WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette v. Milen Radumilo

Case No. D2016-1926

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette of Moscow, Russian Federation, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Milen Radumilo of Bucharest, Romania.

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain names <chatrellet.com>, <chatrouellte.com>, <chatroulette1.com>, <chatroulettr.com>, <chatroulitte.com>, <chatrullette.net>, <chattrollette.com>, <chattrulett.com>, and <chaturoulette.com> are registered with Tucows Inc. The disputed domain names <chatroulatte.com>, <chatroulettenetwork.com> and <chatroutette.com> are registered with Domain.com, LLC. The disputed domain name <chatroulettefrancais.net> is registered with SiteName. The disputed domain name <chatroulette-porn.com> is registered with Gal Communications (CommuniGal) Ltd. d/b/a Galcomm.

The disputed domain name <worldchatroulette.com> is registered with Eagle Eye Domains, LLC.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 21, 2016. On September 22, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On September 22 and 26, 2016, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amended Complaint on September 29, 2016.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 September 30, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 20, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 21, 2016.

The Center appointed Sir Ian Barker as the sole panelist in this matter on October 31, 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 created and owns an online chat website that attracts random Internet users from around the world for real-time, webcam-based conversations. As well as online video chat services, the Complainant provides special introduction and networking services.

The Complainant has provided these services under the brand "Chatroulette" since 2009. The popularity and high-profile of these services grew very rapidly so that the Complainant's website at "www.chatroulette.com" averaged some 260,000 monthly visitors in the period August 2015 to August 2016.

The Complainant owns trademark registrations for CHATROULETTE in various jurisdictions including the European Union, the United States of America and Germany. All of these trademark registrations occurred before the disputed domain names were registered with various Registrars over the period August 2015 to August 2016 (see, e.g., the European Union trademark No. 008944076, registered on December 4, 2012). The first use in commerce of the trademark was December 5, 2009.

The Complainant gave the Respondent no permission or authority to reflect its trademark in any of the disputed domain names.

The disputed domain names <chatrellet.com>, <chatroulitte.com>, chatroutette.com>, <chatroulette1.com>, <chatroulettefrancais.net>, <chattrulett.com>, <chattrollette.com>, <chaturoulette.com>, <chatroulettenetwork.com> and <worldchatroulette.com> redirect Internet users to websites featuring links to third-party websites, some of which directly compete with the Complainant's business. The websites at the disputed domain names <chatroulitte.com> and <chatroulettenetwork.com> also feature links that directly references the Complainant and its business.

The disputed domain name <chatroulettr.com> redirects Internet users to a website that resolves to a blank page and lacks content.

The disputed domain names <chatrouellte.com>, <chatroulatte.com> and <chatrullette.net> resolve to websites that attempt to infect Internet users' computers with viruses or malware. Upon reaching the websites, Internet users, in the case of <chatroulatte.com> encounter a message that reads, in part: "Don't restart your computer. System detected cryptolocker virus". In the case of <chatrulette.net> Internet users receive a message that reads, in part, "Windows firewall security damaged by exploit.swf.bd virus."

The websites at the disputed domain names <chatroulatte.com> and <chatrulette.net> can redirect Internet users to a third-party website that provides health, wellness and medical information.

The website at the disputed domain name <chatroulette-porn.com> directs users to a pornographic website.

The website accessed by <chatroultr.com> is inactive.

On websites accessed by some of the disputed domain names, the Respondent offers to sell the disputed domain names for valuable consideration.

Before instituting the Complaint under the Policy, the Complainant sent cease-and-desist letters to the Respondent to which no reply was received.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademarks.

The disputed domain names <chatrellet.com>, <chatrouellte.com>, <chatroulatte.com>, <chatroulettr.com>, <chatroulitte.com>, <chatroutette.com>, <chatrullette.net>, <chattrollette.com>, <chattrulett.com>, and <chaturoulette.com> are purposeful misspellings of the Complainant's CHATROULETTE trademark and must be considered confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.

More specifically:

- <chatrellet.com> replaces the "o" and "u" in the Complainant's trademark with an "e", adds "l" and removes the "t" and "e" from the end;

- <chatrouellte.com> transposes the "e" and "l" in the Complainant's trademark and adds an additional "l" while deleting the second "t";

- <chatroulatte.com> replaces the first "e" in the Complainant's trademark with an "a";

- <chatroulettr.com> removes the second "e" from the end of the Complainant's trademark and adds an "r"; - <chatroulitte.com> removes the first "e" from the Complainant's trademark and adds an "I";

- <chatroutette.com> removes the "l" from the Complainant's trademark and adds a "t";

- <chatrulette.net> removes the "o" from the Complainant's trademark and adds an "l";

- <chattrollette.com> adds a "t" to the Complainant's trademark while removing the letter "u";

- <chattrulett.com> adds a "t" to the Complainant's trademark while deleting the "o" and "e"; and

- <chaturoulette.com> adds a "u" between the "t" and "r" in the Complainant's trademark.

As the disputed domain names differ from the Complainant's trademark by one to four letters the disputed domain names are a typical example of typosquatting. See RX America, L.L.C. v. Tony Rodolakis, WIPO Case No. D2005-1190.

The practice of typosquatting intentionally takes advantage of Internet users who inadvertently type an incorrect address – often a misspelling of the complainant's trademark – when seeking to access the trademark owner's website. This means that a deliberate misspelling of a trademark registered as a domain name, which is intended to confuse Internet users, must be confusingly similar by design. See RX America, L.L.C. v. Tony Rodolakis, supra (referring to intentional misspellings as "typosquatting", which "has consistently been regarded as creating domain names that are confusingly similar to the relevant mark"). See also Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Dow Jones, L.P. v. Powerclick, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-1259 (holding that the deliberate introduction of errors or changes does not render respondent's domain name less confusingly similar to the core trademark held by the complainant). In other words, the Respondent's registration of domain names that contain minor misspellings of the Complainant's trademark constitutes typosquatting.

The disputed domain names <chatroulettenetwork.com>, <chatroulette1.com>, <chatroulettefrancais.net>, <chatroulette-porn.com> and <worldchatroulette.com> include, in its entirety, the Complainant's CHATROULETTE trademark and add the generic terms "network", "t", "francais", "porn" and "world" to the end or beginning of the trademark. The mere addition of these generic terms to the Complainant's trademark does not negate the confusing similarity between the disputed domain names and the Complainant's trademark and the disputed domain names must be considered confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.

The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests such as would entitle him to reflect the Complainant's trademark in any of the disputed domain names. None of the situations contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply to the Respondent.

It is not possible to conceive a plausible explanation for registration of the disputed domain names other than in bad faith, given the fame of the Complainant's trademark and brand. The Respondent must have known of the existence of the Complainant's trademark at the time of registration of each of the disputed domain names. Typosquatting is evidence of bad faith registration and ongoing use.

The use of a confusingly similar domain name to direct unsuspecting Internet users to an "adult" site is evidence of bad faith registration and use. This applies to the dispute domain name <chatroulette-porn.com>.

Bad faith is also evidenced by an inactive site accessed by a disputed domain name – in this case the disputed domain name <chatroulettr.com>.

Those disputed domain names which resolve to websites which attempt to infect users' computers with viruses or malware indicate bad faith registration and use.

The sheer numbers of the disputed domain names indicate a deliberate pattern of cybersquatting with attendant bad faith.

The Respondent's offer to sell the disputed domain names constitutes bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy.

The Respondent's ignoring of cease-and-desist letters also indicates bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to be entitled to a transfer of a domain name, a complainant shall prove the following three elements:

(i) The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;

(ii) The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

All of the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademark.

As set out in the summary of the Complainant's submission in Section 5.A above, in some of the disputed domain names there are variations to the trademarked expression CHATROULETTE which are clearly deliberate mispellings and typical examples of typosquatting – a practice which has been frequently condemned in many discussions under the Policy (e.g., RX America, LLC v. Tony Rodolakis, supra).

Five of the disputed domain names use the trademarked word and add generic terms which do nothing to diminish the confusing similarity.

Accordingly, paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant gave the Respondent no authority of any sort to reflect its trademark in any of the disputed domain names.

This fact and the circumstances of the present case satisfy paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy in the absence of any response from the Respondent.

The Respondent could have claimed that one of the situations envisaged by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applied to the registration of the disputed domain names, e.g., by invoking paragraph 4(c) to the satisfaction of the Panel that one of its three provisions applied in this case. However, the Respondent has chosen not to file a response, and the Complainant has met its burden here.

Accordingly, paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

This is a blatant case of bad faith registration and use which is clearly established by the following grounds:

1) The sheer number of typosquatting registrations, the content of some of the Respondent's websites seeking to emulate the Complainant's business and the timing of the registration of the disputed domain names all contribute to an inevitable conclusion of bad faith.

2) The offer to sell the disputed domain names by the Respondent for financial gain is evidence of bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy.

3) The disputed domain names inevitably cause confusion amongst Internet users and disruption of the Complainant's legitimate business – particularly since the services of the Complainant's competitors are mentioned in the websites accessed by the disputed domain names.

4) The disputed domain names and their accessed websites give the impression that the Respondent has had some permission or license to reflect the Complainant's trademark in the disputed domain names and the websites.

5) The one instance (<chatroulette-porn.com> where Internet users are directed to a pornographic site, under the present circumstances, is indicative of bad faith for the disputed domain name. (See Microsoft Corp v. Horner, WIPO Case No. D2002-0029.)

6) With respect to the disputed domain name <chatroulettr.com> which is not being actively used, the Panel finds that the passive holding of this disputed domain name does not as such prevent a finding of bad faith on this record. (See Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows. WIPO Case No. D2000-0003.)

7) For the disputed domain names <chatrouellte.com>, <chatroulatte.com> and <chatrullette.net>, their resolution to websites which attempt to infect users' computers is an obvious indication of bad faith.

8) The Respondent's ignoring of cease-and-desist letters is also a factor pointing towards bad faith. (See RRI Financial, Inc. v. Ray Chen, WIPO Case No. D2001-1242.)

All these factors cumulatively produce an overwhelming inference of bad faith registration and use and therefore paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.

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 names <chatrellet.com>, <chatrouellte.com>, <chatroulatte.com>, <chatroulettefrancais.net>, <chatroulettenetwork.com>, <chatroulette-porn.com>, <chatroulette1.com>, <chatroulettr.com>, <chatroulitte.com>, <chatroutette.com>, <chatrullette.net>, <chattrollette.com>, <chattrulett.com>, <chaturoulette.com>, and <worldchatroulette.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sir Ian Barker
Sole Panelist
Date: November 7, 2016