WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Balfour Beatty plc v. Steve Levett
Case No. D2017-1941
1. The Parties
Complainant is Balfour Beatty plc of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Stobbs IP Limited, United Kingdom.
Respondent is Steve Levett of Wilmington, Delaware, United States of America (“United States).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <balfuorbeatty.com> is registered with Ascio Technologies Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 5, 2017. On October 5, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 12, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 13, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 2, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 3, 2017.
The Center appointed Leon Trakman 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
Complainant is the parent company of the Balfour Beatty group, an international infrastructure group providing engineering, construction, and support services. The Balfour Beatty group includes the subsidiary the Balfour Beatty Group Limited. Complainant was incorporated in the United Kingdom on May 31, 1945 and formally changed its name to Balfour Beatty plc on May 10, 2000. Complainant has traded on the London Stock Exchange since June 28, 1945. Complainant owns rights in the sign “Balfour Beatty” including, but not limited to, the trademark registrations in “Balfour Beatty” establishing its rights in accordance with the Rules, paragraph 3(b)(viii). Complainant registered the domain name <balfourbeatty.com> on October 21, 1998. Complainant also provides evidence that it owns other “Balfour Beatty” domain names. The United Kingdom constitutes Complainant’s domestic market and accounts for a significant portion of its sales. However, it also has businesses in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
Respondent in this administrative proceeding is Steve Levett. According to the “WhoIs”, Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 5, 2017. The disputed domain name does not currently resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel holds that disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, in accordance with Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i); Rules, paragraphs 3(b)(viii), (b)(ix)(1). Respondent’s domain name differs from Complainant’s mark only in that the letters “o” and “u” are reversed, in spelling “Balfour” as “Balfuor”. This constitutes typo-squatting, a practice that is likely to confuse reasonable Internet users that the disputed domain name is related to, or associated with, Complainant trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel holds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, in accordance with Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii); Rules, paragraph 3(b)(ix)(2).
Respondent has no rights to the disputed domain name which is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark. Respondent is not employed by, nor an agent of, or otherwise affiliated with Complainant. Nor has Respondent received the permission of Complainant, expressly impliedly, or ostensibly, to use that disputed domain name.
Respondent also has no interest in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence adduced, or reasonably inferred, by which Respondent can establish a legitimate interest in that name, such as based on family or other connection to the name. Respondent also cannot reasonably assert that it was unfamiliar with Complainant’s trademark, given the extensive history of Complainant’s sign and mark and the fact that Respondent only registered the disputed domain name in 2017.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel holds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith, in accordance with Policy, paragraphs 4(a)(iii), 4(b); Rules, paragraph 3(b)(ix)(3).
Complainant adduces evidence that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name to induce Internet users to access Respondent’s website in the belief that they are accessing the website of Complainant, and inducing those users further into disclosing personal information based on a fraudulent email scheme based on the disputed domain name. Such a practice constitutes phishing.
In so registering the disputed domain name for the purposes of sending fraudulent emails to users, and redirecting those users to a website that replicates in substance Complainant’s website. Respondent clearly acted in bad faith. In so acting, Respondent is clearly intending to confuse Complainant’s actual or potential customers, suppliers and employees into believing that Respondent is Complainant, or is otherwise associated or affiliated with Complainant.
Respondent is clearly acting in bad faith in engaging in such phishing. On the determination that Respondents have acted in bad faith in adopting such phishing practices in comparable cases, see e.g., The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc v. Secret Registration Customer ID 232883/Lauren Terrado. WIPO Case No. D2012-2093.
Given the similarity of Respondent’s website to that of Complainant’s, it is also evident that Respondent seeking to attract users to its website by means of such phishing for commercial gain and at the expense of Complainant. The likely result of Respondent’s practice is the loss of business to Complainant arising from so redirecting Internet users away from Complainant’s website, and reputational damage to Complainant arising from that phishing practice.
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 <balfuorbeatty.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: November 14, 2017