WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
KPMG LLP v. Whoisguard, Inc.
Case No. D2016-0051
1. The Parties
The Complainant is KPMG LLP of New York, New York, United States of America ("United States"), internally represented.
The Respondent is Whoisguard, Inc. of Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <kpmgllp.net> is registered with eNom, Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on January 11, 2016. On January 12, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 12, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response 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 January 15, 2016, 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 amendment to the Complaint on January 19, 2016. The Complaint filed a second amendment to the Complaint on January 25, 2016.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendments to 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 January 27, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 16, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 17, 2016.
The Center appointed Martin Michaus-Romero as the sole panelist in this matter on February 29, 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 Complainant is the owner of and has common law rights in the KPMG service mark. It owns the following service mark: KPMG.
This service mark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under registration number 2339547. It was filed on July 3, 1997 and granted on April 11, 2000.
The KPMG mark is well-known in the United States and in many other countries and identifies a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and management consulting services, data processing services in the accounting and business operation fields, business management services and financial consulting.
The disputed domain name was registered in 2015 and is used to send fraudulent emails, as discussed infra.
5. Parties' Contentions
a) In November 2015, the Complainant learned from certain telecommunications providers that an unidentified individual was impersonating the Complainant's Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in an attempt to purchase large quantities of iPhones.
b) The unidentified individual has been placing orders with Verizon and other mobile communication companies to purchase the telephones using an email address at the disputed domain name that contains the COO's name. This individual is falsely representing that he is purchasing the phones on behalf of the Complainant while directing the seller to send the invoice to the Complainant, when in truth and fact the Complainant is not ordering these phones.
c) The unidentified individual is attempting to take possession of the phones before the seller discovers that the Complainant has not ordered the phones and that the individual is not actually the Complainant's COO.
d) This unidentified individual is using the Complainant's name and trademark without the authorization or consent of the Complainant.
e) The disputed domain name reproduces the service mark of the Complainant and is being used for attempts at fraud which were detected before the transactions were completed.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: "A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable." Considering that the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions in order to determine whether the Complainant has met its burden as stated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel bases its Decision on the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy and Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following: (i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's service mark. The disputed domain name <kpmgllp.net> reproduces the Complainant's service mark KPMG in its entirety, with the addition of the letters "llp", the common abbreviation for "limited liability partnership", and is used for fraudulent activities that will only increase confusion.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not received permission or authorization to use the Complainant's service mark. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions, and therefore has not provided any evidence or arguments to prove anything to the contrary. In addition, the Complainant's use of its service mark precedes the registration of the disputed domain name. It should be pointed out that the Respondent is not an individual, business or corporation known by the name "KPGM" or by the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the Respondent is fraudulently using the disputed domain name to attempt illegal activities, which obviously does not give rise to any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to the statements and documents submitted, it is clear to the Panel that the registration and the use of the disputed domain name has been in bad faith, due to its registration by someone falsely impersonating the Complainant's Deputy Chairman and COO. It appears to the Panel that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name and the name of the Complainant's Deputy Chairman and COO in an attempt to commit fraud on the Complainant and several mobile communication providers. As is stated by the Complainant, the Complainant's true COO did not place the telephone orders or register the disputed domain name, and neither he nor the Complainant is located at the address used by the Respondent.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <kpmgllp.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: March 9, 2016