WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZB, N.A. dba Zions First National Bank v. Sool Suum
Case No. D2017-0770
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 Sool Suum of Taipei, Taiwan Province of China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <zionsbank.info> 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 April 20, 2017. On April 21, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 21, 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 May 3, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 23, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on May 26, 2017.
The Center appointed Sir Ian Barker 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 has offered banking and financial services on a comprehensive scale under the ZIONS mark since 1891. Its head office is in Salt Lake City, Utah and it trades nationally in the United States as "Zions First National Bank".
The Complainant is the owner of the following United States registered trademarks:
(a) ZIONS registered on August 29, 2000 registration number 2,380,325;
(b) ZIONS BANK registered on August 29, 2000 registration number 2,381,006; and
(c) ZIONSBANK.COM registered on January 22, 2002 registration number 2,531,436.
The Complainant's parent company was the original registrant of the above trademarks which were subsequently assigned to the Complainant. The Complainant's parent company is the registrant of the domain name <zionsbank.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 15, 2010. No explanation was offered by the Complainant for the fact that the Complaint was filed more than 7 years later. The disputed domain name resolves to a parking page.
The Complainant or its affiliates has prevailed in many UDRP proceedings about domain names where the Complainant's registered trademarks were confusingly similar to a disputed domain name. For example, see ZB, N.A., dba Zions First National Bank v Qiang Shan/Shan Qiang ( WIPO Case No. D2016-2402 for the domain name <zionsvank.com>.
The Complainant gave the Respondent no authority to reflect its trademarks in the disputed domain name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademarks ZIONS and ZIONSBANK.COM and identical to the Complainant's registered trademark ZIONSBANK.
The Complainant gave the Respondent no authority to reflect any of its trademarks in the disputed domain name. None of the situations mentioned in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applies to the Respondent.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The registration of a name identical to one of the Complainant's trademarks and confusingly similar to others indicates an attempt to disrupt the Complainant's business and take advantage of the fame and goodwill of the Complainant's trademarks.
The disputed domain name by its very name creates the likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's marks and suggests some sort of affiliation with or authorization from the Complainant to the Respondent to reflect the Complainant's marks in a domain name.
The Complainant's trademarks were in use and well-known at the time of registration of the disputed domain name. This use of the trademarks by the Respondent tarnishes them. Use of a "parking" site for any advertising links means that the responsibility for the contents of such links rests with the Respondent.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to be entitled to a transfer of a domain name, a complainant shall prove the following three elements:
(i) The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
(ii) The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
To be successful, the Complainant must prove in this administrative proceeding that each of the aforesaid three elements is present (paragraph 4(a) of the Policy).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant's trademark ZIONS BANK and confusingly similar to the Complainant's other two trademarks. The practice of disregarding the Top-Level Domain ("TLD") under the confusing similarity is applied irrespective of the TLD. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0"), paragraph 1.11.2.
Accordingly, paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant gave the Respondent no authority of any sort to reflect its trademarks in a domain name.
This fact and the circumstances of the present case satisfy paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy in the absence of any response or evidence from the Respondent.
The Respondent could have claimed that one of the situations envisaged by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applied to the registration of the disputed domain name, e.g., by invoking paragraph 4(c) of the Policy to the satisfaction of the Panel that one of its three provisions applied in this case. However, the Respondent has chosen not to do so, and the Complainant has met its burden. The Complainant's claim that it gave the Respondent no authority is not challenged by the Respondent.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Therefore, paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Bad faith registration and use are clear inferences from the following facts:
(a) The Complainant's marks have been well-known for many years and the Respondent's registration of an identical domain name to the trademarks show that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. The Respondent must have known about the Complainant and its extensive banking business.
(b) The "parking" site accessed by the disputed domain name in these circumstances connotes bad faith. The circumstances include the distinctiveness and reputation of the Complainant's marks; identical domain name to the Complainant's mark; the failure of the Respondent to present any evidence of good faith use; the implausibility of any good faith use of the disputed domain name. See WIPO Overview 3.0, paragraph 3.3.
(c) The very nature of the disputed domain name indicates to Internet users that the Complainant gave the Respondent some authorization to reflect its trademarks in a domain name. Such inference is inherently disruptive to the Complainant's business.
This is a blatant case of cybersquatting and bad faith is obvious.
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is satisfied.
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 <zionsbank.info> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sir Ian Barker
Date: June 16, 2017