WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Wiltons Holdings Limited v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Joham Brolin
Case No. D2017-1161
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Wiltons Holdings Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Mishcon de Reya Solicitors, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org of Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America (“United States”) / Joham Brolin of Ariege, France.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <johambro.com> is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 13, 2017. On June 13, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 13, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on June 21, 2017 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on June 26, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 June 27, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 17, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 18, 2017.
The Center appointed Jonas Gulliksson as the sole panelist in this matter on July 25, 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 is the owner of two United Kingdom trademark registrations for J.O. HAMBRO, reg. no. UK00001514153, registered for services in class 35 and reg. no. UK00001514154 registered for services in class 36, with filing dates September 25, 1992 and registration dates January 19, 1996.
The Complainant licenses the trademarks to J O Hambro Capital Management Limited, an investment and asset management company, which uses them in its business.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 27, 2017. It does not resolve to any active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant mainly alleges the following.
The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks J.O. HAMBRO.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name. No consent has been given by the Complainant to the Respondent’s use of the trademark nor is there any commercial link between the Complainant and the Respondent. There is no evidence of any bona fide offering of goods or services on the Respondent’s website.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent is intentionally for commercial gain using the Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name as part of a fraud scheme to dupe visitors to the Respondent’s website out of their money. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to mislead visitors for commercial gain and is tarnishing the Complainant’s trademark. The disputed domain name was registered for the purpose of conducting fraud.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainant has the burden of proving each of the following three elements under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to be entitled to a transfer of the disputed domain name:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The only difference between the Complainant’s trademark J.O. HAMBRO and the disputed domain name is the absence of the two dots, the space between the last dot and HAMBRO and the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. These differences are not sufficient to differentiate the disputed domain name from the Complainant’s trademark J.O. HAMBRO. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks and the first requirement of the Policy is consequently fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In cases where a Respondent fails to present a response, the Complainant is still required to make a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), paragraph 2.1., and The Vanguard Group, Inc. v. Lorna Kang, WIPO Case No. D2002-1064 and Berlitz Investment Corp. v. Stefan Tinculescu, WIPO Case No. D2003-0465.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered after the filing and registration of the Complainant’s trademark registrations and notes that the Complainant asserts that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for a fraudulent purpose. The Panel consequently finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not rebutted the Complainant’s allegations. The Panel therefore finds the second requirement of the Policy fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In the Panel’s opinion the arguments and evidence presented by the Complainant supports a finding of bad faith. The Complainant evidenced that the Respondent sent fraudulent emails to the Complainant’s customers and invited them to transfer money into fictitious investment opportunities, using the Complainant’s trademark J.O. HAMBRO and the disputed domain name and impersonating its employees. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name for fraud constitutes bad faith according to the Panel and since the disputed domain name was registered for this purpose the Panel finds that also the registration was conducted in bad faith. The third requirement of the Policy is therefore fulfilled.
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 <johambro.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 8, 2017