WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Heymann Frams Tech
Case No. D2017-1591
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Dublin, Ireland, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America ("United States").
The Respondent is Heymann Frams Tech of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <accenture-global.com> (the "Domain Name') is registered with 1&1 Internet SE (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 16, 2017. On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On August 17, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response 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 21, 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 22, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 11, 2017. The Center received email communications from a third party on August 31, 2017 and September 11, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties on September 13, 2017 that it would proceed to appoint a panel.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on September 23, 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 an international business that has provided management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services under the name ACCENTURE since January 2001. Its principal place of business is in Dublin, Ireland. The Complainant owns and operates the websites at "www.accenture.com" (registered on August 30, 2000) and "www.accentureglobal.com". As a result of its activities, offering wide-ranging services from its offices worldwide, ACCENTURE has been recognised as a leading global brand. The Complainant expended worldwide between USD 65 million and 77 milllion on advertising annually between 2009 and 2015.
The Complainant (with its group companies) is the proprietor of more than 1,000 trademark registrations around the world comprising "Accenture" including United States trademark number 3,091,811 ACCENTURE registered on May 16, 2006 and European Union trademark number 1958370 in respect of the stylized word ACCENTURE filed on November 16, 2000 and registered on August 13, 2002.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on August 3, 2017. It does not resolve to an active website. The Respondent has used the Domain Name to create an email address in the name of the Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") of the Complainant ([…]@accenture-global.com) and to send an email posing to be from the CEO to a senior executive of the Complainant in the following terms:
Are you in your office? We would like you to take care of a situation for us in the United States.
Kindly write back and let me know you are available.
Chief Executive Officer – Accenture PLC"
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its ACCENTURE trademarks (the "Mark"), that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the 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 Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the Mark, both by virtue of its numerous trademark registrations around the world and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its widespread use of the mark over a number of years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com", the Domain Name differs from the trademark only by the addition of a hyphen and the word "global". In the view of the Panel, these additions do not detract from the confusing similarity between the Complainant's mark and the Domain Name. Indeed, these additions heighten the likelihood of confusion since the Complainant's corporate name similarly incorporates the term "global". Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has not used the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Panel accepts the Complainant's submission that it is impossible to conceive of any legitimate use to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name. The Respondent has used the Domain Name to create an email address posing as that of the CEO of the Complainant. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the nature of the Domain Name, the Panel is in no doubt that the Respondent had the Complainant and its Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. As noted above, the Panel cannot conceive of any legitimate use to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name. In the Panel's view, the email sent by the Respondent set out above is most likely to have been the initial move in an attempted "CEO Fraud", that is an attempt to deceive an employee of a company to pay away money to a fraudster in the mistaken belief that they are being instructed to do so by the CEO of the company, often under the pretext that the funds are required urgently and the CEO is not available to give a full explanation as to the urgent need for the funds to be transferred. The obvious inference in any event is that the Respondent registered the Domain Name for commercial gain with a view to taking unfair advantage of the Complainant's rights in the Mark, by confusing Internet users (including recipients of emails) into believing that the Domain Name was being operated by or authorized by the Complainant for legitimate purposes related to the Complainant's activities. The Panel is in no doubt that this amounts to paradigm bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <accenture-global.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 26, 2017