WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Check Into Cash, Inc. v. Andy Tang, BH Media Inc.
Case No. D2014-2057
1. The Parties
Complainant is Check Into Cash, Inc. of Cleveland, Tennessee, United States of America ("U.S."), represented by Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., U.S.
Respondent is Andy Tang, BH Media Inc. of Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <checkintocashreviews.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 November 21, 2014. On November 24, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 24, 2014, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming Respondent as the registrant and providing 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on December 1, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 21, 2014. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on December 22, 2014.
The Center appointed Jeffrey M. Samuels as the sole panelist in this matter on January 7, 2015. 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
Since 1993, Complainant Check Into Cash, Inc., or its predecessor, has used the trademark CHECK INTO CASH to advertise its "payday loan" and other services in the U.S. Since as early as 1999, Complainant has owned a number of U.S. trademark registrations for the marks CHECK INTO CASH (Registration Nos. 2,256,904; 3,525,178; and 4,292,267) and CHECK INTO CASH ADVANCE (Registration No. 2,266,693), as used for consumer loan financing and check cashing services, stored value card services and title loan, bill payment and money transfer services. Complainant also offers its services online through its website at "www.checkintocash.com".
Respondent registered the disputed domain name, <checkintocashreviews.com>, on November 14, 2014. According to Complainant, the disputed domain name resolves to a website that generates leads for payday lenders who compete with Complainant. On November 18, 2014, Complainant's counsel sent an email and letter to Respondent demanding the transfer of the disputed domain name.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant asserts that the use of the disputed domain name is likely to cause confusion among consumers seeking information regarding the services offered by Complainant. Complainant notes that the disputed domain name is almost identical to its CHECK INTO CASH mark and contends that the addition of the term "reviews" does not dispel confusion "but instead … is meant to create confusion among users of Complainant's site who might think it contains legitimate reviews of Complainant's services."
Complainant maintains Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant indicates that Respondent has not sought or obtained a license from Complainant to use the CHECK INTO CASH mark. Complainant further argues that Respondent is not using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services insofar as Respondent is using a confusingly similar domain name to generate leads for competitors of Complainant.
Complainant also asserts that Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. According to Complainant, Respondent is using the disputed domain name to participate in a revenue-generating program whereby it uses Complainant's CHECK INTO CASH marks to direct traffic to its site for the purpose of generating leads for third parties who directly compete with Complainant.
With respect to the issue of bad faith registration and use, Complainant contends that the evidence establishes that Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor, within the meaning of paragraph of 4(b)(iii) of the Policy. Complainant further alleges that the evidence supports a determination under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy that Respondent, by using the disputed domain name, intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its site by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's CHECK INTO CASH mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent's site or of the product or service offered at such site.
Complainant also asserts that it may be inferred from the circumstances, including Complainant's longstanding use of its CHECK INTO CASH mark and the content of Respondent's website, that Respondent's primary purpose in registering the disputed domain name was to resell it for a profit.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The evidence supports a determination that Complainant has rights in the CHECK INTO CASH mark. Such evidence consists of Complainant's ownership of U.S. registrations for such mark, as well as Complainant's longstanding use of the mark.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name, <checkintocashreviews.com>, is confusingly similar to the CHECK INTO CASH mark. The domain name incorporates, in full, the CHECK INTO CASH mark and adds merely descriptive or generic matter, i.e., "reviews" and ".com".
Accordingly, Complainant has satisfied the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel concludes that the evidence does not indicate that Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The evidence supports Complainant's contention that Respondent's confusingly similar domain name resolves to a commercial website that permits Internet users to apply for fast cash loans. Presumably, as asserted by Complainant, such loans will be made by Complainant's competitors. Respondent has not come forward with any evidence challenging Complainant's claims or asserting any rights or legitimate interests. Under such circumstances, it cannot be held that Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or is making a noncommercial or fair use of such domain name. See Control Techniques Limited v. Lektronix Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2006-1052. There also is no evidence that the disputed domain name is the actual legal name of Respondent or a name that is commonly used to identify Respondent.
Accordingly, Complainant has satisfied on the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel holds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Given the confusing similarity of the <checkintocashreviews.com> domain name and the commercial nature of the money loan services offered at Respondent's site, the evidence supports a determination that Respondent, by registering and using the disputed domain name, intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his site by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's CHECK INTO CASH mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of such site and of the services offered at such site, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.1
Accordingly, Complainant has satisfied the third element of the Policy.
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 <checkintocashreviews.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Jeffrey M. Samuels
Date: January 15, 2015
1The evidence does not support a determination that Respondent may be considered a "competitor" of Complainant or that Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of reselling it to Complainant.