WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Mei Lele
Case No. D2016-1182
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE of Munich, Germany, internally-represented.
The Respondent is Mei Lele of Dingshan, Jiangsu, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <allianzlfe.com> and <allianzlif.com> are registered with Domain.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 10, 2016. On June 10, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On June 10, 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 June 29, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 19, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on July 22, 2016.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 an established international insurance and financial services company. The Complainant has approximately 142,000 employees worldwide, 85 million customers, and operations in more than 70 countries. The Complainant's mark ALLIANZ (the "Mark") was first registered on the International Register in 1979 followed by numerous national and community registrations. Additionally, the Complainant owns numerous domain names that incorporate the Mark including, but not limited to, <allianz.de>, <allianz.com>, <allianz.us>, and <allianzlife.com>. These domain names resolve to commercial websites operated by the Complainant.
The disputed domain names were registered on May 10, 2016.
According to the evidence submitted in the Complaint, the disputed domain names resolved to websites offering financial services.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its Mark because the disputed domain names merely append the letters "lfe" and "lif" to the Complainant's Mark. The Complainant further asserts that the letters "lfe" and "lif" when added to the Mark renders the disputed domain names confusingly similar to the Complainant's website "www.allianzlife.com". The Complainant asserts that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Mark or the disputed domain names as the Complainant has never licensed the Mark to the Respondent and the Respondent does not appear to conduct any bona fide business under the Mark. The Complainant further asserts that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith to attract and divert unsuspecting Internet customers to the Respondent's websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's Mark notwithstanding Respondent's appending the letters "lfe" and "lif", respectively, as suffixes to the Complainant's Mark to form the disputed domain names. Ansell Healthcare Products Inc. v. Australian Therapeutics Supplies Pty, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2001-0110 (transferring <ansellcondoms.com>). Moreover, the addition of letters that are common misspelling of the word "life" – a suffix actually used by the Complainant for an active domain name – buttresses the finding that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Mark. Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775 (transferring <wochovia.com>).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's Mark and that the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has affirmatively stated that the Complainant has not conducted business with the Respondent and has not authorized the Respondent to use the disputed domain names or the Mark. It is also apparent that the disputed domain names were being utilized for commercial purposes. Lastly, the Respondent has failed to answer the Complaint or come forward with any demonstration of rights or legitimate interests. There is no evidence that the Respondent has engaged in any bona fide business associated with the Mark or the disputed domain names.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names and that the Complainant has met the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain names resolved to websites offering financial services directly competing with the services offered by the Complainant. It is inconceivable that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant's Mark or the Complainant's services when registering the disputed domain names. A simple Internet search would have disclosed the Complainant's use of the Mark and the Complainant's domain names. Sterling Jewelers Inc. v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc. and Domain Traffic, WIPO Case No. D2002-0772 (transferring <jaredjewelry.com>). Moreover, the Respondent's utilization of misspellings of the word "life" is bad faith typo squatting. Telstra Corp. Ltd. V. Nuclear Mashmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 (transferring <telstra.org>); Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Carcia Quintas, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226 (transferring <christiandior.com> and <christiandior.net>); Asian World of Martial Arts Inc. v. Texas International Property Associates, WIPO Case No. D2007-1415 (transferring <proforcekarate.com> and <proforcremartialarts.com>).
Around the time of filing of this Complaint, the disputed domain names ceased resolving to websites offering financial services. Nonetheless, the passive holding of disputed domain names under these circumstances constitutes bad faith use. Express Scripts, Inc. v. Windgather Investments Ltd. / Mr. Cartwright, WIPO Case No. D2007-0267 (transferring <express-scrips.com>); Intel Corporation v. The Pentium Group, WIPO Case No. D2009-0273 (transferring <pentiumgroup.net>).
The Panel finds that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. Thus the third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is met.
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 <allianzlfe.com> and <allianzlif.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F Hamilton
Date: August 10, 2016