WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
HP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd (BHP Billiton Innovation) v. Bruno Wase
Case No. D2015-1273
1. The Parties
Complainant is HP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd (BHP Billiton Innovation) of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia represented by Griffith Hack, Australia.
Respondent is Bruno Wase of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bhpbilliiton.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 23, 2015. On July 24, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 25, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 29, 2015.
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 proceedings commenced on July 31, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 20, 2015. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on August 21, 2015.
The Center appointed Michael A. Albert as the sole panelist in this matter on August 25, 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 owns the mark BHP BILLITON, which it has used in commerce since 2001. It owns numerous registrations for the mark world-wide, including:
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland trademark BHP BILLITON, registered August 30, 2002;
- Community Trade Mark BHP BILLITON, registered November 16, 2006;
- New Zealand trademark BHP BILLITON, registered June 12, 2008;
- Australian trademark BHP BILLITON, registered August 18, 2008;
- United States of America trademark BHP BILLITON, registered August 18, 2009; and
- Canadian trademark BHP BILLITON, registered April 7, 2011.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on June 23, 2015. Counsel for Complainant contacted Respondent on July 17, 2015, requesting a transfer of the disputed domain name. Respondent did not respond to this correspondence.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant alleges as follows, and provides supporting documentation:
BHP Billiton Group is a global diversified resources group, employing more than 40,000 people in more than 100 operations in 25 countries. The core of the Group is a dual listed company comprising BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc. The two entities operate collectively as BHP Billiton. They are headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with other offices around the world.
Complainant operates a website that is accessible via various domain names including <bhpbilliton.com>.
In recent years, Complainant’s revenue has exceeded USD 50 billion annually.
BHP Billiton controls numerous domain names containing the trademark BHP BILLITON, including <bhpbilliton.com>, <bhpbilliton.net>, <bhpbilliton.info>, <bhpbilliton.org>, <bhpbilliton.jobs>, <bhpbilliton.mobi> and <bhpbilliton.biz>.
Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for the mark BHP BILLITON around the world. Several of them are provided as annexes to the Complaint.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s BHP BILLITON marks, being virtually identical to them but for a misspelling (duplication of the letter “i”).
Respondent is not known by the disputed domain name and has no rights or legitimate interests in it, or in Complainant’s mark, and has clearly registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panel finds this to be a clear case of “typosquatting” in which Respondent has registered a misspelling of a well-known mark without rights or legitimate interests.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is identical in spelling, meaning, and sound to Complainant’s well‑established trademark, but for an easily-overlooked typographical variation, namely the duplication of the second letter “i” in the Complainant’s trademark as shown in the disputed domain name. It is well‑established that such minor typographical variations or misspellings do not avoid a likelihood of confusion between a mark and a corresponding domain name. Respondent offers no contrary argument (or indeed any response at all).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has made out the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent does not claim to have any legitimate rights or interests in the disputed domain name; and indeed, given the obvious similarity between the disputed domain name and Complainant’s mark, it is difficult to conceive of how it could have any such rights. The possibility of innocent adoption of a domain name so similar to the house mark of a world-renowned business is infinitesimal.
The Panel finds that Complainant has made out a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to the contrary. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
As noted above, Complainant’s mark is world-renowned, and, in this Panel’s view, it is inconceivable that Respondent adopted it (or in this case, a slight typographical variant of it) without knowledge or intent to mislead. Nor, in any event, has Respondent come forward with any argument suggesting that it had any good-faith basis to register the domain name. Moreover, the Panel notes that the disputed domain name resolves only to a landing page stating “Future home of something quite cool. If you’re the site owner, log in to launch this site – If you are a visitor, check back soon.” In the absence of any substantive use of the disputed domain name, in light of the above, the Panel cannot conceive of any bona fide use that Respondent could make of the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has established Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of 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 <bhpbilliiton.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Michael A. Albert
Date: September 10, 2015