WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Travis Perkins PLC v. Davis/alan Davis
Case No. D2015-1797
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Travis Perkins PLC of Northampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK"), represented by Demys Limited, UK.
The Respondent is Davis/alan Davis of London, UK.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain names <travisperkinlpc.com> and <travisperkinplc.com> are registered with Domain.com, LLC and 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 October 8, 2015. On October 8, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 8, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 13, 2015 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 13, 2015.
The Center verified that the Complaint and 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on October 21, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 10, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 11, 2015.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on November 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.
The first matter for the Panel to consider was the Complainant's application to deal with its Complaint in relation to both disputed domain names as a single Complaint under paragraph 10(e) of the Rules. The two domain names are very similar and the Respondent to the Complaint with respect to each Complaint appears to be the same person. The contact details in the website to which the disputed domain name <travisperkinplc.com> resolves refers to contact e-mail addresses linked to the disputed domain name <travisperkinlpc.com>. The Respondent has not replied to the Complaint. In the circumstances, the Panel considers it appropriate in line with its duty to conduct these proceedings expeditiously to deal with this matter as a single Complaint.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a builders' merchant and home improvement retailer based in Northampton, United Kingdom. The Complainant owns a trademark registration, number 2399949 for TRAVIS PERKINS in the United Kingdom, with a filing date of August 22, 2005. It markets its products and services through its domain name <travisperkinsplc.co.uk> which it registered on July 25, 2007. The disputed domain names were both registered on September 9, 2015.
5. Parties' Contentions
These are the Complainant's contentions with which the Panel may or may not agree.
The disputed domain names both omit the letter "s" from the Complainant's company name and mark. They both end with the letters "p", "l" and "c" which mirrors the acronym for "public limited company" and, in the case of the disputed domain name <travisperkinlpc.com>, the three letters have been placed in a different order. The letters "lpc" in that order have no independent meaning. The disputed domain names are both confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark. This is illustrated by an e-mail sent by Old Industries Srl to the Complainant on or around September 23, 2015 which queried whether an approach from a company quoting a contact address linked to the disputed domain name <travisperkinlpc.com>. The removal of the letter "s" in both the disputed domain names and the addition of the letters "p", "l" and "c" do nothing to differentiate or distinguish the disputed domain names from the Complainant's mark. The disputed domain names were intentionally registered as misleading typographical variants of the Complainant's mark as part of a fraudulent scheme.
There is no evidence that the Respondents have ever been commonly known as TRAVIS PERKINS PLC or TRAVIS PERKINS LPC. The Complainants have not licensed the Respondents to use its trademark or company or anything else.
The e-mail from Old Industries Srl referred to above suggests that the Respondent is attempting to use both disputed domain names for fraudulent purposes. The website associated with <travisperkinplc.com> was originally configured to appear to be operated by the Complainant. It incorporates the Complainant's postal address, company and VAT registration numbers and is designed to confuse and mislead web users who find their way to the website concerned. This is evidence of use and registration in bad faith. The website associated with <travisperkinlpc.com> is a parking page. In view of the use of the contact details connected to this disputed domain name in the e-mail to Old Industries Srl, this appears to constitute a registration and passive use in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove with respect to each disputed domain name that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Each disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant's trademark less its final "s" and with the addition of the letters "p", "l" and "c", in the first case with the letters concerned in the order presented here and in the second case with the "l" and "p" reversed. The Complainant's trademark is a made-up word consisting of two reasonably common English surnames. It has no independent meaning and as such is highly distinctive. The removal of the "s" and the addition of three letters even if they were random would not prevent the disputed domain name from being confusingly similar to the disputed domain name. Actually, "plc" represents a description of the type of company that the Complainant is in the United Kingdom. The addition of the generic Top Level Domain ("gTLD"), ".com" is of no relevance here since it has no impact on the meaning or sense of either disputed domain name.
For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names are both confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called "Travisperkin" or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademarks. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant's claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The registration of a domain name consisting with one minor change of two randomly selected surnames, such as the Complainant's trademark suggests strongly that the Respondent knew the identity of the Complainant when he registered the disputed domain names. This is reinforced by the fact that the Respondent then built the website to which <travisperkinplc.com> resolves which clearly gives the Complainant's trademark and indicates that it is a UK distributor of the Complainant's products, providing the address and VAT details of the Complainant. The e-mail from Old Industries Srl reinforces the idea that almost immediately after registering the disputed domain names, the Respondent had decided to use them to impersonate the Complainant. By giving contact details linked to the <travisperkinlpc.com> domain name, the Complainant was using that domain name in bad faith almost as soon as it had registered either domain name.
Both disputed domain names appear to have been registered and almost immediately afterwards used in bad faith either to disrupt the relationship between the Complainant and its potential or actual customers or to use the Complainant's name to divert Internet users to the Respondent's websites. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that both disputed domain names appear to represent examples of typo-squatting where a trademark is reflected in a domain name with what appears to be a small typing error. As the panel said in Go Daddy Software, Inc. v. Daniel Hadani, WIPO Case No. D2002-0568:
"Typosquatting is virtually per se registration and use in bad faith. It is difficult to conceive of circumstances that would overcome the inference that the typosquatter "intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source" of the website. Here such conduct was undertaken to send Complainant's customers to a site that promoted directly competing services."
For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
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 names <travisperkinplc.com> and <travisperkinlpc.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 23, 2015