WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
CURO Group Holdings Corp. v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp.
Case No. D2017-0366
1. The Parties
The Complainant is CURO Group Holdings Corp. of Wichita, Kansas, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Berkowitz Oliver LLP Law Firm, United States of America.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp. of Nassau, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <speedycashnearme.com> is registered with Internet Domain Service BS Corp (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 23, 2017. On February 23, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 24, 2017, 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 March 8, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 28, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 29, 2017.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on April 3, 2017. 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 Complaint is a United States corporation specialized, amongst other services, in providing short-term loans and financial services to consumers.
The Complainant is the owner of the United States trademark SPEEDY CASH (Reg. No. 3563682; registered on January 20, 2009), the United States trademark SPEEDY CA$H (Reg. No. 2677082; registered on January 21, 2003), the United States trademark SC SPEEDY CA$H (Reg. No. 2966547; registered on July 12, 2005), the United States trademark RC RAPID CA$H (Reg. No. 3909801; registered on January 25, 2011) and the United States trademark RAPID CASH (Reg. No. 3909800; registered on January 25, 2011).
The disputed domain name was registered on January 9, 2017. The disputed domain name resolves to a website which appears to offer short-term loans and financial services to consumers.
5. Parties’ Contentions
In summary, the Complainant contends the following:
The disputed domain name comprises the name “Speedy Cash”, which is the distinctive heart of all of the Complainant’s trademarks. The only additional word used in the disputed domain name is the generic descriptor “Near Me”. The Respondent has no rights and legitimation to use the disputed domain name because the Complainant has not granted any authorization.
The use of the disputed domain name is not only unauthorized, it is by all appearances fraudulent and malicious. The Respondent has no known connection to the name adopted as its domain name. The Respondent purports to be a “lender search service” that allows customers to us a “single application submission” to find an immediate loan, similarly to the Complainant’s website.
The Respondent’s website also contains links that reinforce a mistaken belief in prospective customers that they are on the Complainant’s website, as the link titles include the “Speedy Cash” name, but in actuality lead to other content of the Respondent.
The disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith to trade on Complainant’s intellectual property rights and goodwill, and to confuse consumers. The bad faith becomes manifest under the circumstance that the disputed domain name is an unlawful replacement for the “www.speedycashreviews.com” website. The “speedycashreviews.com” website was subsequently taken down after the Complainant sent a cease and desist letter. The disputed domain name closely mirrors the now-defunct “speedcashreviews.com” website, including, without limitation, the description of services and the link titles including the “Speedy Cash” name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark SPEEDY CASH and the terms “near me”. According to the consensus view of UDRP panels, the addition of a generic, descriptive or geographical term such as “near me” to a trademark in a domain name is normally insufficient in itself to avoid a finding of confusing similarity (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), paragraph 1.9). This is all the more true here since the terms “near me” could be related to the Complainant’s business.
The Complainant has thus fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The website to which the disputed domain name resolves appears to display content related to providing short-term loans and financial services to consumers.
There are no indications before the Panel of any right or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name.
Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions and the Panel’s findings regarding registration and use in bad faith, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is well established that the use of a domain name to display information aimed to create confusion with the Complainant is considered as bad faith (see DFDS A/S v. Milena Yurevna Valenskaya, WIPO Case No. D2012-0840; Texts From Last Night, Inc. v. WhoIs Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Wang Shaopeng, WIPO Case No. D2011-1266; Bluewater Rubber & Gasket Co v. Mrs Sian Jones / Easyspace Privacy, WIPO Case No. D2010-2112). In consideration of the evidence submitted by the Complainant, this Panel is satisfied that the Respondent copied the website of the Complainant, another provider of short-term loans and financial services. The Respondent’s website contains similar wording as Complainant’s website and links that reinforce a mistaken belief in prospective customers that they are on the Complainant’s website. In the absence of evidence to the contrary and any response from the Respondent, the reproduction of another’s website and the indication of false information constitutes bad faith and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established the Respondent’s bad faith under 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 <speedycashnearme.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 13, 2017