WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. v. Host4group
Case No. D2017-1607
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. of Houston, Texas, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Polsinelli PC Law firm, United States.
The Respondent is Host4group, of Cape Town, South Africa, internally represented.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <halliburtonltd.com> (the "Domain Name"), is registered with NetEarth One Inc. d/b/a NetEarth (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 Domain Name. On August 18, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that 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 23, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 12, 2017. On August 28, September 12 and September 15, 2017, the Center received email communications from the Respondent. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties of the commencement of the panel appointment process on September 15, 2017.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on October 3, 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.
On October 13, 2017, the Complainant submitted an unsolicited supplemental filing. The Panel has elected not to admit it in the absence of any special reason being given for accepting it.
On October 19, 2017 the Panel issued Procedural Order No. 1 in the following terms:
"The Panel has reviewed the case file and notes that on August 28, 2017, and on September 12, 2017, the Center received email communications from the registrant of record of the disputed domain name <halliburtonltd.com>, in which the registrant asserts that it is not the owner of the disputed domain name and that it registered the disputed domain name on behalf of a third party. In relevant part, the registrant's communication states:
"As per your request below are the details of the owner of the domain that was received on the order form that was filled by the client online. Name: […] Email address: […]@cnegal.com Cell no: […] Business Address: […]"
The Panel further notes that the Center's Notification of Complaint was sent to the registrant of record, as confirmed by the concerned registrar, in accordance with paragraph 2(a) of the Rules, and that the Center has discharged its responsibilities in this regard.
Notwithstanding the above, in the interests of due process, the Panel directs the Center to forward this Panel Order together with the Notification of Complaint, originally sent on August 23, 2017, to the above-disclosed email address. The Panel grants an additional five days for Mr. […] (i.e., through October 24, 2017) in which to indicate whether he wishes to participate in this proceeding. If no communications are received from Mr. […] in this period, the Panel will proceed to issue its decision.
In light of the above, the Panel extends the date for submission of the decision to the Center to October 31, 2017."
The Center received no response to Procedural Order No. 1 and the Panel proceeds to a decision on the merits.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a United States based corporation. The Complainant's business under the "Halliburton" name was founded in 1919. The group of companies of which the Complainant is a member is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the global energy industry. It is the proprietor of numerous registrations of its HALLIBURTON trade mark including by way of example United States Registration No. 2,575,840 registered on June 4, 2002 (application filed March 13, 2001) in a variety of classes for energy-related goods and services.
The Domain Name was registered on June 29, 2017. In the course of July and August 2017 the Complainant received a number of emails from persons who had received text messages purporting to be from the Complainant and inviting them to respond to email addresses using the Domain Name and appearing to be email addresses of the Complainant. The messages told the recipients that they had won USD 3 million. The Domain Name is not connected to an active website.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's HALLIBURTON trade mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply formally to the Complainant's contentions but sent emails to the Center on August 28, 2017 and September 12 and 15, 2017 in which it stated that it was not the owner of the Domain Name and disavowed any right or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name and stated that the Domain Name was being used by a third party for whom it had registered the Domain Name.
6. Discussion and Findings
Plainly the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade mark. The named Respondent has acknowledged that it has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the Domain Name, and the Panel does not find there to be any circumstances to otherwise support a finding that the Respondent has such rights or legitimate interests. The use to which the Domain Name has been put is plainly dishonest and possibly fraudulent and the Domain Name clearly seems to have been registered for that purpose. Thus the Complaint succeeds under all three heads of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
For completeness, the Panel acknowledges for the reason evident from the terms of Procedural Order No. 1 and section 5 above, that the bad faith use of the Domain Name may well not have been by the nominal Respondent.
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, <halliburtonltd.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 31, 2017