WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Intertrust Intellectual Property Group Holding S.A. v. Inner Inc.
Case No. D2016-0962
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Intertrust Intellectual Property Group Holding S.A. of Geneva, Switzerland, represented by Merkenbureau Knijff & Partners B.V., the Netherlands.
The Respondent is Inner Inc., of Cape Town, South Africa.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <intertrustgroup.org> is registered with 1&1 Internet AG (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 13, 2016. On May 13, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 17, 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 proceedings commenced on May 20, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 9, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 13, 2016.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on June 21, 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 provides consulting and other services in relation to financial management, the protection of intellectual property and other matters. The Complainant owns a number of trademarks in a variety of countries and jurisdictions for INTERTRUST, including a Benelux trademark No. 0467460 whose registration was published on May 1, 1990.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 5, 2015. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
These are the Complainant’s contentions with which the Panel may or may not agree.
The disputed domain name is very similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The first and most distinctive element is identical to the Complainant’s trademark and the most important part of their trade name.
The Respondent seems to have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence of the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to it in connection with a good faith offering of goods or services. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not responded to the Complainant’s request for it to transfer the disputed domain name voluntarily to the Complainant.
By registering the disputed domain name without having any rights or legitimate interests, the Respondent is disrupting the Complainant’s business. The Complainant cannot register or use the disputed domain name which corresponds to their registered trademark rights. The public can easily be confused by the disputed domain name since it contains the registered trademark and trade name of the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove 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
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark, the generic word “group” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.org”. The Complainant’s trademark is a made-up name consisting of a Latin word “inter” and the Middle English word “trust”. As a single word, the Complainant’s trademark has no independent meaning. The addition of the generic word “group” does not detract from the fact that the dominant feature of the disputed domain name is the Complainant’s trademark. UDRP panels will typically ignore the gTLD in assessing whether a domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy. For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called “Intertrustgroup” 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 disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark, which is a made-up word with no independent meaning, the generic word “group” and the gTLD “.com”. In the circumstances, there was no reason for the Respondent to register the disputed domain name except to reflect the Complainant’s trademark.
Without a response to the Complaint, it is impossible to know exactly why the Respondent registered the disputed domain name. In this Panel’s view, one is left with three possible motives for the Respondent’s decision to register the disputed domain name: to disrupt the Complainant’s relationship with their customers or potential customers, attempt to attract Internet users for potential gain or persuade the Complainant to buy the disputed domain name from it for an amount in excess of the Respondent’s out-of-pocket expenses. These all constitute evidence of registration and use in bad faith. The Respondent’s motivation may have been more than one of these and perhaps all three.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith for the purposes 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, <intertrustgroup.org>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 22, 2016