WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Archer-Daniels-Midland Company v. Milavsha Mullayarova
Case No. D2017-0766
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Archer-Daniels-Midland Company of Decatur, Illinois, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Innis Law Group LLC, United States.
The Respondent is Milavsha Mullayarova of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <adm.life> is registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 14, 2017. On April 18, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 18, 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 April 28, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 18, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 22, 2017.
The Center appointed Alistair Payne as the sole panelist in this matter on June 2, 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 Complainant who commenced business in 1902 is a multinational conglomerate with a business that spans agricultural commodities and processing to printing, publishing, fuel, logistics, research and development, and financial and business management services. The Complainant adopted the ADM mark in or around 1923 and owns numerous trade mark registrations for this mark including United States word mark registration 1386430, registered on March 18, 1986 and Russian trade mark registration 196934, registered on December 4, 2000. The Complainant maintains an online presence through its website at “www.adm.com”.
The disputed domain name was registered on December 12, 2016. The disputed domain name resolves to a parking page displaying sponsored links and offering the disputed domain name for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it owns registered trade mark rights for its ADM mark as noted above. It says further that due to the size and scope of its diverse global business the ADM mark is famous or well known. In this regard, the Complainant points to the fact that it is the undisputed leader in the global agricultural commodity and processing industry and that its diversified business operates in 140 countries with 30,000 employees and global revenues in 2016 of USD 62.35 billion. It notes also that it began operations in the Russian Federation in 1980 and operates a business and regional sales office there.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name wholly incorporates its ADM mark without any distinguishing element prior to the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.life”. It says that the gTLD “.life” is non-distinctive in that it implies many things including family, health, community and culture and can be used in connection with many types of businesses in different industries. In view of the Complainant’s very diversified range of global businesses, it submits that the gTLD “.life” only serves to reinforce potential confusion with the Complainant and its businesses.
The Complainant says that it has not authorised or licensed the Respondent to use the disputed domain name or the ADM mark and to the best of its knowledge the Respondent has never been commonly known by the disputed domain name or made good faith preparations for its bona fide use and neither is it making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant submits that the Respondent is not making a good faith use of the disputed domain name as it is a cybersquatter who obtained it in bad faith for the purposes of re-sale or for benefitting commercially from click-through traffic.
As far as bad faith is concerned the Complainant maintains that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name containing the ADM mark to attract Internet traffic so as to fraudulently solicit Internet users to click on links at the website to which the disputed domain name resolves. The Complainant notes that the Respondent is also using the Complainant’s full name “Archer-Daniels-Midland Company” and the names of certain of its ADM divisions (“ADM Milling”, “ADM Alliance Nutrition”, “ADM Bid Grains”) in an attempt to associate itself with the Complainant’s various businesses and to trade on the goodwill attaching to the ADM mark. In addition, the Complainant submits that as the website at the disputed domain name is not being used for a business it is most likely that the disputed domain name was acquired for the purposes of re-sale at a profit.
Further, the Complainant says that based on the registration of the disputed domain name in December 2016, considering the degree of renown attaching to the ADM mark and the fact that other marks belonging to the Complainant are used on the website at the disputed domain name, it is apparent that the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant’s marks and business when it registered the disputed domain name and that this indicates registration in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated that it owns trade mark registrations in numerous countries for its ADM mark, including United States word mark registration 1386430 and Russian trade mark registration 196934. The disputed domain name wholly incorporates the Complainant’s ADM mark with the addition of no other element before the gTLD “.life”. The Panel does not consider that the use of the gTLD “.life” in this context in any way distinguishes the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s ADM mark (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0”), paragraph 1.11).
As a result, the Panel finds that the Complaint succeeds under the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is apparent that the Complainant operates a very substantial and diversified global business under its ADM mark, including in the Russian Federation and also uses the mark in connection with a number of its subsidiary businesses. On this basis, it appears to the Panel that the ADM mark has developed a high level of renown in connection with the Complainant’s business.
The Complainant has submitted that it has not authorized or licensed the Respondent to use the disputed domain name or the ADM mark and to the best of its knowledge that the Respondent has never been commonly known by the disputed domain name or made preparations for its bona fide use and is not making a fair or noncommercial use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has submitted that the Respondent is not making a good faith use of the disputed domain name as it is a cybersquatter who obtained it in bad faith for the purposes of re-sale, or for benefitting commercially from click-through traffic.
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. As the Respondent has not rebutted this case and for the reasons set out under part C below, the Panel finds that the Complaint also succeeds under this element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was registered in December 2016 by the Respondent based in the Russian Federation, by which time the Complainant was operating a very established global business under the ADM mark, including in the Russian Federation. The Complainant’s mark appears to have attracted a high degree of renown and a simple Internet search would have revealed the scope of the Complainant’s use of the mark in relation to its various businesses. With this in mind and considering that the Respondent does not appear to be making any use of the disputed domain name other than in relation to a site featuring sponsored links (including to the Complainant’s businesses) and which offers the disputed domain name for sale, the Panel infers that the Complainant registered the disputed domain name with knowledge of the Complainant’s mark and business.
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name for a website that features sponsored links featuring both the Complainant’s full name “Archer-Daniels-Midland Company” and the names of certain of its ADM divisions (“ADM Milling”, “ADM Alliance Nutrition”, “ADM Bid Grains”) and which lead to various third-party websites. In addition, the website at the disputed domain name features a notice that the disputed domain name may be for sale and this notice appears to be in both English and in Russian.
It is apparent that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name incorporating the Complainant’s ADM mark to attract Internet users to the website at the disputed domain name which features sponsored links. The fact that those sponsored links feature further uses of the Complainant’s ADM mark and corporate name and that the website also features an offer to sell the disputed domain name only reinforces the inference that the Respondent acquired and has used the disputed domain name for its own commercial benefit.
Under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, using a domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location is evidence of bad faith.The Panel finds that the Respondent’s use in this case amounts to use in terms of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy and is evidence of the Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Complaint also succeeds under this element 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 <adm.life> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 13, 2017