WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pet Plan Ltd v. Domain Administrator
Case No. D2016-2217
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Pet Plan Ltd of Surrey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator of Amman, Jordan.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <gopetplans.com> and <wwwpetplan.com> (the “Disputed Domain Names”) are registered with Moniker Online Services, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 1, 2016. On November 1, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Names. On November 2, 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 November 4, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 24, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 25, 2016.
The Center appointed Eva Fiammenghi as the sole panelist in this matter on December 2, 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 Pet Plan Ltd, a company which was founded in 1976 and is based in Brentford, United Kingdom and now it a subsidiary of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the United Kingdom, and part of the Allianz Global Group, one of the world’s foremost financial services providers.
The Complainant is the owner of several trademark registrations for PETPLAN (including United Kingdom registration No. 00002052294 on January 17, 1997) and related domain names, which have been registered in numerous countries all over the world, before the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Names <gopetplans.com> and <wwwpetplan.com>, which were registered respectively on January 20, 2008 and February 17, 2005.
The Complainant has a strong Internet presence through its websites. The Complainant is the owner of numerous Top-Level Domains (“TLDs”) containing their trademarks PETPLAN in different variations.
The Complainant provides a wide range of pet insurance products for domestic and exotic pets globally. It offers pet insurance products under the PETPLAN trademarks and has spent a considerable amount of time and money protecting its intellectual property rights in promoting its activities and is the number one pet insurance provider winning a numerous awards.
The Disputed Domain Names resolve to pay-per-click websites with multiple third-party links for insurance products.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that the Disputed Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to its PETPLAN trademarks.
The Disputed Domain Name <gopetplans.com> contains the generic and descriptive term “go” that closely relates to and describes the Complainant’s business; in fact the term “go” has been added to the Complainant’s trademarks and it is used by the Complainant’s United States licensee for their website, “www.gopetplan.com”.
The Disputed Domain Name <wwwpetplan.com> is a misspelling of the Complainant’s PETPLAN trademark and must be considered confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. It wholly contains the Complainant’s PETPLAN trademark in combination with the well-known acronym for “World Wide Web” (“www”) as an extremely common prefix without inserting the period after this prefix and duplicate a common typing mistake made by Internet users.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Names.
The Complainant further argues that the Disputed Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Disputed Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names; and
(iii) the Disputed Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
These elements are discussed in turn below. Considering these elements, paragraph 15(a) of the Rules provides that the Panel shall decide on the basis of statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any other rules or principles of law that the Panel deems applicable.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
In the present case, the Disputed Domain Names incorporate the word “petplan” which is identical to the Complainant’s registered trademarks PETPLAN.
The Disputed Domain Name <gopetplans.com> includes the entire PETPLAN trademark, in addition to the generic and descriptive word “go”.
The Disputed Domain Name <wwwpetplan.com> consists of the Complainants trademark PETPLAN only with the letters “www” inserted in front of said mark.
The “www” is an acronym for “World Wide Web” and is by far the most used prefix in URL’s for web pages on the Internet, have no distinguishing capacity in the context of a domain name (EasyGroup IP Licensing Limited v. Amjad Kausar, WIPO Case No. D2003-0012).
The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
The first element of the Policy has been met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
According to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii), the Complainant has to demonstrate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Names.
The Respondent is not in any way affiliated with Complainant, nor has the Complainant authorized or licensed the Respondent to use its trademark, or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating the said trademark.
The Respondent has not provided the Complainant with any evidence demonstrating that the Respondent might be commonly known by the Disputed Domain Names, or that the Respondent has any registered trademarks or trade names corresponding to the Disputed Domain Names. The Respondent cannot claim that it is unaware of Complainant’s rights.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent lacks of any rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Names.
The second element of the Policy has, therefore, been met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Names well after the Complainant’s trademark became famous and well-known in many countries around the world.
Under Paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, a panel may find the registration and use of a disputed domain name where there is evidence that, by using it, a respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the linked website.
The actions of the Respondent in redirecting visitors to a competitor’s website will cause confusion to the customers as to the source, sponsorship and affiliation of that website.
In particular the use of the Disputed Domain Names suggests that the Respondent was perfectly aware of the Complainant’s trademarks because the Disputed Domain Names resolve to pay-per-click websites displaying sponsored links related to insurance products. The Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Names will cause consumers to erroneously believe that the Disputed Domain Names are owned or used by the Complainant.
The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent registered and is using the Disputed Domain Names in bad faith.
The third element of the Policy has, therefore, been 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 <gopetplans.com> and <wwwpetplan.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 16, 2016