WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Laboratory Corporation of America v. Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC / Labcorp Careers
Case No. D2015-0413
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Laboratory Corporation of America of Burlington, North Carolina, United States of America, represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, United States of America ("Complainant").
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America / Labcorp Careers of Burlington, North Carolina, United States of America ("Respondent").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <labcorpcareers.org> 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 March 9, 2015. On March 9, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 12, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on March 13, 2015 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 18, 2015.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 18, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was April 7, 2015. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on April 8, 2015.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on April 20, 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
Complainant has operated under the name "LabCorp" since 1995. Complaint, Annex C. Complainant is a leading player in the medical diagnostics field, and in 2013 Complainant had more than 34,000 employees, with revenues of USD 5.8 billion, and more than 220,000 clients. Complaint, Annex D. Complainant registered the domain name <labcorpcareers.com> on July 30, 2003. Complaint, Annex H. Complainant has used the site at this domain name as the only online portal for applications for employment with Complainant since that time. Complaint, Annex G.
Complainant has numerous registrations of its service mark LABCORP and related marks. It first registered the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 17, 1996. Complainant registered LABCORP BEACON with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market on September 6, 2014. Complainant also has registrations for the LABCORP family of marks in numerous other countries. Complaint, Annexes E and F. Searches using the Google and Yahoo search engines for the term "labcorp" consistently result in Complainant as the first listing given. Complaint, Annex J.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on January 26, 2015, almost 20 years after Complainant began using the "LabCorp" name and eleven and one-half hears after Complainant registered and began using <labcorpcareers.com> as its sole employment web site. Complaint, Annex A. Complainant has not used the disputed domain name to resolve to a web site. Complaint, Annex J. Rather, Complainant uses the disputed domain name to send emails to individuals looking for employment, inviting them to send money in order to apply for employment with Complainant. Complainant has received several emails complaining of this practice, an example of which, dated January 29, 2015, has been attached to the Complaint as Exhibit I.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar or identical to Complainant's service mark in that it incorporates Complainant's LABCORP mark in its entirety. Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, since it is identical to Complainant's domain name <labcorpcareers.com> but for the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) suffix and that it deliberately seeks to obtain money from prospective applicants to Complainant. Complainant contends that Respondent operates the disputed domain name as a fraud on the public which brings Complainant's name into disrepute and that the disputed domain name therefore has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: "A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable."
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that Complainant must prove each of the following:
1) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and,
2) that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and,
3) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name includes Complainant's LABCORP service mark in its entirety together with the word "careers" and the gTLD suffix ".org". The disputed domain name is also identical to Complainant's <labcorpcareers.com> domain name, but for the gTLD suffix. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's service mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The consensus view of WIPO panels concerning the burden of establishing no rights or legitimate interests in respect of a domain name is as follows:
While the overall burden of proof rests with the complainant, panels have recognized that this could result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore a complainant is required to make out an initial prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP.
WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview, 2.0"), paragraph 2.1.
In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Further, as discussed in the Factual Background and below, Complainant has provided evidence of Respondent's bad faith use of the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant has provided evidence in the form of an email that members of the public have complained that emails have been sent to potential job applicants, using the disputed domain name as identification of the source, seeking payment in connection for applications for employment, and causing members of the public to question whether Complainant is the source of such emails. The Panel finds that such a practice constitutes bad faith registration and use.
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 <labcorpcareers.org> be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: April 27, 2015