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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Archer-Daniels-Midland Company v. Name Redacted

Case No. D2016-1618

1. The Parties

Complainant is Archer-Daniels-Midland Company of Decatur, Illinois, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Innis Law Group LLC, United States.

Respondent is Name Redacted of New York, New York, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <admvvorld.com> is registered with Gandi SAS (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 8, 2016. On August 9, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 10, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 16, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 5, 2016. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on September 6, 2016.

The Center appointed Martin Schwimmer as the sole panelist in this matter on October 4, 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

Complainant Archer-Daniels-Midland Company of Illinois is a large agricultural products company. It has used the ADM trademark since 1923. It is a multi-national company and has used the domain name <admworld.com> in connection with email. <admworld.com> currently resolves to Complainant's website.

The Registrant has allegedly used the disputed domain name for a fraudulent email scheme, having allegedly used the email address […]@admvvorld.com to send emails to employees of Complainant that purport to come from the CEO and Chairman of Complainant.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant Archer-Daniels-Midland Company alleges ownership and use of the ADM trademark since 1923. It owns trademark registrations (incontestable under U.S. trademark law) for the mark, covering agricultural products and services. Complainant owns numerous registrations worldwide for the mark. Complainant uses ADM-formative marks and uses the term ADM WORDWIDE as a trading name on its website at "www.adm.com".

Complainant owns the domain name <admworld.com>. The domain name currently resolves to Complainant's website. Complainant has previously configured <admworld.com> for email.

The name identified in the WhoIs as registrant, 'Name Redacted', is that of an Indonesian businessman. Complainant alleges that registrant's name, and registrant's New York address, are fraudulent.

Employees of Complainant have received emails which indicated in the text that they were sent by the CEO and Chairman of Complainant utilizing the email address […]@admworld.com, when in fact email header information indicates they were sent from […]@admvvorld.com.

Complainant also alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has provided voluminous evidence of use and registration of the ADM trademark and a family of ADM-formative marks. The disputed domain name is <admvvorld.com>. The Panel will disregard the "vvorld" string, noting that "vvorld" doesn't appear to create a recognizable name or word; VVORLD appears to be a typo for the word WORLD. Complainant uses the term ADM WORLDWIDE as a trading name and has used the domain name <admworld.com> in connection with email. The addition of a term to Complainant's trademark exacerbates confusion if Complainant uses that additional term or is associated with that term as well. See OLX B.V. v. Jakony Amnon, OLX Uganda, WIPO Case No. D2016-0743 (ordering transfer of <olxmarket.com> due to, inter alia, the term "market" being "closely related to the business of the Complainant").

Furthermore, it is standard practice by UDRP panels to disregard the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix ".com", which does little if any to change the connotation of the second-level name.

Therefore, the Panel agrees with Complainant that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's ADM trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The second ground to be demonstrated by Complainant, according to the provisions of the Policy, is Respondent's absence of any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, per paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.

Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that it is sufficient for a complainant to prove a prima facie case that the respondent does not hold rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455 and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Once a prima facie case is shown, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel is satisfied that Respondent has no connection or affiliation with Complainant and has not received any license or consent to use the ADM trademark in a domain name or in any other manner. Complainant alleges that there is no such connection here. The Panel finds there is no evidence of legitimate noncommercial or fair use.

In addition, Respondent has not submitted any reply to Complainant's contentions.

Therefore, in light of Complainant's prima facie case, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Complainant's ADM trademark is well-known. Complainant has submitted evidence that its mark is sufficiently established such that, coupled with the absence of any other evidence in the record to the contrary, it is fair to presume that Respondent registered the disputed domain name with prior knowledge of Complainant's rights. This presumption is also supported by the fact that Complainant's own <admworld.com> domain name is two letters away from the Domain Name.

Additionally, Complainant provided evidence that its employees received emails that appear to have been sent using the email address […]@admvvorld.com, which incorporates the name of Complainant's Chairman and CEO. There is no doubt that Respondent has targeted Complainant. As it may be the case that these emails were intended to be part of some sort of phishing scheme in which the recipients would merely have to hit reply to such emails rather than typing in an address, such employees would possibly be deceived by the visual similarity between 'world' and 'vvorld.'

Furthermore, the Panel may also make negative inferences arising from Respondent's use of fraudulent WhoIs information, as well as from Respondent's failure to respond. See, e.g., Sony Kabushiki Kaisha (also trading as Sony Corporation) v. Inja, Kil, WIPO Case No. D2000-1409.

The Panel finds that Complainant has established that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, as outlined in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <admvvorld.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Martin Schwimmer
Sole Panelist
Date: October 4, 2016