WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Comerica Bank v. Rita Rodriguez
Case No. D2016-0417
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Comerica Bank of Dallas, Texas, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Bodman PLC, United States.
The Respondent is Rita Rodriguez of Faribault, Minnesota, United States.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <comericaalerts.com>, <mycomericaalert.com>, <mycomericaalerts.com>, <mycomericamessage.com> and <mycomericamsg.com> are registered with Melbourne IT Ltd (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 1, 2016. On March 1, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On March 2, 2016, 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 proceeding commenced on March 15, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 4, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 5, 2016.
The Center appointed William F “Bill” Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on April 14, 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 a substantial financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, United States, with offices throughout the continental United States. The Complainant is the owner of numerous COMERICA trademark and service mark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the first of which dates back to 1982 (the “Mark”). The Complainant has registered and is using numerous domain names incorporating the Mark including <comerica.com>.
The disputed domain names were registered on January 7, 2016 and do not resolve to active websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Mark. The disputed domain names are composed by wholly incorporating the Complainant’s distinctive Mark with the addition of the prefix “my” (or no prefix at all) and one of the following suffixes: “alerts”, “alert”, “msg”, or “message”. The Complainant further asserts the Respondent has no legitimate rights or interests in the Mark or the disputed domain names as there is no evidence of any legitimate business activity of the Respondent prior to registration and use of the disputed domain names. Further, the Complainant asserts that the Complainant has not authorized the use of the Mark by the Respondent. The Complainant also asserts the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds the disputed domain names are each confusingly similar to the Mark. The use of a generic suffix or the bracketing of the Mark with generic suffixes and prefixes is insufficient to avoid confusing similarity. Comerica Bank v. Will Rote, WIPO Case No. D2016-0419 (transferring <my-comerica-alert.com>), Mastercard International Incorporated v. Dolancer Outsourcing, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2012-0619 (transferring <my-mastercard.info>); Societé Française du Radiotelephone – SFR v. Tobadoros Musicania, WIPO Case No. D2011-0815 (transferring <alert-inforamtion-sfr.com>). The Complainant has met its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Complainant has specifically denied any license or authorization provided to the Respondent to use the Mark or to register it in the disputed domain names. Moreover, there is no evidence that the Respondent had any legitimate business before its utilization of the disputed domain names. Finally, the Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint providing any evidence of rights or legitimate interests in the Mark or the disputed domain names. Absent any reply from the Respondent, the Complainant has meet its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. Comerica Bank v. Will Rote, WIPO Case No. D2016-0419 (transferring <my-comerica-alert.com>).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The Mark is well known in the United States, and the Respondent is listed with the Registrar as having a United States address. It strains credulity to believe that the Respondent was not aware of the Mark and the Complainant’s services. Moreover, the slightest check or investigation would have disclosed the Mark’s registration and use. Myer Stores Limited v. David John Singh, WIPO Case No. D2001-0763. The Respondent’s registration of a series of disputed domain names with suffixes likely to draw attention or to be perceived as alarming such as “alert” and “message” creates an inference of bad faith registration and use. Comerica Bank v. Will Rote, WIPO Case No. D2016-0419 (transferring <my-comerica-alert.com>). Moreover, the disputed domain names do not resolve to any websites offering bona fide goods or services. The passive holding of the disputed domain names under these circumstances constitutes bad faith use. Telstra Corporation, Ltd. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. The Complainant has met its burden of proof under 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 names <comericaalerts.com>, <mycomericaalert.com>, <mycomericaalerts.com>, <mycomericamessage.com>, and <mycomericamsg.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F Hamilton
Date: April 26, 2016