WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp.
Case No. D2017-1011
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC of New York, New York, United States of America (“USA”) represented by Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, USA.
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp. of Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <marcusbygoldmansachsloans.com> (the “Domain Name”) 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 May 22, 2017. The Center sent its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on May 23, 2017. The Registrar replied on May 25, 2017, confirming that the Domain Name is registered with it, that the Respondent is the current registrant, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”) applies, that the Domain Name will expire on February 21, 2018 and is now locked, and that the language of the registration agreement is English. The Registrar also provided the full contact details held on its database in respect of the Domain Name.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the 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 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 30, 2017. Delivery of the notification was confirmed by signature. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was June 19, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 20, 2017.
The Center appointed Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on June 26, 2017. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with paragraph 7 of the Rules. Having reviewed the file, the Panel is satisfied that the Complaint complies with applicable formal requirements, was duly notified to the Respondent, and has been submitted to a properly constituted Panel in accordance with the UDRP, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management business. Its business was founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs and has operated under the name Goldman Sachs since then. The Complainant has registered GOLDMAN SACHS as a mark in the USA (for instance, USA Trademark Registration No. 1975880, registered on May 28, 1996) and other countries around the world.
The Complainant has operated a consumer loan division under the name Marcus By Goldman Sachs since at least October 2016 and has registered MARCUS BY GOLDMAN SACHS as a mark in the USA, the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Complainant has stated that this name was chosen in honor of the co-founder of its business. The Complainant operates websites at “www.marcusbygoldmansachs.com” and “www.marcus.com”.
The Domain Name was registered on February 21, 2017. The Domain Name is directed to a website that promotes a business or purported business offering personal loans under the name “Marcus By Goldman Sachs”. The pages of the Respondent’s website display “marcus.com” in a banner and provide “[…]@Marcus.com” as a support contact address. The website invites consumers to apply for a personal loan by providing their personal data through a web form.
Following the Complainant’s discovery of the Respondent’s website on February 21, 2017, the Complainant’s counsel sent cease and desist letters by email to the Respondent on March 8, March 16 and April 3, 2017, but did not receive any reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that it has rights in the marks GOLDMAN SACHS and MARCUS BY GOLDMAN SACHS by virtue of its registration and use of them; and that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to them.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. According to the Complainant, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name is not in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, but rather is for a fraudulent phishing scheme to obtain the personal data of consumers for improper purposes by deceiving them into believing that the Respondent’s website is that of the Complainant. The Complainant points out that its registration and use of the mark GOLDMAN SACHS long predates the Respondent’s registration and use of the Domain Name and that the Respondent has no relevant proprietary rights. It adds that it has not consented to the Respondent’s use of its marks and that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name or any corresponding name.
The Complainant alleges that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith to free ride off its goodwill and to carry out a phishing scam.
The Complainant seeks a decision that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
As stated above, the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove: (i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark or marks in which it has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. It is appropriate to consider each of these requirements in turn.
In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate from the Respondent’s default in failing to file a response. This includes the acceptance of plausible evidence of the Complainant which has not been disputed.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds on the evidence that the Complainant has rights in the marks GOLDMAN SACHS and MARCUS BY GOLDMAN SACHS by virtue of registration and use. The Panel is also satisfied that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to these marks, which it incorporates in their entirety. The addition of the descriptive term “loans” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) suffix “.com” provide no distinction. Many Internet users would assume that the Domain Name belongs to and locates a website of the Complainant. The first requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds on the undisputed evidence that the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name has not been for a bona fide offering of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair purpose. On the contrary, the Respondent has used the Domain Name in bad faith to carry out a phishing scam, attempting to obtain personal data from consumers who are misled by the Domain Name and other use of the Complainant’s marks on the Respondent’s website into believing that this website is that of the Complainant.
It is also evident that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, has not been authorized by the Complainant to use it, and has no other rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
The second requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
As stated above, the Panel finds on the undisputed evidence that the Respondent has used the Domain Name in bad faith to carry out a phishing scam on consumers who are misled by the Domain Name into believing that it locates a website of the Complainant for the Complainant’s personal loans business. The Panel infers that the Domain Name was registered for this purpose. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
All three requirements of the UDRP are satisfied and it is appropriate to direct that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name, <marcusbygoldmansachsloans.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 5, 2017