WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Co. v. Web Master Internet Services Private Limited
Case No. D2016-1103
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Co. of Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America ("USA"), represented by Cozen O'Connor, USA.
The Respondent is Web Master Internet Services Private Limited of Thane, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bankersfidelity.com> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Tirupati Domains and Hosting Pvt Ltd. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 1, 2016, naming the Respondent as "Registrant Bankersfidelity.com".
The Center transmitted its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on June 2, 2016. The Registrar replied on June 6, 2016, stating that it had received a copy of the Complaint, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy" or "UDRP") applies to the Domain Name, that the Domain Name would expire on February 2, 2017, and would remain locked during this proceeding, and that the registration agreement was in English. The Registrar also stated that the Respondent named in the Complaint was not the registrant of the Domain Name and provided the full contact details held in respect of the Domain Name on its WhoIs database, which identified the registrant as Web Master Internet Services Private Limited.
The Center invited the Complainant to amend the Complaint in the light of the information provided by the Registrar as to the identity of the registrant. The Complainant submitted an amended Complaint on June 7, 2016, naming the Respondent as Web Master Internet Services Private Limited.
The Center verified that the amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the 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 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 8, 2016. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was June 28, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 29, 2016.
The Center appointed Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on July 5, 2016. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with paragraph 7 of the Rules. Having reviewed the file, the Panel is satisfied that the Complaint complied with applicable formal requirements, was duly notified to the Respondent and has been submitted to a properly constituted Panel in accordance with the UDRP, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant has carried on a business of providing life and health insurance under the mark BANKERS FIDELITY since 1955. It has obtained registration of BANKERS FIDELITY as a word mark on the principal trademark register of the US Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO").
The Domain Name was originally created in 1998. According to the Complainant it was registered to the Respondent in 2015. The Domain Name has been directed since then to a web page displaying links to websites of providers of life and health insurance competing with the Complainant.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant draws attention to its use and registration of the mark BANKERS FIDELITY and contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar with this mark, from which it differs only in the omission of the space between the words and the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant states that the Respondent is not affiliated with or authorized by the Complainant and that there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent registered the Domain Name to advance legitimate interests or for a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Complainant observes that instead the Respondent is using the Domain Name improperly to divert consumers interested in the Complainant's products and services to competing products and services by leading them to believe erroneously that these are affiliated with the Complainant. The Complainant also emphasizes that its rights in the mark BANKERS FIDELITY long predate the Respondent's registration of the Domain Name.
The Complainant alleges that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, in an attempt to take commercial advantage of the Complainant's mark and reputation, to trade off its goodwill and to deceive consumers into falsely believing that an association, affiliation or sponsorship relationship exists between the Domain Name and the Complainant. The Complainant refers to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP.
The Complainant requests a decision that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
As stated above, the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove: (i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which it has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. It is appropriate to consider each of these requirements in turn.
In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate from the Respondent's default in failing to file a response. This includes the acceptance of plausible evidence of the Complainant which has not been disputed.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the mark BANKERS FIDELITY as a result of its registration of this mark on the principal trademark register of the USPTO and its longstanding use of the mark in its business since 1955.
The Panel further finds that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to this mark. The Domain Name differs from this mark only in the omission of the space between the words and the addition of the gTLD suffix, ".com", both which can normally be discounted for this purpose since they do not provide a distinction between a domain name and a corresponding mark in the eyes of typical Internet users.
The first requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds on the undisputed evidence that the Respondent has not used or made any demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services. Nor is it making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
The use of the Domain Name to locate a web page containing links to websites offering goods or services competing with the Complainant's goods or services does not constitute a bona fide, legitimate or fair use; on the contrary it constitutes a use in bad faith deceiving Internet users seeking information about the Complainant's business and products.
It is also evident that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name or any corresponding name, and the Complainant has confirmed that it is not connected with the Respondent and has not authorized it to use the Domain Name or any corresponding name.
On the evidence, there is no other basis on which the Respondent could claim any right or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the second requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds on the evidence that, by its use of the Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its web page by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's BANKERS FIDELITY mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of this web page for commercial gain in the form of click-through commissions on sponsored links to websites of competitors of the Complainant.
In accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP this constitutes evidence of registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith. There is no material on the case file displacing this presumption. The Panel therefore finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
All three requirements of the UDRP are satisfied and it is appropriate to order that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name, <bankersfidelity.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 11, 2016