WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) v. Zhichao Yang/Xiamen eName Network Co., Ltd.; Zhichao Yang/Whois Agent/Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.; yangzhichao/Whois Agent/Domain Whois Protection Service

Case No. D2014-1178

1. The Parties

Complainant is John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) of Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America (“US”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

Respondents are Zhichao Yang of Anhui, Hefei, China/Xiamen eName Network Co., Ltd. of Xiamen, Fujian, China; Zhichao Yang of Hefei, Anhui, China/Whois Agent / Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc. of Kirkland, Washington, US; yangzhichao of Hefei, Anhui, China/Whois Agent/Domain Whois Protection Service of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China..

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain names <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com>, <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurnace.com>, <johnhancokinsurance.com>, <johnhandcockinsurance.com>, <johnhankockinsurance.com>, <jonhancockinsurance.com> are registered with Hangzhou AiMing Network Co., LTD, eName Technology Co., Ltd. and Name.com LLC (the “Registrars”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 7, 2014. On July 7, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On July 7 and 8, 2014, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center their verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondents and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on July 9, 2014 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrars, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint.

Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 11, 2014, including one additional domain name. On July 14, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar HangZhou AiMing Network Co., Ltd a request for registrar verification in connection with the additional disputed domain name. On July 15, 2014, the Registrar HangZhou AiMing Network Co., Ltd transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the registrant is Respondent listed in the amended Complaint.

On July 9 and 15, 2014, the Center transmitted an email to the parties in both English and Chinese regarding the language of the proceeding. On July 11 and 15, 2014, Complainant confirmed with the Center its request that English be the language of the proceeding by email. Respondents did not submit comments on the language of the proceeding within the specified due dates.

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 Respondents of the Complaint in English and Chinese, and the proceedings commenced on July 22, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 11, 2014. Respondents did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondents’ default on August 12, 2014.

The Center appointed Yijun Tian as the sole panelist in this matter on August 21, 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

A. Complainant

Complainant, John Hancock Life Insurance Company, is a company incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, US. It was founded in 1862, and it has become a world leading company in providing insurance and financial services. (Annexes 5 and 9 to the Complaint).

Complainant has exclusive rights in the JOHN HANCOCK Marks. It is the owner of various trademark registrations that comprise the JOHN HANCOCK mark globally, including the US (since 1952), Europe (“EU”) (since 1998), China (since 1996) and other countries (Annex 1 to the Complaint) Complainant operates its extensive website featuring information about its activities at “www.johnhancock.com”. (Annex 3 to the Complaint). Complainant also has a strong Internet presence and along with its parent company, are the registered holders of over 72 domain names that include the JOHN HANCOCK mark (or which use the abbreviation “Jhancock”), such as <johnhancockinsurance.com> and <johnhancock.com> (see Annexes 5 and 8 to the Complaint).

B. Respondent

Respondents are identified variously as:

Zhichao Yang of Hefei, Anhui, China, registered the disputed domain name <johnhankockinsurance.com> and <johnhancockinsurnace.com> with Registrar Name.com LLC on May 11, 2014;

Yangzhichao of Hefeishi, Anhui, China, registered the disputed domain name <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, < johnhandcockinsurance.com> and <johnhancokinsurance.com> with Registrar Hangzhou AiMing Network Co., Ltd on May 11, 2014; and

Zhichao Yang of Anhui, China, registered the disputed domain name <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com> and <jonhancockinsurance.com> with Registrar eName Technology Co., Ltd on May 11, 2014;

All of the disputed domain names were registered on the same day May 11, 2014, well after the JOHN HANCOCK Marks was registered (see Annexes 1-2 to the Complaint).

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

(a) The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights:

Complainant is the owner of Complainant’s trademarks (Annex 1 to the Complaint).

Complainant is not required to register its marks within the country of Respondents in order to protect its rights in those marks.

Previous UDRP panels held that when comparing the disputed domain names to Complainant’s trademarks, the relevant comparison to be made is between only the second-level portion of the disputed domain name rather than the Top-Level Domain of the disputed domain names.

The disputed domain names are all purposeful misspellings of Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK trademark plus a generic term and must be considered confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, as well as the domain names linked to Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK mark and business and domain names <johnhancock.com> and <johnhancockinsurance.com>.

More specifically, the disputed domain names vary from Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK marks, as well as Complainant’s <johnhancock.com> and <johnhancockinsurance.com> domain names, by only a few letters – Respondents have either changed the spelling of “John Hancock” by one letter or changed the spelling of the generic term “insurance” by one letter.

As the disputed domain names are all one letter typographical errors of Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK marks together with the generic term “insurance,” the disputed domain names must be considered a prototypical example of typosquatting – a practice in which “a registrant deliberately introduces slight deviations into famous marks” for the purpose of confusing and misleading Internet users.

In creating the disputed domain names, Respondents have added a generic, descriptive term to Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK mark thereby making the disputed domain names confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks.

The term “insurance” is closely linked and associated with Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK mark which only serves to underscore and increase the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and Complainant’s marks.

More specifically, “insurance” – refers directly to Complainant’s core business of offering life insurance and other insurance services.

Thus, the addition of “insurance”, a descriptive, generic term that closely relates to and describes Complainant’s business and services, to Complainant’s famous JOHN HANCOCK mark creates a domain name that is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks and business.

(b) Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names.

Respondents are not sponsored by or affiliated with Complainant in any way.

Complainant has not given Respondents permission to use Complainant’s trademarks in any manner, including in a domain name.

Respondents have not been commonly known by the disputed domain names.

In the instant case, the pertinent WhoIs information for the disputed domain names identifies the registrant as “Zhichao Yang”, “yangzhichao” or “Whois Agent”, which does not resemble the disputed domain names in any manner.

Respondents cannot be regarded as having been commonly known by the disputed domain names so as to have acquired rights to or legitimate interests in it within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the policy.

Further, Respondents are not commonly known by the disputed domain names where there is no evidence on the record, including the WhoIs information, suggesting that Respondents are commonly known by the disputed domain names.

Respondents are using the disputed domains names to redirect Internet users to websites featuring generic links to third-party websites, some of which directly compete with Complainant’s business.

Presumably, Respondents receive pay-per-click fees from the linked websites that are listed at the disputed domain names’ websites.

Prior UDRP decisions have consistently held that registrants that monetize domain names using redirecting services and pay-per-click links have not made a bona fide offering of goods or services that would give rise to rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name.

As such, Respondents are not using the disputed domain names to provide a bona fide offering of goods or services as allowed under Policy paragraph 4(c)(i), nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use as allowed under Policy paragraph 4(c)(iii).

Respondents registered the disputed domain names in May 2014, which is significantly after Complainant’s registration of <johnhancock.com> on March 6, 1996 and after Complainant won the UDRP complaint for <johonhancockinsurance.com> on October 17, 2013.

Respondents registered the disputed domain Names in May 2014, which is significantly after Complainant filed for registration of its relevant trademarks with the United States Panel and Trademark Office (USPTO), Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and Trademark Office of The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) also considerably after Complainant’s first use in commerce of the JOHN HANCOCK trademark in 1862.

(c) The disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.

Complainant and its JOHN HANCOCK brand are known internationally, with hundreds of trademark registrations across many countries. Complainant has also marketed and sold services using JOHN HANCOCK mark since 1862.

By registering common typos of Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK trademark and matching <johnhancock.com> and <johnhancockinsurance.com> websites, with the variations of the generic term “insurance”, Respondents have demonstrated a knowledge of and familiarity with Complainant’s brand and business.

The JOHN HANCOCK trademarks are so closely linked and associated with Complainant that Respondents’ use of the entire JOHN HANCOCK mark with the addition of the generic term “insurance” strongly implies bad faith.

At the time of registration of the disputed domain names, Respondents knew, or at least should have known, of the existence of Complainant’s trademarks and that registration of the disputed domain names containing well known trademarks constitutes bad faith per se.

Respondents’ use of the disputed domain names constitutes a disruption of Complainant’s business and qualifies as bad faith registration and use under Policy paragraph 4(b)(iii) because the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks, and the websites at the disputed domain names feature multiple links to Complainant’s competitors.

By utilizing a minor misspellings of Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK trademark, and adding variations of the generic term “insurance,” Respondents are clearly using the disputed domain names to ensnare unsuspecting users looking for Complainant’s <johnhancock.com> and <johnhancockinsurance.com> websites, thereby attempting to confuse and mislead Internet users as to the source, sponsorship, and endorsement of the disputed domain names.

By creating this likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark and domain names, Respondents have demonstrated a nefarious intent to capitalize on the fame of Complainant’s mark in order to increase traffic to the websites listed at the disputed domain names for Respondents own pecuniary gain, as evidenced by the presence of the multiple pay-per-click links posted to Respondents websites.

Respondent, Zhichao Yang / yangzhichao, is a serial cybersquatter who has been found to have registered domain names that were confusing with well known trademarks in recent UDRP proceedings.

Finally, Respondents, at the time of initial Complaint filing, had employed a privacy service to hide their identities, another evidence of bad faith registration and use.

B. Respondents

Respondents did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1 Language of the Proceeding and Consolidation

Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or specified otherwise in the registration agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the registration agreement. According to information from the Registrars, the language of the Registration Agreements for the disputed domain names is Chinese. From the evidence presented on the record, no agreement appears to have been entered into between Complainant and Respondents to the effect that the language of the proceeding should be English. However, Complainant filed initially its Complaint in English, and has requested that English be the language of the proceeding for the following reasons:

(a) Submitting documents in any other language would cause undue delay and substantial further expense;

(b) The disputed domain names are comprised of Latin characters;

(c) The disputed domain names do not carry any specific meaning in the Chinese language;

(d) The websites posted on the disputed domain names are only available in English (see Annex 3 to the Complaint); and

(e) Previous UDRP panels have found when Respondents are conversant in the English language the language of the proceeding shall be English.

Respondents did not make any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding and did not object to the use of English as the language of the proceeding.

Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the Panel to determine the language of the proceedings having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceedings. In other words, it is important to ensure fairness to the parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. (Whirlpool Corporation, Whirlpool Properties, Inc. v. Huierpu (HK) electrical appliance co. ltd., WIPO Case No. D2008-0293; Solvay S.A. v. Hyun-Jun Shin, WIPO Case No. D2006-0593). The language finally decided by the Panel for the proceedings should not be prejudicial to either one of the parties in his or her abilities to articulate the arguments for the case. (Groupe Auchan v. xmxzl, WIPO Case No. DCC2006-0004). WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) further states:

“in certain situations, where the respondent can apparently understand the language of the complaint (or having been given a fair chance to object has not done so), and complainant would be unfairly disadvantaged by being forced to translate, the WIPO Center as a provider may accept the language of the complaint, even if it is different from the language of the registration agreement”. (WIPO Overview 2.0, paragraph 4.3; see also L’Oreal S.A. v. Munhyunja, WIPO Case No. D2003-0585).

The Panel has taken into consideration in this case the facts that Complainant is a company from the US, and Complainant will be spared the burden of working in Chinese as the language of the proceedings. The Panel has also taken into consideration the facts that the websites at the disputed domain names include Latin Characters and English words “John”, “Hancock” and “Insurance” (or changed the spelling of “John Hancock” by one letter or changed the spelling of the generic term “insurance” by one letter) (Compagnie Gervais Danone v. Xiaole Zhang, WIPO Case No. D2008-1047).

On the record, Respondents appear to be Chinese individuals and are thus presumably not native English speakers, but the Panel finds persuasive evidence in the present proceeding to suggest that Respondents have sufficient knowledge of English. In particular, the Panel notes that, based on the evidence provided by Complainant: (a) the disputed domain names <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com>, <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurnace.com>, <johnhancokinsurance.com>, <johnhandcockinsurance.com>, <johnhankockinsurance.com> and <jonhancockinsurance.com> are registered in Latin characters and particularly in the English language, rather than Chinese script; (b) the websites at the disputed domain names are English-based websites (Annex 3 to the Complaint); (c) the websites appear to have been directed to users worldwide (particularly English speakers) rather than Chinese speakers; (d) the Center has notified Respondents of the proceedings in both Chinese and English, and Respondents have indicated no objection to Complainant’s request that English be the language of the proceedings; (e) the Center informed Respondents that it would accept a Response in either English or Chinese.

Considering these circumstances, the Panel finds the choice of English as the language of the present proceeding is fair to both parties and is not prejudicial to either one of the parties in his or her ability to articulate the arguments for this case. Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that English shall be the language of the proceedings, and the decision will be rendered in English.

6.2 Multiple Respondents

The Panel is further satisfied that, in the circumstances of the present dispute, the case is one that is suitable for consolidation and resolution in a single UDRP proceeding. All the disputed domain names were registered on the same day. All the disputed domain names resolve to a pay-per-click website. Respondent’s name Yangzhichao is simply Zhichao Yang as one word and backwards (e.g. last name first/first name last); the address used for names owned by Zhichao Yang and yangzhichao on some of the WhoIs is the same; the email address used for names owned by Zhichao Yang and yangzhichao on some of the WhoIs is the same;and the phone and fax number used for names owned by Zhichao Yang and yangzhichao on some of the WhoIs is the same. See further the discussion of applicable principles and jurisprudence in paragraph 4.16 of the WIPO Overview 2.0.

6.3 Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that the disputed domain names be transferred:

(i) the disputed domain names registered by Respondents are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;

(ii) Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names; and

(iii) the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

On the basis of the evidence introduced by Complainant and in particular with regard to the content of the relevant provisions of the Policy (paragraphs 4(a), (b), (c)), the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the JOHN HANCOCK Marks acquired through registration. The JOHN HANCOCK Mark has been registered worldwide including in US, EU and China, and Complainant has a widespread reputation in insurance and financial service provider under the JOHN HANCOCK brand.

The disputed domain names comprise the JOHN HANCOCK Mark in its entirety. The disputed domain names <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com>, <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurnace.com>, <johnhancokinsurance.com>, <johnhandcockinsurance.com>, <johnhankockinsurance.com> and <jonhancockinsurance.com> only differ from Complainant’s trademark by the additions of the words “insurance” or by only a few letters – Respondents have either changed the spelling of “John Hancock” by one letter or changed the spelling of the generic term “insurance” by one letter. This does not seem to eliminate the identity or at least the confusing similarity between Complainant’s registered trademark and the disputed domain names.

Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that a domain name may be identical or confusingly similar to a trademark for purposes of the Policy “when the domain name includes the trade mark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of the other terms in the domain name” (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662).

Generally a respondent “may not avoid likely confusion by appropriating another’s entire mark and adding descriptive or non-distinctive matter to it”. (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, WIPO Case No. D2009-0610; General Electric Company v. CPIC NET and Hussain Syed, WIPO Case No. D2001-0087.

The mere addition of the descriptive terms “insurance” as a suffix to Complainant’s mark fail to distinguish in this Panel’s view the disputed domain names from Complainant’s trademark. By contrast, it may increase the likelihood of confusion, because insurance service is one of major service provided by Complainant. Internet users who visit <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com>, <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurnace.com>, <johnhancokinsurance.com>, <johnhandcockinsurance.com>, <johnhankockinsurance.com> and <jonhancockinsurance.com> are likely to be confused and may falsely believe that these disputed domain names are operated by Complainant for providing JOHN HANCOCK branded insurance service.

Moreover, as to “typosquatting”, paragraph 1.10 of WIPO Overview 2.0 states:

“A domain name which contains a common or obvious misspelling of a trademark normally will be found to be confusingly similar to such trademark, where the misspelled trademark remains the dominant or principal component of the domain name.”

As the disputed domain names are all one letter typographical errors of Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK marks together with the generic term “insurance”, the Panel finds the disputed domain names must be considered a prototypical example of typosquatting.

Thus, the Panel finds that the additions of generic terms are not sufficient to negate the confusing similarity between the disputed domain names and the JOHN HANCOCK Marks.

The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the first condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names:

(i) use of, or preparations to use, the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services;

(ii) the fact that Respondent have commonly been known by the disputed domain names; or

(iii) legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names.

The overall burden of proof on this element rests with Complainant. However, it is well established by previous UDRP panel decisions that once a complainant establishes a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, the burden shifts to the respondent to rebut the complainant’s contentions. If the respondent fails to do so, a complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. (Danzas Holding AG, DHL Operations B.V. v. Ma Shikai, WIPO Case No. D2008-0441; WIPO Overview 2.0, paragraph 2.1 and the cases cited therein).

Complainant has rights in the JOHN HANCOCK Marks, including registration in the US (since 1952), the EU (since 1998) and China (since 1996) – (see Annex 1 to the Complaint) which long precedes Respondents’ registrations of the disputed domain names (May 11, 2014).

According to Complainant, Complainant is the world’s leading company in providing insurance and financing services under the JOHN HANCOCK brand and mark. Complainant and its JOHN HANCOCK brand are known internationally, with hundreds of trademark registrations across many countries. Complainant has also marketed and sold services using JOHN HANCOCK mark since 1862.

Moreover, Respondents are not an authorized dealer of JOHN HANCOCK branded services. Complainant has therefore established a prima facie case that Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names and thereby shifted the burden to Respondents to produce evidence to rebut this presumption (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra; Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624; Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455).

Based on the following reasons the Panel finds that Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names:

There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondents are using the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondents have not provided evidence of a legitimate use of the disputed domain names or reasons to justify the choice of the word “John Hancock” in their business operation or the use of the JOHN HANCOCK Marks and design on their website (without disclaimer or other clarifying details; see Annex 3 of the Complaint). There has been no evidence to show that Complainant has licensed or otherwise permitted Respondents to use the JOHN HANCOCK Marks or to apply for or use any domain name incorporating the JOHN HANCOCK Marks;

There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondents have been commonly known by the disputed domain names. There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondents have any registered trademark rights with respect to the disputed domain names. Respondents registered the disputed domain names in May 2014, long after Complainant’s registrations of the JOHN HANCOCK Marks (in the US since 1952: in China since 1996) (Annex 1 to the Complaint). The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK Marks.

There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondents are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names. By contrast, according to the information provided by Complainant, Respondents were in actuality using the websites resolved by the disputed domain names to provide multiple links to Complainant’s competitors (see Annex 3 to the Complaint).

The Panel finds that Respondents have failed to produce any evidence to establish its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four circumstances which, without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith, namely:

(i) circumstances indicating that Respondents have registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registrations to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of Respondents’ documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

(ii) Respondents have registered the disputed domain names in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondents have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) Respondents have registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the disputed domain name, Respondents have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondents’ websites or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondents’ websites or location or of a product or service on Respondents’ website or location.

The Panel concludes that the circumstances referred to in paragraph 4(b)(iii) and (iv) of the Policy are applicable to the present case and upon the evidence of these circumstances and other relevant circumstances, it is adequate to conclude that Respondents have registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.

a) Registered in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Complainant has a widespread reputation in the JOHN HANCOCK Marks with regard to its products and servcies. Complainant has registered its JOHN HANCOCK Marks internationally, including registration in the US (since 1952) and in China (since 1996). Moreover, the websites resolved by some disputed domain names have been used to provide multiple links to Complainant’s competitors’ websites (see Annex 3 to the Complaint). Respondents would likely not have provided links of Complainant’s competitors if it was unaware of Complainant’s reputation. In the other words, it is not conceivable for this Panel that Respondents would not have had actual notice of Complainant’s trademark right at the time of the registration of the disputed domain names. The Panel therefore finds that the JOHN HANCOCK Mark is not one that traders could legitimately adopt other than for the purpose of creating an impression of an association with Complainant. (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra).

Moreover, Respondents have chosen not to formally respond to Complainant’s allegations. According to the panel’s decision in The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra, “the failure of the Respondent to respond to the Complaint further supports an inference of bad faith”. (see also Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. (This Domain is For Sale) Joshuathan Investments, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0787). Thus, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names were registered in bad faith with the intent to create an impression of an association with Complainant’s JOHN HANCOCK branded products and services.

b) Used in Bad Faith

Complainant has adduced evidence to prove that by using a confusingly similar disputed domain names, Respondents have “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s websites” by providing the web links of Complainant’s competitors as per paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. Complainant contended that, by creating this likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark and domain names, Respondents have demonstrated an intent to capitalize on the fame of the Complainant’s mark in order to increase traffic to the websites listed at the disputed domain names for Respondents’ own pecuniary gain, as evidenced by the presence of the multiple pay-per-click links posted to Respondents’ website.

To establish an “intention for commercial gain” for the purpose of this Policy, evidence is required to indicate that it is “more likely than not” that intention existed (See The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra);

Given the widespread reputation of the JOHN HANCOCK Marks as well as the content on Respondents’ websites (pay-per-click as mentioned above), the Panel finds that the public is likely to be confused into thinking that. there is a strong likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the websites to which the disputed domain names are resolved (see Annex 3 to the Complaint). In other words, Respondents have through the use of confusingly similar domain names created a likelihood of confusion with the JOHN HANCOCK Marks. Moreover, Respondents have not responded formally to the Complaint. The Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain names are used by Respondents in bad faith.

In summary, Respondents, by choosing to register and use disputed domain names which are confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, intended to ride on the goodwill of Complainant’s trademark in an attempt to exploit, for commercial gain, Internet users destined for Complainant. In the absence of evidence to the contrary and rebuttal from Respondents, the choice of the disputed domain names and the conduct of Respondents as far as the website to which the disputed domain names resolve are indicative of registration and use of the disputed domain names in bad faith.

The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the third condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain names <jhonhancockinsurance.com>, <johnhancockinsurace.com>, <johnhancockinsurence.com>, <johnhancockinsurnace.com>, <johnhancokinsurance.com>, <johnhandcockinsurance.com>, <johnhankockinsurance.com> and <jonhancockinsurance.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Yijun Tian
Sole Panelist
Dated: September 26, 2014