WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Accenture Global Services Limited v. Samdhathri dontaraju / Whoisguard Protected / Whoisguard, Inc.

Case No. D2015-2037

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America.

The Respondent is Samdhathri dontaraju of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India / Whoisguard Protected / Whoisguard, Inc. of Panama.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <accountspayable-accenture.com> is registered with eNom (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 10, 2015. On November 11, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 11, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification 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 the Complainant on November 16, 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 November 16, 2015.

The Center verified that 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 proceedings commenced on November 19, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 9, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 12, 2015.

The Center appointed Eva Fiammenghi as the sole panelist in this matter on December 18, 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

The Complainant is an international business that provides management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services under the name ACCENTURE and is the owner of the ACCENTURE trademark and company name.

The Complainant began using the mark ACCENTURE in connection with various services, including management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services, on January 1, 2001.

The Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations for ACCENTURE, which have been registered in numerous countries all over the world, before the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name, which was registered on October 4, 2015.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is identical and/or confusingly similar to its ACCENTURE trademark due to the addition to the words "accounts" and "payable," to the trademark in the disputed domain name.

In fact even if the added words "accounts" and "payable" could be considered generic and descriptive words, in this case, are directly related to the services offered by the Complainant (Gateway, Inc. v. Domaincar, WIPO Case No. D2006-0604).

It is uncontroverted that the Complainant has established rights in the ACCENTURE trademark based on longstanding use and fame. The disputed domain name <accountspayable-accenture.com> consists of the descriptive words "accounts" and "payable" followed by ACCENTURE trademark, and followed by the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com".

Thus, especially in this case, the use of the words "accounts" and "payable" determines an obvious association with the Complainant's trademark and does not dispel the likelihood of confusion.

The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant and there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name to advance legitimate interests.

The Complainant has never licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its trademark or to register any domain name including its trademark.

The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to it.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed the Complainant must prove that:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant 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 was registered and is being used in bad faith.

These elements are discussed in turn below. In considering these elements, paragraph 15(a) of the Rules provides that the Panel shall decide the Complaint on the basis of statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any other rules or principles of law that the Panel deems applicable.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

In the present case, the disputed domain name incorporates the word "accenture", which is identical to the Complainant's registered trademark ACCENTURE.

It is clear that the disputed domain name incorporates in its entirety the ACCENTURE trademark to which the generic terms "accounts" and "payable" have been added.

The generic term may even add to the confusing similarity in particular when they refer to the services offered by the Complainant (see also F. Porsche AG v. Glenn Stefan Karlsson-Springare, WIPO Case No. D2011-1727, and Audi AG and Volkswagen AG v. Glenn Karlsson-Springare, WIPO Case No. D2011-2121).

The Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain name <accountspayable-accenture.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark ACCENTURE.

It is also established that the addition of a generic term (such as here the word "accounts" and "payable") may not exclude the likelihood of confusion (PRL USA Holdings, Inc. v. Spiral Matrix, WIPO Case No. D2006-0189).

The Panel finds the first element of the Policy has, therefore, been met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

According to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii), the Complainant has to demonstrate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is not in any way affiliated with the Complainant, nor has the Complainant authorized or licensed the Respondent to use its trademarks, or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating said trademarks.

The Respondent has not demonstrated that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that there is no relationship with the Respondent that gives rise to any license, permit, or other right to which the Respondent could enjoy such use of any domain name incorporating the Complainant's ACCENTURE trademark.

In its Complaint, the Complainant has provided evidence that the website associated with the disputed domain name is used to gain unfair benefit of the ACCENTURE trademark.

The Respondent has registered the disputed domain name attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website, and of the services offering on the website.

In fact the Complainant has demonstrated that when an Internet user types into a browser the address of the disputed domain name, the user is redirected by click-through links, to third-party websites.

In addition, the Complainant argues as the Respondent receives click-through fees for diverting Internet users to third-party websites (See Zedge Ltd. v. Moniker Privacy Services / Aaron Wilson, WIPO Case No. D2006-1585 - use of parking websites to generate click-through fees from links to competing products qualifies as bad faith, because it intentionally capitalizes on the goodwill of third party trademarks).

The Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent has used, or undertaken any demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Likewise, no evidence has been adduced that the Respondent has commonly been known by the disputed domain name; nor, for the reasons mentioned above, is the Respondent making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. On the record, the Panel therefore finds that the Complaint fulfills the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Respondent, by using the disputed domain name, is intentionally misleading the consumers and confusing them trying to attract them to other websites making them believe that the websites behind those links are associated or recommended by the Complainant.

The disputed domain name is only used to divert Internet users to other sites offering third-party services.

On the basis of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name to attract Internet users, for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademarks and domain names (Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iii)).

Accordingly, pursuant to paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, this Panel finds that disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith by the Respondent.

On this basis the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the third and last point of the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).

7. Decision

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 <accountspayable-accenture.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Eva Fiammenghi
Sole Panelist
Date: December 22, 2015