WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Asurion, LLC v. yuanxufu
Case No. D2016-1381
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Asurion, LLC of Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Adams and Reese LLP, United States.
The Respondent is yuanxufu of Bazhong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <asurion.xyz> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on July 7, 2016. On July 7, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 8, 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 July 13, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 2, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on August 3, 2016.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on August 9, 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 insurance and warranty management services in relation to mobile phones and other wireless and electronic devises. The Complainant owns a number of trademarks in a variety of countries for ASURION, including United States trademark No. 2698459 which was filed on February 21, 2001, and registered on March 18, 2003. The Complainant uses a number of domain names incorporating its ASURION trademark including <asurion.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on June 2, 2016 and currently resolves to a parking page.
5. Parties' Contentions
These are the Complainant's contentions.
The disputed domain name consists of the ASURION mark followed by the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) ".xyz.". The addition of the gTLD is irrelevant for the purposes of examining the identity or similarity between the Complainant's mark and the disputed domain name since the suffix is a necessary component of the disputed domain name and has no distinctive meaning.
"Asurion" is not the Respondent's name and, to the Complainant's knowledge, the Respondent is not and has never been commonly known as "Asurion". The Respondent is not and has been a licensee or franchisee of the Complainant. The Respondent has never been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Complainant's ASURION mark or apply for or use any domain name incorporating the mark.
The disputed domain name resolves to a website which contains sponsored links to websites purportedly offering services identical or related to those of the Complainant.
In view of the Complainant's international reputation and the fact that ASURION is a highly distinctive mark universally associated with the Complainant, it is not plausible that the Respondent could have been unaware of the Complainant at the time of registration. The Respondent's knowledge of the Complainant is further evidenced by the content the Respondent currently provides on the website available at the disputed domain name. The Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith to divert Internet users to a commercial parking page with links related to and identical to the services offered under the Complainant's mark. The Respondent is using the ASURION mark as an appeal brand to attract consumers interested in the Complainant's services and then encourages those consumers who would plausibly assume that the Complainant owns or endorses the Respondent's website to visit other websites they might similarly assume are associated with the Complainant. The Respondent generates unjustified revenues for each click-through of the sponsored links, thereby illegitimately capitalizing on the Complainant's name and reputation.
The Respondent's bad faith is further demonstrated by his offer to sell the disputed domain name. The landing page to which the disputed domain name resolves currently indicates that the disputed domain name may be for sale by its owner. The Respondent also offered to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainants for USD 1,000 in an email of June 17, 2016. This far exceeds the Respondent's out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name, particularly as the Respondent only registered the disputed domain name fifteen days prior to his offer to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant.
The Respondent's provision of false WhoIs information as evidenced by the failed delivery of the Complainant's cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent's listed address further supports a bad faith finding.
The Respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in order to prevent legitimate registration by the rightful trademark owners. The Respondent is the owner of multiple other domain names incorporating famous marks.
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 ASURION, a word with no ordinary meaning, and the gTLD ".xyz". The disputed domain name is at the very least confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called "Asurion" or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademark. 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 and the gTLD ".xyz". In the circumstances, there appears to have been no reason for the Respondent to register the disputed domain name except to reflect the Complainant's trademark.
Without a substantive 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 and use 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 him 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. The provision of a false address for the WhoIs material and the Respondent's history of being the Respondent in successful claims under the Policy provide further support for the view that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <asurion.xyz> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 15, 2016