WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. v. INTDOMAIN/APEXED
Case No. D2015-1413
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Virginia, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson, United States.
The Respondent is INTDOMAIN/APEXED of Burgenland, Austria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <booz-allen.org> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 11, 2015. On August 11, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 12, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 14, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 3, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 4, 2015.
The Center appointed Simon Minahan as the sole panelist in this matter on September 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.
The decision due date was extended to November 17, 2015. The Panelist has been unable to attend to the timely provision of the decision in this case because of personal matters and apologizes to the parties for the delay in rendering the decision and thanks them for their patience.
4. Factual Background
On the basis of the Complainant’s uncontroverted submissions the Panel finds the following matters are established:
- Booz Allen is a leading global strategy and technology consulting firm, with more than 23,000 employees working in offices located on six continents.
- Booz Allen has i.a. the United States trademark BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON, registered on March 31, 1970 and the United States trademark BOOZ ALLEN, registered on June 11, 2009. Since at least 1942, Booz Allen Inc. has been using the mark BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON in connection with its consulting services, and also uses the shortened version thereof BOOZ ALLEN (collectively the "BOOZ ALLEN marks").
- The BOOZ ALLEN marks enjoy considerable reputation and are well known world-wide.
- Booz Allen holds several registrations in the USA and elsewhere for the BOOZ ALLEN marks.
- Booz Allen has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use the BOOZ ALLEN marks or to apply for or use any domain name incorporating or simulating these marks.
- The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and has not applied for any relevant registration or otherwise acquired any trademark or service mark rights to use the name.
- On the balance of probabilities the Respondent knew of Booz Allen and the reputation of the BOOZ ALLEN marks when it registered the disputed domain name. Further it could easily have learned of both by undertaking basic searches of relevant registers before registering the disputed domain name.
- The disputed domain name was registered on July 19, 2015.
- The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to direct consumers to a website that features links to several consulting firms other than Booz Allen.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends for transfer of the disputed domain name <booz-allen.org> on the following grounds:
- The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Booz Allen has rights;
- Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
- Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of BOOZ ALLEN together with the extension “.org”
The Panel finds that disputed domain name is substantially identical to, alternatively confusingly similar to the BOOZ ALLEN marks within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel refers to and adopts the reasoning in CVS Pharmacy, Inc. v. WhoisGuard Protected, WIPO Case No. D2009-1604 Ticketmaster Corporation v. IM Panama, WIPO Case No. D2008-0577.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The findings above establish that the Respondent was not licensed to use the Complainant's mark and is not otherwise known by that name. In the absence of any submission by the Respondent or evidence to the contrary, the Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In so doing it adopts the reasoning in Baccarat SA v. Value-Domain Com, WIPO Case No. D2009-1186; Lego Juris A/S v. Mohamed Ouattara / Integral Assets Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2009-0564 and Ticketmaster Corporation v. IM Panama WIPO Case No. D2008-0577; Cisco Technology Inc. v. Nicholas Strecha, E-Careers Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2010-0391.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel considers that the Respondent’s use of the Complainant’s entire mark in the disputed domain name, given the findings of its long established reputation and recorded registrations, make it difficult to conceive of any legitimate use of the name by the Respondent. Indeed the Respondent has offered no explanation and the Panel can think of no plausible explanation as to why the Respondent selected the disputed domain name other than to trade on the goodwill of the Complainant’s well known BOOZ ALLEN marks. See e.g. Missoni S.p.A. v. T.N.T. TerrificNTerry Inc., WIPO Case No. DWS2008-0003 (June 19, 2008).
Accordingly the Panel finds the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.
Further, in light of the use of the disputed domain name in connection with a website diverting Internet users to competitive services and unassociated entities is bad faith use of the disputed domain name. See e.g., Pfizer Inc. v. Fizer Inc., WIPO Case No. D2005-0285.
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 <booz-allen.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 17, 2015