WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Credit Karma, Inc. v. Above.com Domain Privacy / Host Master, Transure Enterprise Ltd. / Protection Domain

Case No. D2017-1827

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Credit Karma, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Reed Smith LLP, United States.

The Respondent is Above.com Domain Privacy of Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia / Host Master, Transure Enterprise Ltd of Wilmington, Delaware, United States / Protection Domain of Panama City, Panama.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain names <creditarma.com> and <creditjarma.com> are registered with Above.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 20, 2017. On September 21, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On September 22, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 5, 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 October 9, 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 October 11, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 31, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 1, 2017.

The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on November 10, 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 provides credit monitoring and related services. The Complainant was granted registration of the mark CREDIT KARMA (the “Mark”) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on August 23, 2011, with Registration Number 4,014,356, reflecting first use of the Mark as of February 1, 2008. The Complainant was granted registration of the CREDIT KARMA and design mark (the “Mark and Design”) on October 11, 2016, with Registration Number 5,057,486, reflecting first use in commerce as of February 1, 2008. The Mark and Mark and Design will be collectively referred to as the “Marks” herein. The Complainant registered the domain name <creditkarma.com> on November 30, 2005. The Complainant owns more than 350 domain names incorporating the Marks with assorted suffixes, prefixes, and various misspellings of the Marks. The Complainant has received hundreds of millions of United States dollars in equity funding from investors. The Complainant’s last reported valuation is USD 3.5 billion. The Complainant has more than 700 employees and 75 million “members” and has provided one billion credit scores to its customers. Since 2007, the Complainant has activity utilized the Marks to promote its products and services through, among other methods, online and print advertising, billboards, and social media. See also Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Whois Privacy Service Pty Ltd. / Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2017-0744; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, PrivacyGuardian / Suleyman Nazligul, WIPO Case No. D2017-0743; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Zhao Xinwei, WIPO Case No. D2017-0881.

The disputed domain name <creditjarma.com> was registered on September 1, 2010. The disputed domain name <creditarma.com> was registered on November 24, 2012. The disputed domain name <creditjarma.com> resolves to a website offering links to financial and credit services, whereas the <creditarma.com> resolves to a website apparently distributing malware.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Marks in that the disputed domain name are identical to the Marks but for a missing letter or the substitution of the letter “j” for the “k” in the Complainant’s Marks. The Complainant accuses the Respondent of “typo-squatting”. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names or Marks as the Complainant never authorized the Respondent to use the Marks or the disputed domain names. The Complainant asserts that the Respondent has never operated a legitimate business under the disputed domain names. Lastly, the Complainant asserts the disputed domain names were registered in bad faith in an effort to deceptively attract Internet users to the Respondent’s websites.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1. Preliminary issue: Consolidation of Multiple Respondents

The Complainant requests consolidation of proceedings regarding the disputed domain names. The Center determined the Complainant had established prima facie grounds sufficient to warrant accepting the Complainant’s consolidated amended Complaint subject to a final determination by the Panel. The Panel finds a sufficient unity of interest exists to consolidate and address in a single proceeding the disputed domain names set forth in the amended Complaint and accepts the amended Complainant as a consolidated proceeding. The disputed domain names are registered by the Respondent with the same registrar using the same phone number. The Panel considers it more likely than not that the disputed domain names are subject to common control and accepts the Complainant’s request for consolidation. Speedo Holdings B.V. v. Programmer, Miss Kathy Beckerson, John Smitt, Matthew Simmons, WIPO Case No. D2010-0281.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Marks. The disputed domain names incorporate single letter changes to the Complainant’s Marks with the effect that the disputed domain names sound and look like the Complainant’s Marks. Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Whois Privacy Service Pty Ltd. / Zhichao Yang, supra; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, PrivacyGuardian / Suleyman Nazligul, supra; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Zhao Xinwei, supra; Wade Adams (Middle East) Limited v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Ccc groups, WIPO Case No. D2017-1587; Telfonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Ericsson) v. Eighty Business Names, WIPO Case No. D2010-1485; Dow Jones & Company Inc. and Dow Jones, L.P. v. Powerclick, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-1259 (“Respondent’s typosquatting, by its definition, renders the domain name confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark”).

The Complainant has met its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In view of the prima facie case made out by the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Respondent has failed to produce any evidence of a bona fide business or commercial activity utilizing the disputed domain names. It does not appear from the evidence presented that the Respondent is known by the disputed domain names. The use of the disputed domain names, confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Marks, does not establish a bona fide service offering, as they resolve to a landing page featuring click through links and to a website apparently distributing malware. E.J. McKernan Co. v. Texas International Property Associates, WIPO Case No. D2007-1499.

The Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the disputed domain names were registered and used in bad faith. The fact that the disputed domain names are clearly derived from trivial deviations of the Complainant’s Marks while having a similar visual appearance and sound sufficiently establishes that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s services and Marks when registering the disputed domain names. TPI Holdings, Inc. v. LaPorte Holdings, WIPO Case No. D2006-0235 (“Typosquatting—intentionally adding or deleting a letter or two, or transposing letters in, a valid mark of another in one’s domain name—is presumptive evidence of bad faith”). The Panel’s finding of registration and use in bad faith is buttressed by the fact the that disputed domain names resolve to a website offering links to financial and credit services in apparent competition with the Complainant and to a website apparently distributing malware. Such conduct may be considered an attempt to derive illegitimate profit from Internet user confusion with the Complainant’s Marks and is also disruptive of the Complainant’s business. See Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Whois Privacy Service Pty Ltd. / Zhichao Yang, supra; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, PrivacyGuardian / Suleyman Nazligul, supra; Credit Karma, Inc. v. Zhao Xinwei, supra.

The Complainant has met its burden of proof under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 <creditarma.com> and <creditjarma.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

William F. Hamilton
Sole Panelist
Date: November 12, 2017