WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Proton Technologies AG v. Domains By Proxy, LLC / Will iam Decrypt
Case No. D2017-1606
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Proton Technologies AG of Plan les Ouates, Switzerland, internally represented.
The Respondent is Domains By Proxy, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America ("United States") / Will iam Decrypt of Hamburg, Germany.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <protonwallet.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 17, 2017. On August 18, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 21, 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 24, 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 28, 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 30, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 19, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 22, 2017.
The Center appointed Edoardo Fano as the sole panelist in this matter on October 2, 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.
The Panel has not received any requests from the Complainant or the Respondent regarding further submissions, waivers or extensions of deadlines, and the Panel has not found it necessary to request any further information from the Parties.
Having reviewed the communication records in the case file provided by the Center, the Panel finds that the Center has discharged its responsibility under the Rules, paragraph 2(a), "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent". Therefore, the Panel shall issue its Decision based upon the Complaint, the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules and without the benefit of a response from the Respondent.
The language of the proceeding is English, being the language of the Registration Agreement, as per paragraph 11(a) of the Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is Proton Technologies AG, a Swiss Corporation providing services such as secure email, VPN, encryption and online data storage.
The Complainant owns several registrations for the trademark PROTON combined with other words, among which the following trademark registrations in United States:
- United States Trademark Registration No. 4751245 PROTONMAIL, registered on June 9, 2015;
- United States Trademark Registration No. 4754889 PROTONMAIL and design, registered on June 16, 2015.
The Complainant has also submitted the following applications:
- United States Trademark Application No. 86889303 PROTON VPN, filed on January 28, 2016;
- United States Trademark Application No. 86866906 PROTONDRIVE, filed on January 6, 2016.
The Complainant provided evidence in support of the above.
The disputed domain name <protonwallet.com> was registered on February 24, 2017. At the time of filing the Complaint, the website at the disputed domain name was used to market a digital wallet for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant states that the disputed domain name <protonwallet.com> is confusingly similar to its trademarks PROTONMAIL, PROTONDRIVE and PROTON VPN, as the word "wallet" is not sufficient to differentiate the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademarks of which the term "proton" is the distinguishing element.
Moreover, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name since the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor is the Respondent making a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith because, by reproducing the Complainant's graphic trademark and color theme, the Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract for illicit commercial gain Internet users to the website at the disputed domain name, creating a false impression of sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent's website by the Complainant. Moreover, the complainant argues that the website displays an online login form, not functioning, and that this might be linked to phishing purposes.
The Respondent has made no reply to the Complainant's contentions and is in default. In reference to paragraphs 5(f) and 14 of the Rules, no exceptional circumstances explaining the default have been put forward or are apparent from the record.
A respondent is not obliged to participate in a proceeding under the Policy, but if it fails to do so, reasonable facts asserted by a complainant may be taken as true, and appropriate inferences, in accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, may be drawn (see, e.g., Reuters Limited v. Global Net 2000, Inc, WIPO Case No. D2000-0441; Microsoft Corporation v. Freak Films Oy, WIPO Case No. D2003-0109; SSL INTERNATIONAL PLC v. MARK FREEMAN, WIPO Case No. D2000-1080; ALTAVISTA COMPANY v. GRANDTOTAL FINANCES LIMITED et. al., WIPO Case No. D2000-0848; Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel, Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe v. Marketing Total S.A., WIPO Case No. D2007-0288).
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists three elements, which the Complainant must satisfy in order to succeed:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(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
The Panel finds that the Complainant is the owner of the trademark PROTONMAIL where the "PROTON" part is the most distinctive element of the trademark, and that the disputed domain name <protonwallet.com> is confusingly similar to the trademark PROTONMAIL as the addition of the word "wallet" is not sufficient to distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's trademark.
It is also well accepted that a generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") suffix, in this case ".com", may be ignored when assessing the similarity between a trademark and a domain name (see, e.g., VAT Holding AG v. Vat.com, WIPO Case No. D2000-0607).
The Panel finds that the Complainant has therefore met its burden of proving that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has failed to file a response in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5.
The Complainant in its Complaint and as set out above has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It asserts that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The prima facie case presented by the Complainant is enough to shift the burden of production to the Respondent to demonstrate that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not presented any evidence of any rights or legitimate interests it may have in the disputed domain name, and the Panel is unable to establish any such rights or legitimate interests on the basis of the evidence in front of it.
The Panel therefore finds that paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that "for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, 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:
(i) circumstances indicating that [the respondent has] registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) that [the respondent has] registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that [the respondent has] engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) that [the respondent has] registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [the respondent's] web site or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [the respondent's] website or location or of a product or service on [the respondent's] web site or location."
As regards to the registration in bad faith of the disputed domain name, the reputation of the Complainant's trademark PROTONMAIL in the field of online security products and services is clearly established and the Panel finds that the Respondent knew or must have known that the disputed domain name <protonwallet.com> was confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark, especially because the content of the relevant website fully referred to online encrypted services with reproductions of the Complainant's trademark with the most distinctive element PROTON, logo and color.
In addition, the disputed domain name was also used in bad faith since at the website, the Respondent was offering online cryptography services using the Complainant's trademark, logo and color.
The above suggests to the Panel that the Respondent intentionally registered and is using the disputed domain name in order to create confusion with the Complainant's trademarks and attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has presented evidence to satisfy its burden of proof with respect to the issue of whether the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel therefore finds that paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied.
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 <protonwallet.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 12, 2017