WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


CNO Financial Group, Inc. v. Name Redacted

Case No. D2017-1544

1. The Parties

The Complainant is CNO Financial Group, Inc. of Carmel, Indiana, United States of America ("United States"), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Name Redacted.1

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain name <cnoincgroup.com> is registered with the Registrar, PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com. The disputed domain name <cnoincgroup.net> is registered with the Registrar, AlpNames Limited.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 9, 2017. On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On August 10, 2017, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center their verification responses confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent's contact details. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on August 18, 2017.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 August 21, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 10, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties on September 11, 2017, that it would proceed to appoint the panelist in this proceeding.

The Center appointed Richard G. Lyon as the sole panelist in this matter on September 19, 2017. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted and has jurisdiction to decide this administrative proceeding. The Panel has submitted his 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 1982 the Complainant provides financial services, principally insurance, in the United States. In 2010 the Complainant changed its name from Conseco, Inc., to CNO. The Complainant holds trademarks, duly registered on the principal register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") for CNO (first registered 2010) and CNO Financial Group (2011). It had revenues in excess of USD 3.9 billion in 2016. The Complainant's principal website is "www.cnoinc.com".

Both disputed domain names were registered in 2017 using the name of one of the Complainant's executive officers. One resolves to an error page and the other to a blank screen.

5. Parties' Contentions

The Complainant contends that both disputed domain names, which add only the word "group" and the common abbreviation for "incorporated" to the dominant feature of the Complainant's marks, are confusingly similar to its USPTO-registered marks, that the Respondent lacks rights or a legitimate interest in those marks, and that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith, specifically in furtherance of an identity theft/phishing scheme.

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Each disputed domain name is plainly confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered marks. There is no evidence that the Complainant has licensed the Respondent to use its marks, that the Respondent has been commonly known by the marks' dominant feature CNO, or that the Respondent otherwise has a right in that phrase. The Complainant has carried its evidentiary burden under paragraphs 4(a)(i) and (ii) of the Policy.

Use of domain names as part of a phishing scheme, if proven, demonstrates bad faith. Here the Complainant has included correspondence from a third party complaining of impersonation and a suspicious (to put it mildly) email dispatched from an address at the disputed domain name <cnoincgroup.com>, and a copy of its annual report that confirms the Respondent's use of the name of the Complainant's officer in the contact information provided. That latter fact is enough to demonstrate both knowledge at registration of the Complainant and its marks and an intent to profit, albeit under the table, off the Complainant's good name and marks. This Panel has no trouble imputing similar knowledge and intent with respect to the second disputed domain name <cnoincgroup.net>, especially since the registrant furnished the same phony contact name. Bad faith in both registration and use has therefore been proven.

7. Decision

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 names <cnoincgroup.com> and <cnoincgroup.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Richard G. Lyon
Sole Panelist
Date: September 28, 2017

1 The Respondent appears to have used the name of a person employed by the Complainant in the registration of the disputed domain names. In light of this potential identity theft, the Panel has redacted the Respondent's name from the caption and body of this Decision. Attached as Annex 1 to this Decision is the Panel's instruction to the Registrars regarding transfer of the disputed domain names, including the Respondent's name. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, but has indicated that Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published due to the circumstances of this case.