WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pet Plan Ltd v. Private Registration
Case No. D2017-1068
1. The Parties
Complainant is Pet Plan Ltd of Guildford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Private Registration of Sydney South, New South Wales, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <petplans.info> is registered with Crazy Domains FZ-LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 31, 2017. On June 1, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 2, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 9, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 29, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 30, 2017.
The Center appointed Sandra A. Sellers as the sole panelist in this matter on July 3, 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
Since 1976, Complainant has provided pet insurance for domestic and exotic pets in the United Kingdom and around the world, and insurance for pet care professionals and a pet finding service. Complainant is based in the United Kingdom. It also is licensed in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands. The Complainant has, inter alia, the United Kingdom trademark PETPLAN, registration number UK00002052294, registered on January 17, 1997. It has continually operated under the PETPLAN mark and has used the PETPLAN mark with its pet insurance products.
Complainant operates under its primary domain name <petplan.co.uk>, which was registered in August 1996.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on September 8, 2014, which is well after Complainant’s registration of its <petplan.co.uk> domain name, or registration of Complainant’s PETPLAN mark. The disputed domain name resolves to a blank page.
Respondent did not respond to the Complaint and was notified of its default on June 30, 2017.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that it has rights in the PETPLAN trademark. It contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark because it consists of Complainant’s PETPLAN mark in its entirety, and that the only difference between Complainant’s mark and the disputed domain name is the addition of the letter “s”. Complainant further alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that it registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to divest a respondent of a domain name, a complainant must demonstrate each of the following:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To satisfy paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, Complainant must show that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights.
As set forth above, Complainant owns various trademark registrations for the PETPLAN mark.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s PETPLAN mark. It contains Complainant’s PETPLAN mark in its entirety. The only difference between Complainant’s mark and the disputed domain name is the addition of the letter “s”. A domain name which contains a common or obvious misspelling of a trademark is confusingly similar to the mark where the misspelled trademark remains the dominant or principal component of the domain name. Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the PETPLAN mark and that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark. Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Because it is generally difficult for a complainant to prove the fact that a respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name, previous UDRP panels have found it sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie showing of its assertion where there has been no response.
Complainant has exclusive rights in the PETPLAN mark and has not authorized Respondent to register and use the disputed domain name <petplans.info>. Respondent is not affiliated with or related to Complainant, nor is Respondent licensed or authorized to use the PETPLAN mark. Respondent is not known under the mark. Respondent has made no showing that it has any legitimate interest in using the disputed domain name or a bona fide offering of goods or services under the mark. On the evidence before the Panel, Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel is satisfied that Complainant has made a prima facie showing of Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Respondent is in default, and has not provided any evidence in its own favor.
The Panel finds that the evidence in the record is sufficient to establish that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and thus Complainant meets the second criterion of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states that:
“for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor”
It is difficult to conceive that Respondent did not know of Complainant’s marks and products when Respondent registered the disputed domain name. As set forth above, the PETPLAN products are protected by various international trademark registrations. Complainant has used the PETPLAN mark for all of its products. All of this occurred before Respondent registered <petplans.info> on September 8, 2014. Further, the disputed domain name reverts to a blank page. Based on these facts, this Panel infers that Respondent was aware or must have been aware of Complainant’s mark when Respondent registered the disputed domain name, and therefore registered it in bad faith. See, e.g., Jupiters Limited v. Aaron Hall, WIPO Case No. D2000-0574, in which the panel found it “inevitable that [r]espondent registered the domain names in full knowledge of [c]omplainant’s rights and interests”.
Respondent has engaged in typosquatting by adding the letter “s” to Complainant’s PETPLAN mark, which might result from the Internet user’s inadvertent error in typing Complainant’s domain name. Typosquatting is considered “virtually per se registration and use in bad faith” Go Daddy Software, Inc. v. Daniel Hadani, WIPO Case No. D2002-0568. See alsoS.A.C.I. Falabella v. Hector Ramirez, WIPO Case No. DCO2015-0012 and cases sited therein. This prevents Complainant’s potential customers from finding Complainant’s products, which has the effect of disrupting Complainant’s business under Paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy. See, e.g., Neuberger Berman Inc. v. Alfred Jacobsen, WIPO Case No. D2000-0323.
Additionally, Complainant sent Respondent a cease-and-desist letter on November 17, 2014, and reminders on January 15, 2015, and January 26, 2015. Respondent did not reply. Respondent therefore was made aware of Complainant’s rights in the PETPLAN mark and Complainant’s demand that it transfer the disputed domain name to Complainant. A failure of a Respondent to respond to a cease-and desist-letter has been considered relevant in finding of bad faith (see News Group Newspapers Limited and News Network Limited v. Momm Amed Ia, WIPO Case No. D2000-1623; Nike, Inc. v. Azumano Travel, WIPO Case No. D2000-1598; and America Online, Inc. v. Antonio R. Diaz, WIPO Case No. D2000-1460).
This Panel finds that Respondent’s actions constitute registration and use in bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iii) 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, <petplans.info>, be transferred to Complainant.
Sandra A. Sellers
Date: July 7, 2017