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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Equifax Inc. v. Domain Administrator, China Capital Investment Limited

Case No. D2017-1880

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Equifax Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America ("USA" or "United States"), represented by The GigaLaw Firm, Douglas M. Isenberg, Attorney at Law, LLC, USA.

The Respondent is Domain Administrator, China Capital Investment Limited of Hong Kong, China.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names, <aequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <checkequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <eauifaxsecurity.com>, <ecuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <eqiuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <equaifaxsecurity2017.com>, <equalfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifacsecurity.com>, <equifactsecurity2017.com>, <equifacxsecurity2017.com>, <equifac2017.com>, <equifafaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifaksecurity2017.com>, <equifaqsecurity2017.com>, <equifarsecurity2017.com>, <equifassecurity.com>, <equifassecurity2017.com>, <equifatsecurity2017.com>, <equifavsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxasecurity2017.com>, <equifaxbreech2017.com>, <equifaxcreditbreach2017.com>, <equifaxcreditsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxcredit2017.com>, <equifaxcybersecurity2017.com>, <equifaxdatabreach2017.com>, <equifaxdata2017.com>, <equifaxfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxfreeze2017.com>, <equifaxhackchecker.com>, <equifaxidentity2017.com>, <equifaximpact2017.com>, <equifaxreport2017.com>, <equifaxscan.com>, <equifaxscurity.com>, <equifaxseciruty2017.com>, <equifaxsecity2017.com>, <equifaxseciurity2017.com>, <equifaxse.com>, <equifaxsecority2017.com>, <equifaxsecrity.com>, <equifaxsecruity.com>, <equifaxsecueiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecuerity2017.com>, <equifaxsecufity2017.com>, <equifaxsecuiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecurify2017.com>, <equifaxsecurirty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurirt2017.com>, <equifaxsecuriry.com>, <equifaxsecurite2017.com>, <equifaxsecurith2017.com>, <equifaxsecurities.com>, <equifaxsecurities2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritiy2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritu.com>, <equifaxsecurituy2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritybreech.com>, <equifaxsecuritycheck2017.com>, <equifaxsecurityfax2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritysecurity2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity-ty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity1027.com>, <equifaxsecurity1917.com>, <equifaxsecurity2.com>, <equifaxsecurity20.com>, <equifaxsecurity2000.com>, <equifaxsecurity201u.com>, <equifaxsecurity20107.com>, <equifaxsecurity2012.com>, <equifaxsecurity2014.com>, <equifaxsecurity2017check.com>, <equifax-security-2017.com>, <equifaxse-curity2017.com>, <equifaxsecu-rity2017.com>,<equifaxsecuri-ty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity20217.com>, <equifaxsecurity247.com>, <equifaxsecurity27.com>, <equifaxsecurity3027.com>, <equifaxsecurtiy.com>, <equifaxsecuruity2017.com>, <equifaxsecuruty.com>, <equifaxsecury2017.com>, <equifaxsecutirty2017.com>, <equifaxsecutiry.com>, <equifaxsecutiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecutity.com>, <equifaxsecutiy2017.com>, <equifaxsecutrity2017.com>, <equifaxsec2017.com>, <equifaxsedurity2017.com>, <equifaxsegurity.com>, <equifaxsequirty2017.com>, <equifaxsequity2017.com>, <equifaxsequrity2017.com>, <equifaxsercuirty2017.com>, <equifaxsercuity2017.com>, <equifaxsercurity.com>, <equifaxserurity2017.com>, <equifaxservice2017.com>, <equifaxsescurity2017.com>, <equifaxseurity.com>, <equifaxsexurity.com>, <equifaxsucurity.com>, <equifaxtrustedpremier.com>, <equifaxxecurity2017.com>, <equifax017.com>, <equifax2017security2017.com>, <equifax2027.com>, <equifax2107.com>, <equifax217.com>, <equifax27.com>, <equifax2917.com>, <equifazsecurity.com>, <equifaz2017.com>, <equifiaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifixsecurity.com>, <equifix2017.com>, <equifqaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifsecurity2017.com>, <equifxsecurity.com>, <equifx2017.com>, <equifzxsecurity2017.com>, <equitaxsecurity.com>, <equitfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equitysecurity2017.com>, <eqyuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exqifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exquifaxsecurity.com>, <exuifaxsecurity.com>, <exuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <qequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <requifaxsecurity2017.com>, <securityequifax.com>, <wequifaxsecurity2017.com> and <2017equifax.com> (the "Domain Names"), are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 26, 2017. On September 27, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On September 28, 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 October 6, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 26, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on October 27, 2017.

The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on November 6, 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 describes itself as a global information solutions company. It is a substantial company based in the USA, but does business in a large number of other countries.

The Complainant is the proprietor of numerous trade mark registrations of or including the term "equifax" including United States Registration No. 1,027,544 EQUIFAX (word) registered December 16, 1975 for use in connection with "insurance risk information reporting services concerning potential policy holders."

The Complainant operates its primary website connected to its domain name, <equifax.com>, a domain name which was first registered on February 21, 1995.

On September 7, 2017 the Complainant announced by way of a press release a cyber security incident potentially impacting in excess of 100 million United States consumers. The press release announced that the Complainant had established a dedicated website at "www.equifaxsecurity2017.com" "to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection".

The Domain Names were all registered between September 8, 2017 and September 15, 2017 and, on the unchallenged evidence of the Complainant supported by screenshots, are connected to monetizing parking pages featuring at the top of each page an invitation to the visitor to buy the Domain Name.

The Complainant has produced evidence to show that the Respondent has been on the receiving end of a number of successful complaints under the Policy at the suit of well-known trade mark owners such as Royal Bank of Canada, Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg, Philip Morris and Jaguar Land Rover.

5. Parties' Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's EQUIFAX registered trade mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names and that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Preliminary Issue

What significance (if any) should be attached to the fact that the Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint? The matter is dealt with in section 4.3 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0"). Section 4.3 of WIPO Overview 3.0 commences: "Does a respondent's default/failure to respond to the complainant's contentions automatically result in the complaint succeeding?

Noting the burden of proof on the complainant, a respondent's default (i.e., failure to submit a formal response) would not by itself mean that the complainant is deemed to have prevailed; a respondent's default is not necessarily an admission that the complainant's claims are true."

However, paragraph 14(b) of the Rules permits the panel, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, to draw such inferences as it considers appropriate from a party's failure to comply with a time period established by the Rules. In this case, as indicated, the Respondent failed to comply with the prescribed time for the filing of a Response.

B. General

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Names, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:

(i) The Domain Names are identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights: and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names: and

(iii) The Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

C. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established to the satisfaction of the Panel that it has trade mark rights in respect of its name Equifax.

The test for identity or confusing similarity under this element of the Policy is dealt with in section 1.7 of WIPO Overview 3.0, a key paragraph of which reads as follows:

"While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing."

In this case, there being no factor militating against that approach, the Panel adopts it here and finds that in relation to those of the Domain Names, which feature the Complainant's trade mark in its entirety, those Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade mark.

Section 1.9 of WIPO Overview 3.0 deals with mis-spellings in the following terms:

"A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element.

This stems from the fact that the domain name contains sufficiently recognizable aspects of the relevant mark. Under the second and third elements, panels will normally find that employing a misspelling in this way signals an intention on the part of the respondent (typically corroborated by infringing website content) to confuse users seeking or expecting the complainant.

Examples of such typos include (i) adjacent keyboard letters, (ii) substitution of similar-appearing characters (e.g., upper vs lower-case letters or numbers used to look like letters), (iii) the use of different letters that appear similar in different fonts, (iv) the use of non-Latin internationalized or accented characters, (v) the inversion of letters and numbers, or (vi) the addition or interspersion of other terms or numbers."

The remaining of the Domain Names all feature mis-spellings of the Complainant's trade mark or letter combinations, which in context are clearly intended to represent the Complainant's EQUIFAX trade mark. All were registered within a few days of the Complainant's announcement of a cyber security incident and the assistance available by way of the Complainant's "www.equifaxsecurity2017.com" website (see section 4 above) and all were clearly registered with that web address in mind.

The Panel finds that the Domain Names are all confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.

D. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The circumstances surrounding the registration of the Domain Names as related in section 4 and in 6C above combined with the Complainant's evidence as to its trade mark rights satisfy the Panel that the Respondent has a case to answer. The Respondent has not provided an answer and the Panel infers (as it is entitled to do – paragraph 14(b) of the Rules) that the Respondent elected not to respond to the Complaint because it has no answer to the Complaint.

The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names.

E. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The circumstances surrounding the registration of the Domain Names leave little room for doubt that the Respondent registered the Domain Names with a view to exploiting for its own benefit the value of the Complainant's EQUIFAX trade mark, the unchallenged evidence of the Complainant being that each of the Domain Names is connected to a pay-per-click parking page with advertising links and featuring an invitation to the visitor to buy the Domain Name in question.

In the absence of any explanation from the Respondent the Panel infers that the Respondent has no answer to the Complainant's contentions. The Panel doubts that the Respondent's primary purpose in registering the Domain Names was with a view to selling them to the Complainant or a competitor of the Complainant (paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy). Instead, the Panel finds on the preponderance of the evidence that the Domain Names have been registered and are being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

In coming to this decision the Panel has found it unnecessary to consider the evidence relating to the Respondent's track record in proceedings under the Policy (see section 4 above).

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 Domain Names, <aequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <checkequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <eauifaxsecurity.com>, <ecuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <eqiuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <equaifaxsecurity2017.com>, <equalfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifacsecurity.com>, <equifactsecurity2017.com>, <equifacxsecurity2017.com>, <equifac2017.com>, <equifafaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifaksecurity2017.com>, <equifaqsecurity2017.com>, <equifarsecurity2017.com>, <equifassecurity.com>, <equifassecurity2017.com>, <equifatsecurity2017.com>, <equifavsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxasecurity2017.com>, <equifaxbreech2017.com>, <equifaxcreditbreach2017.com>, <equifaxcreditsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxcredit2017.com>, <equifaxcybersecurity2017.com>, <equifaxdatabreach2017.com>, <equifaxdata2017.com>, <equifaxfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifaxfreeze2017.com>, <equifaxhackchecker.com>, <equifaxidentity2017.com>, <equifaximpact2017.com>, <equifaxreport2017.com>, <equifaxscan.com>, <equifaxscurity.com>, <equifaxseciruty2017.com>, <equifaxsecity2017.com>, <equifaxseciurity2017.com>, <equifaxse.com>, <equifaxsecority2017.com>, <equifaxsecrity.com>, <equifaxsecruity.com>, <equifaxsecueiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecuerity2017.com>, <equifaxsecufity2017.com>, <equifaxsecuiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecurify2017.com>, <equifaxsecurirty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurirt2017.com>, <equifaxsecuriry.com>, <equifaxsecurite2017.com>, <equifaxsecurith2017.com>, <equifaxsecurities.com>, <equifaxsecurities2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritiy2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritu.com>, <equifaxsecurituy2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritybreech.com>, <equifaxsecuritycheck2017.com>, <equifaxsecurityfax2017.com>, <equifaxsecuritysecurity2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity-ty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity1027.com>, <equifaxsecurity1917.com>, <equifaxsecurity2.com>, <equifaxsecurity20.com>, <equifaxsecurity2000.com>, <equifaxsecurity201u.com>, <equifaxsecurity20107.com>, <equifaxsecurity2012.com>, <equifaxsecurity2014.com>, <equifaxsecurity2017check.com>, <equifax-security-2017.com>, <equifaxse-curity2017.com>, <equifaxsecu-rity2017.com>,<equifaxsecuri-ty2017.com>, <equifaxsecurity20217.com>, <equifaxsecurity247.com>, <equifaxsecurity27.com>, <equifaxsecurity3027.com>, <equifaxsecurtiy.com>, <equifaxsecuruity2017.com>, <equifaxsecuruty.com>, <equifaxsecury2017.com>, <equifaxsecutirty2017.com>, <equifaxsecutiry.com>, <equifaxsecutiry2017.com>, <equifaxsecutity.com>, <equifaxsecutiy2017.com>, <equifaxsecutrity2017.com>, <equifaxsec2017.com>, <equifaxsedurity2017.com>, <equifaxsegurity.com>, <equifaxsequirty2017.com>, <equifaxsequity2017.com>, <equifaxsequrity2017.com>, <equifaxsercuirty2017.com>, <equifaxsercuity2017.com>, <equifaxsercurity.com>, <equifaxserurity2017.com>, <equifaxservice2017.com>, <equifaxsescurity2017.com>, <equifaxseurity.com>, <equifaxsexurity.com>, <equifaxsucurity.com>, <equifaxtrustedpremier.com>, <equifaxxecurity2017.com>, <equifax017.com>, <equifax2017security2017.com>, <equifax2027.com>, <equifax2107.com>, <equifax217.com>, <equifax27.com>, <equifax2917.com>, <equifazsecurity.com>, <equifaz2017.com>, <equifiaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifixsecurity.com>, <equifix2017.com>, <equifqaxsecurity2017.com>, <equifsecurity2017.com>, <equifxsecurity.com>, <equifx2017.com>, <equifzxsecurity2017.com>, <equitaxsecurity.com>, <equitfaxsecurity2017.com>, <equitysecurity2017.com>, <eqyuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exqifaxsecurity2017.com>, <exquifaxsecurity.com>, <exuifaxsecurity.com>, <exuifaxsecurity2017.com>, <qequifaxsecurity2017.com>, <requifaxsecurity2017.com>, <securityequifax.com>, <wequifaxsecurity2017.com> and <2017equifax.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tony Willoughby
Sole Panelist
Date: November 7, 2017