WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Wade Adams (Middle East) Limited v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Ccc groups
Case No. D2017-1587
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Wade Adams (Middle East) Limited of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Clyde & Co., United Arab Emirates.
The Respondent is WhoIsGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. of Panama, Panama / Ccc groups of Aba, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wadeadam.com> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 15, 2017. On August 15, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 15 and August 17, 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 August 18, 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 August 22, 2017. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on August 24, 2017 notifying a formal deficiency in the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on August 24, 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 August 28, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 17, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 18, 2017.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on October 4, 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 a general construction and project management company operating in the Middle East with its principal offices located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (“UAE”). The Complainant has used the mark WADE ADAMS (the “Mark”) since 1976 in connection with its general construction and project management business. The Complainant obtained registration of the Mark in the UAE in 2014. The Complainant also holds numerous other registrations for the Mark, including the British Virgin Islands, Qatar and Oman. The Complainant owns and operates the commercial website “www.wadeadams.com” (“the Complainant’s website”) that promotes the Complainant’s business.
The disputed domain name was registered in July 11, 2017.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts the disputed domain name is substantial similar to the Complainant’s Mark because the disputed domain name merely deletes the ending letter “s” from the Complainant’s Mark. The Complainant asserts the Respondent was never authorized to use the disputed domain name or the Mark and that the Respondent has no legitimate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or the Mark. The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain was registered in bad faith as part of scheme entice unsuspecting persons to submit bogus employment applications to the Respondent.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Mark. Ignoring the disputed domain name’s generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) as we must, the only difference between the Mark and the disputed domain name is that the disputed domain name does not include the final letter “s” of the Mark. Such a minimal difference between the Mark and the disputed domain name is not sufficient to overcome a finding of confusingly similarity (see, Xerox Corp v. Stonybrook Investments, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2001-0380).
The Complainant has meet its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or the Mark. The Complainant has specially asserted that the Respondent was not authorized to use the Mark. There is no evidence of any bona fide business of the Respondent utilizing the Mark or the disputed domain name. The Respondent has failed to come forward with any evidence of rights or legitimate interests in the Mark or disputed domain name.
The Complainant has meet its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds the disputed domain name was registered and is used in bad faith. The disputed domain name resolves to the Respondent’s website that is an exact copy of the Complainant’s website, even ironically including the Complainant’s copyright notice. The Respondent’s website, however, changed the contact telephone number on the website and then placed the Respondent’s email address in the employment vacancies section. The Respondent’s apparent purpose is to lure unsuspecting persons who believe themselves to be in contact with the Complainant. Indeed, the Complainant has submitted evidence of persons who wished to obtain employment with the Complainant who used the Respondent’s fraudulent website contact information. The Respondent’s sinister strategy clearly demonstrates bad faith registration and use. See e.g. BHP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd. V. Oloyi, WIPO Case No. D2017-0284 (“Using a domain name for an email account from which to send spurious, unauthorized job offers cannot, in the Panel's view, give rise to rights or legitimate interests in respect of the [disputed] domain name.”).
The Complainant has met its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(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 <wadeadam.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. Hamilton
Date: October 15, 2017