WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Vold Stehen Hansl
Case No. D2016-2326
1. The Parties
Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America (“United States”), represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States.
Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States / Vold Stehen Hansl of Washington, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <accentureaces.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 15, 2016. On November 16, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 17, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on November 18, 2016 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 22, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 28, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 18, 2016. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 19, 2016.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on December 29, 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 is an international business that provides management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services under the name ACCENTURE. Complainant is the owner of the ACCENTURE trademark and company name, and marks incorporating the ACCENTURE trademark, including the following US Trademark Registrations for the mark ACCENTURE:
Registration No. 3,091,811 Registered May 16, 2006
Registration No. 2,665,373 Registered December 24, 2002
Registration No. 3,340,780 Registered November 20, 2007
Registration No. 2,884,125 Registered September 14, 2004
Registration No. 3,862,419 Registered October 19, 2010 (including Design)
The ACCENTURE Mark has been recognized as a leading global brand in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Report since 2002 and by Millward Brown Optimor in its BrandZ – Top 100 Brand Ranking since 2006. For the past 14 years, Complainant has been listed in the Fortune Global 500, which ranks the world’s largest companies. In addition, Complainant has appeared in various other top rankings by Fortune, including in Fortune’s 100 World’s Most-Admired Companies in 2014.
Complainant submitted evidence with the Complaint establishing that Complainant’s ACCENTURE Mark is well-known globally.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 10, 2016, and currently resolves to a website featuring Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark and offering professional consulting services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to be entitled to a transfer of the disputed domain name:
(i) That the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) That Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) That the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations in the US and other countries for the mark ACCENTURE. The disputed domain name includes Complainant’s mark in its entirety, with the addition of the word “aces.” Complainant’s mark is the dominant feature of the disputed domain name and the term “aces” does not add any distinguishing feature.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Based on previous UDRP decisions, “a complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such a prima facie case is made, the burden shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such appropriate allegations or evidence, a complainant is generally deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the UDRP”. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 2.1.
Complainant’s allegations in the Complaint and evidence submitted on this issue are sufficient to make out a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent is not related in any way to Complainant’s business and has not been authorized by Complainant to use or apply for registration of the disputed domain name.
Respondent has not made use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Shortly after its registration, the disputed domain name resolved to a website which claimed that “ACCENTURE is a leading global processional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.” The language shown on the website at the disputed domain name was copied from Complainant’s website, and the images shown on the Respondent’s website, including Complainant’s registered trademark HIGH PERFORMANCE. DELIVERED, were copied from Complainant’s marketing materials.
At Complainant’s demand, Respondent removed from its website the infringing images and text it copied from Complainant but refused to transfer the disputed domain name.
Respondent has not submitted any evidence showing that it has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The current website at the disputed domain name does not constitute a legitimate noncommercial or fair use in view of the discussion below under the third element.
The Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists a number of circumstances that, without limitation, are deemed to be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. Circumstances that “shall be evidence” of bad faith include facts indicating an intentional attempt to attract for commercial gain Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with another’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website.
The widespread international recognition of Complainant’s trademark makes it highly unlikely that Respondent had no knowledge of Complainant’s trademark rights at the time of registering the disputed domain name. In addition, Respondent’s use of Complainant’s trademark at the top of the current website at the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith and shows that Respondent selected the disputed domain name in an effort to confuse consumers into believing it is associated or affiliated with Complainant, which is false. The website offers professional consulting services, which Complainant also offers. Accordingly, it is evident that Respondent uses the disputed domain name to intentionally attract Internet users to Respondent’s site for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s well-known trademark.
The Panel finds that Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <accentureaces.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: January 12, 2017