WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Hartford Fire Insurance Company v. Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd., c/o Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID: 21520145711049 / domain admin, Xedoc Holding SA
Case No. D2015-2233
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Hartford Fire Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America (“United States” or “USA”), represented by Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, PC, United States.
The Respondent is Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd., c/o Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID: 21520145711049 of Queensland, Australia / domain admin, Xedoc Holding SA of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, represented by Law.es, Spain.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <thehartfort.com> and <wwwthehartford.com> are registered with Fabulous.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 8, 2015. On December 9, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name <thehartfort.com>. On December 10, 2015, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name <thehartfort.com> which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 21, 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 December 22, 2015, and requested consolidation to include the disputed domain name <wwwthehartford.com>.1 On January 6, 2016, the Center transmitted to the Parties a confirmation of consolidation.
On January 7, 2016, the Center received from the Complainant a request to suspend the proceedings, which the Respondent confirmed on the same day. The Center granted the suspension of proceedings on January 8, 2016. On January 27, 2016, the Center received from the Complainant a request to recommence the proceedings. The proceedings recommenced on January 28, 2016.
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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 29, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 18, 2016. The Response was filed with the Center on February 19, 2016.
The Center appointed George R. F. Souter as the sole panelist in this matter on March 1, 2016. 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 disputed domain name <wwwthehartford.com> was registered on July 2, 2003, and the disputed domain name <thehartfort.com> was registered on September 19, 2002.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is a long-established insurance and financial services business in the USA.
The Complainant alleged that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, and that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith, under the provisions of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
The Respondent’s legal representative made a “unilateral consent to transfer” the disputed domain names to the Complainant, and drew the Panel’s attention to the decision in The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, WIPO Case No. D2005-1132, and other prior decisions under the UDRP.
6. Discussion and Findings
In The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, supra, the panel considered that a genuine unilateral consent to transfer by the respondent provides a basis for an immediate order for transfer without consideration of the paragraph 4(a) elements, and where the complainant has sought transfer of a disputed domain name and the respondent consents to transfer, then, pursuant to paragraph 10 of the Rules, a panel can proceed immediately to make an order for transfer. The Panel in this case agrees with the reasoning of the panel in The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. Mike Morgan, supra, and, in the circumstances of the present case, where the Complainant requested recommencement of the proceedings while negotiations between the Parties were taking place, considers it appropriate to find that, a genuine unilateral consent to transfer having been made by the Respondent, the Panel can proceed, under paragraph 10 of the Rules, to make an immediate order for transfer without consideration of the paragraph 4(a) elements, which the Panel so does.
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 <thehartfort.com> and <wwwthehartford.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
George R. F. Souter
Date: March 13, 2016
1 The disputed domain name <wwwthehartford.com> was the subject of another Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy proceeding in which the Registrar confirmed that the registrant was Respondent domain admin, Xedoc Holding SA.