s trademark.
The Panel therefore considers that the Respondent has none and accordingly, the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name only to attract Internet traffic.
The Respondent did not submit any formal Response nor gave any explanations, but simply continued using the disputed domain name in an impermissible manner under the Policy.
In the absence of any other explanation to the Panel, it seems obvious to the Panel that the only motive for use of the disputed name is to “bank” on Barclays’ worldwide reputation and its volume of Internet traffic.
The Panel therefore finds that, since the registration and use of the disputed domain name has been done in bad faith and therefore the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
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 <barclaysweath.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 15, 2013