WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Colliers International Property Consultants, Inc. v. Moniker Privacy Services / Al Perkins
Case No. D2014-0227
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Colliers International Property Consultants, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware, United States of America, represented by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C., United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Moniker Privacy Services of Portland, Oregon, United States of America/ Al Perkins of St. Helier, Jersey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <collliers.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 14, 2014. On February 14, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On February 14, 2014, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on February 19, 2014 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on February 24, 2014.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 February 26, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 18, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 19, 2014.
The Center appointed Knud Wallberg as the sole panelist in this matter on March 25, 2014. 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 real estate services firm offering, among other things, real estate brokerage, appraisal, and consulting services throughout the world. The Complainant and/or its affiliated companies have provided real estate services under the COLLIERS mark since at least as early as September 1, 1982, and as of the present date, the Complainant and/or its affiliated companies operate a network of 482 offices in 62 countries – including in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and in Europe – all under the COLLIERS mark.
In addition to its long-term use of its COLLIERS mark, and the thereby established common law rights in the mark, the Complainant is also the owner of numerous United States of America and other national trademark applications and registrations which include or consist of the term “colliers” including in the European Union.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Domain Name, which consists solely of a common typographical misspelling of the Complainant’s well-known COLLIERS trademark used in connection with real estate related services, is virtually identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s COLLIERS mark. It is thus well-settled practice that the addition of a single letter does not sufficiently distinguish a domain name from the complainant’s mark.
The Complainant has at no point licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its name or trademarks, who thus has no rights nor legitimate interests in the Domain Name. Furthermore, the Respondent is using the Domain Name solely to direct Internet users – who presumably are attempting to locate Complainant’s bona fide website – to an unrelated website presumably operated by the Respondent which provides real estate related services under the trade name UNIQUE PROPERTY. In this manner, the Respondent has registered the Domain Name in bad faith and is using the Domain Name in bad faith to “typosquat” on the Complainant’s bona fide website located at “www.colliers.com”.
The Complainant further asserts that the Respondent, Al Perkins, who has been identified as the proper registrant has been described by prior panels sanctioned under the Policy as a “professional domain name registrant” which is a relevant factor in order to determine bad faith conduct by a registrant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules the panel shall decide a complaint in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:
(1) that the Domain Name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(2) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(3) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the burden of proving that all these elements are present lies with the complainant. At the same time, in accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, if a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, the Rules, or any request from the Panel, the Panel shall draw such inferences there from as it considers appropriate.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name, is quasi-identical to the Complainant’s registered and well established trademark COLLIERS, since it consist of this mark in its entirety with the addition an “l”.
Since the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) identifier “.com, shall be disregarded for the purposes of this procedure, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Policy paragraph 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
According to the Complaint, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trademark or to apply for any domain name incorporating the mark. Further, the Panel finds that the manner in which the Domain Name is used, namely to redirect Internet users to a website that offers services in competition with the Complainant under the name UNIQUE PROPERTY, makes it highly unlikely that any such rights or legitimate interests may exist. Under the circumstances present in this case, the burden of proof of rights or legitimate interests therefore shifts to the Respondent.
In the absence of an answer from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Consequently the requisites in the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii) are also considered fulfilled.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent has not offered any explanation for having registered a domain name that is quasi-identical to the Complainant’s distinctive mark and then using it to redirect to a website offering competing services to those offered by the Complainant.
Given the circumstances of the present case and of the named Respondent’s previous involvement in proceedings under the UDRP, the Panel finds that the Respondent’s intention from the outset, as contended by the Complainant, has been to use the Domain Name to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website with an intention for commercial gain. Actually, the Panel finds that this is a clear case of typosquatting, as in the recent cases Win Kelly Chevrolet L.L.C. v. PrivacyProtect.org / Tech Domain Services Private Limited, WIPO Case No. D2013-2018, and Byram Healthcare Centers, Inc. v. ICS Inc. / Contact Privacy Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-0027.
Bearing these facts and the facts mentioned above the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith, cf. paragraph 4(a)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Consequently, all the prerequisites for cancellation or transfer of the Domain Name according to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are fulfilled.
The Complainant has requested the Panel appointed in this administrative proceeding that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
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 <collliers.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 14, 2014