WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZB, N.A., dba Zions First National Bank v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp.
Case No. D2017-0386
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZB, N.A., dba Zions First National Bank of Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America (“United States”), represented by TechLaw Ventures, PLLC, United States.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp. of Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ziionsbank.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 24, 2017. On February 27, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 3, 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 13, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 2, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 3, 2017.
The Center appointed Desmond J. Ryan as the sole panelist in this matter on April 11, 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 disputed domain name was created on February 1, 2006.
The Complainant is a banking and financial institution located in Utah, United States of America. It is a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation and has carried on business under the name “Zions First National Bank” since June 12, 1891. The Complainant advertises and offers its banking services from a website at <zionsbank.com>, a domain name owned by its parent company.
The Complainant is the registered owner, by assignment from Zions Bancorporation, of United States Trade Mark Registrations for ZIONS BANK, ZIONSBANK.COM, and ZIONS, each registered in respect of a range of banking and financial services and dating from August 2000 and January 2002.
According to sworn evidence provided by the Complainant, as at the time of filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved on some occasions to an Internet search results page providing links of providers of financial services including those of the Complainant’s competitors but also on subsequent attempts was redirected to a website that contained a link “Click Check” an adware plug-in, indicating the possible presence of some type of malware.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions may be summarized as follows:
(a) The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trade mark ZIONS BANK with the addition of the letter “i”. It is therefore a form of “typosquatting” and is confusingly similarly to the Complainant’s trade marks.
(b) The Complainant, and its predecessors in business, is a well-known banking and financial institution which has carried on business under a name including the word “Zions” since at least 1891.
(c) There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made preparations for use of the disputed domain name in connection with the offering of bona fide goods or services; instead the disputed domain name leads to a website that displays the Complainant’s trade marks and requests the user to submit information that could lead to the download of a deceptive and intrusive adware program.
(d) The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant and is not otherwise authorised to use the Complainant’s marks.
(e) There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
(f) The Respondent’s use of the dispute domain name is not a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
(g) The disputed domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant and the Respondent is attempting to exploit the goodwill of the Complainant by diverting customers to the Respondent’s website for commercial gain or malicious purposes by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trade marks.
(h) The use of the disputed domain name is misleading and the Respondent may be using it in connection with phishing and fraudulent activities which may tarnish the Complainant’s trade marks.
(i) The Complainant or its affiliates have prevailed in several prior Complaints for domain names that have included the Complainant’s trade marks. The Complainant cites 26 prior WIPO cases, many of which involve typosquatting, including, for example, ZB, N.A., a National Banking Association, dba Zions First National Bank v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp., WIPO Case No. D2016-0741, involving the present Respondent where the disputed domain name was <zionsbznk.com>.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has provided evidence of longstanding United States Trade Mark Registrations comprising the word “Zions”. The disputed domain name includes the Complainant’s “ZIONS” and “ZIONS BANK” trade marks. The addition of an extra letter “i” does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trade marks. It is well established that the addition of the top-level suffix “.com” likewise does not normally serve to distinguish a domain name from a similar trade mark (see WIPO Overview of Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) paragraph 1.3).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to trade marks in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that it has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its trade marks or marks confusingly similar to its trade marks. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is plainly not a use in the offering of bona fide goods or services nor is it a noncommercial or fair use. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Respondent had the opportunity to rebut the Complainant’s evidence and assertions but it did not do so.
The Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name comprises the Complainant’s trade mark and the name under which it has operated for over a century, and includes the name of the industry in which it operates. This provides a strong indication that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the Complainant in mind and with the intention to take advantage of a typographical error on the part of Internet users seeking to access the Complainant’s website. This indication of intent is strongly reinforced by the use to which the disputed domain name has been put.
As explained above, the Complainant’s evidence shows that the disputed domain name is used to resolve alternately to a search page listing links which include links to competitors of the Complainant or to a page incorporating the Complainant’s trade marks and inviting the user to follow links which may lead to the installation of disruptive adware or damaging malware. Such use is, in either event, use for commercial gain or use for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant. In the Panel’s view, the Complainant has provided sufficient evidence to establish, on the balance of probabilities, the circumstances set forth in paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and (iv) of the Policy.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used 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 <ziionsbank.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Desmond J. Ryan AM
Date: April 27, 2017