WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Dubizzle Limited BVI v. Srikanth Pottumuthu, Flying Wings Technologies Pvt Ltd
Case No. D2016-2086
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Dubizzle Limited BVI of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Srikanth Pottumuthu, Flying Wings Technologies Pvt Ltd of Hyderabad, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Name <dubbizle.org> is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 12, 2016. On October 12, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On October 13, 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 October 24, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 13, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 14, 2016.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on November 22, 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 online classified advertising and community portal serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The Complainant has registered various domain names that incorporate the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE Mark including <dubizzle.com>. “www.dubizzle.com” was launched in 2005, and it facilitates trade by providing an online marketplace where sellers can list items for sale and buyers can search listings and connect with sellers. The website provides classified advertisements through which users can buy and sell goods, including vehicles, real estate, tickets, and electronics; and solicit and offer services, such as babysitting, event services, and repairs. The website also allows users to design advertisements to post on the website and to display advertisements on profiles across social networking sites, such as Facebook; and search for jobs across numerous locations and industries.
The Complainant is present in 11 countries and over 21 cities, and it has over 8 million visitors to its website.
The Complainant owns trademark registrations across various jurisdictions, including Registration No. 143411019 in Saudi Arabia, registered on April 10, 2014 for goods and services under Class 35; and Registration No. 194179 in the United Arab Emirates, registered on March 8, 2015 for goods and services under Class 35.
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on June 24, 2016.
On August 15, 2016, the Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent. There has been no reply from the Respondent.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides trademark registrations, but also submits that it has common law or unregistered trademark rights dating from April 2005. The Complainant argues that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered DUBIZZLE trademark. The Disputed Domain Name is a purposeful misspelling of the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE trademark and is confusingly similar to said trademark. The Disputed Domain Name varies very little from the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent has added a “b” and removed a “z” from the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE trademark. The Complainant finds this “a prototypical example of typosquatting”, “causing an Internet user who makes a slight spelling or typing error to reach an unintended website”.
The Complainant argues further that the Respondent has not been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, and that the Respondent has no history of using the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. On the contrary, the Respondent’s inclusion of a modified version of the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE logotype on the Disputed Domain Name’s website is in order to take advantage of the fame and goodwill that the Complainant has built in its brand. The Respondent is not only using the confusingly similar Disputed Domain Name, but is also imitating the Complainant by displaying the Complainant’s logo. The Respondent is not sponsored by or affiliated with the Complainant in any way. No license or authorization of any kind has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent to use the DUBIZZLE trademark.
Finally, as to the bad faith, the Complainant argues that the DUBIZZLE trademark is a well-known trademark with a substantial and widespread reputation. The Complainant has been generating revenue from offering online classified advertising services under the name DUBIZZLE since 2006, which is well before the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name (June 24, 2016). In registering a one-letter typo of the Complainant’s famous DUBIZZLE trademark, the Respondent has, in the Complainant’s opinion, demonstrated familiarity with the Complainant’s brand and business. This qualifies as “typosquatting”. Typosquatting is in itself evidence of bad faith registration and use. Using a confusingly similar domain name to host a website that aims to copy the Complainant’s business and features a modified version of the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE logo, is further evidence of bad faith use. It is an attempt to cause and profit from consumer confusion.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark DUBIZZLE.
The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the disputed domain name. In this case, the Disputed Domain Name is a misspelling of the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE trademark. The Disputed Domain Name varies from the Complainant’s trademark only by one extra “b” and one less “z”.
For the purposes of assessing confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the country code Top-Level Domain “.org”.
The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has no registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register a domain name containing its trademark or otherwise make use of its mark.
According to the evidence, the Respondent made use of the Complainant’s logotype on the website to which the Disputed Domain Name resolved. Taking into account that the Disputed Domain Name is a misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark, the Panel considers that on the balance of probabilities the Respondent used the Disputed Domain Name to misrepresent that the Disputed Domain Name is related to, or connected and/or associated with the Complainant. The Panel notes that the Respondent has not sought to file any response to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark and its business when he registered the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant has been known under the name DUBIZZLE since 2006, which is long before the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name. The misspelling of the trademark is further evidence of the Respondent’s knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark at the time of registration of the Disputed Domain Name. The fact that the Respondent uses the Complainant’s DUBIZZLE logotype, is further evidence of the same.
The Panel finds that on the balance of probabilities the Respondent registered and has used the Disputed Domain Name with the intention of confusing Internet users into believing that the Disputed Domain Name is associated with the Complainant.
The finding of bad faith is supported by the fact that the Respondent has not replied to the cease-and-desist letter, nor the Complaint.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <dubbizle.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 24, 2016