WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Comerica Incorporated v. Katrina Parham
Case No. D2013-1217
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Comerica Incorporated of Dallas, Texas, United States of America, represented by Bodman PLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Katrina Parham of Doncaster, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <comericabusinessbank.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 5, 2013. On July 8, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 9, 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 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 July 11, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 31, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 16, 2013.
The Center appointed Michael J. Spence as the sole panelist in this matter on August 16, 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.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is one of the 30 largest banking companies in the United States with approximately USD 62.5 billion in assets. The Complainant has been operating under the trade mark COMERICA since 1982. The mark is an invented word. The Respondent has recently begun operating a parking website at the disputed domain name including links to other websites, presumably on a “pay-per-click” basis, several of which link to websites providing financial services similar to those of the Complainant. The disputed domain name was registered on March 13, 2013.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends: that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trade mark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that it has been registered andr is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trade mark in its entirety along with descriptive material relating to the field of business in which the Complainant operates. That descriptive material does nothing to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trade mark, but only reinforces the association between the two. There can be no doubt that the disputed domain name is identical, or confusingly similar to, the Complainant’s trade mark.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is for the Complainant to establish, at least prima facie that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110).
In this case the Complainant has been unable to identify any legitimate use, or preparation to use, the disputed domain name by the Respondent. The only use that has been made of the disputed domain name is for a parking website, and that only very recently. This parking website, with its links to websites operating in the same field of business as the Complainant appears to constitute an attempt to profit from the confusion created by the similarity of the disputed domain name to the Complainant’s trade mark and therefore cannot constitute use giving rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given that the Complainant’s trade mark is both invented and well-known, and given that the Respondent’s website contains links to websites offering services similar to those of the Complainant, the Respondent must have known of the likelihood of confusion between the Complainant’s trade mark and the disputed domain name at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name. Further, the operation of a “pay-per-click” website at the disputed domain name evinces an intention to profit from that confusion. This is a classic case of registration and use in bad faith.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in relation to 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 <comericabusinessbank.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Michael J. Spence
Date: August 28, 2013