WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZB, N.A dba Zions First National Bank v. Name West
Case No. D2017-0805
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZB, N.A dba Zions First National Bank of Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America (“USA” or “United States”), represented by TechLaw Ventures, PLLC, USA.
The Respondent is Name West of Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <zionsbnak.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (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 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 May 1, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 21, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 22, 2017.
The Center appointed Sir Ian Barker as the sole panelist in this matter on June 1, 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 1890. 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 ZIONS BANK mark has been used in commerce since 1992 and the ZIONSBANK.COM mark has been used in commerce since 1995.
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 July 25, 2013. The disputed domain name redirects to a Yahoo search page that references various banking terms and includes links to financial services offered by competitors of the Complainant.
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 marks.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. None of the situations envisaged by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy applies to the Respondent.
The Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Respondent is trying to exploit the goodwill of the Complainant and its trademarks by diverting potential customers to its website when those customers make a mistake in typing the Complainant’s name. The Respondent is guilty of “typosquatting”. The Respondent should have known of the wide use of the Complainant’s marks. The resolution of the disputed domain name to a parking or landing page is not permissible where, as here, the links are to the products and services of the Complainant’s competitors.
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 confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks. This is a classic case of typosquatting where a domain name is identical to a trademark except for the addition, deletion, transposition or substitution of a letter. Here, the trademark is ZIONS BANK and the disputed domain name is <zionsbnak.com>. The letters “a” and “n” in the trademark have been transposed in the disputed domain name.
In very many UDRP cases such typosquatting has been held to constitute confusing similarity. See paragraph 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0”).
“A domain name which consists of a common, obvious or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for the purposes of the first element.”
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, the Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The trademarks were registered and used by the Complainant long before the disputed domain name was registered. The fact that the disputed domain name is a deliberate misspelling of the trademark shows that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its rights at the time of registration of the disputed domain name. Thus, the Panel finds the registration to have been in bad faith.
The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name is also clearly in bad faith. The website accessed by the disputed domain name misleads Internet users away from the Complainant, including possible diversion of the Complainant’s customers to competitors.
The misspelling of the trademark creates a likelihood of confusion and visitors to the website may otherwise think that they are on a legitimate website or at least one connected with the Complainant.
Consequently, there is obvious bad faith registration and use and 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 <zionsbnak.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sir Ian Barker
Date: June 7, 2017