WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Blackrock, Inc. v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2017-2090
1. The Parties
Complainant is Blackrock, Inc. of New York, New York, United States of America, represented by Day Pitney LLP, United States of America.
Respondent is Name Redacted1.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <blackrrock.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 October 25, 2017, naming "John Doe" as Respondent. On October 26, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 26, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response in which the Registrant differed from the named registrant in the Complaint. The Complainant was requested to file an amendment to the Complaint. An amended Complaint was received on November 1, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint and 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 3, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 23, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on November 29, 2017.
The Center appointed Michael A. Albert as the sole panelist in this matter on December 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
Complainant BlackRock, Inc. ("BlackRock"), founded in 1988, is an asset management firm and a provider of global investment management, risk management, and advisory services to institutional, intermediary, and individual investors around the world. With assets over USD 5.1 trillion under management, BlackRock manages a broad range of investment portfolios on behalf of governments, corporations and individuals worldwide. Complainant has widely used and promoted the BLACKROCK mark throughout the United States and internationally, and has established a worldwide reputation.
Complainant operates a website at "www.blackrock.com". Complainant is the registered owner of the following trademark registrations for BLACKROCK in the United States covering a wide range of financial services: U.S. Registration No. 2,417,737, registered on January 2, 2001; U.S. Registration No. 3,544,707 registered on December 9, 2008; and U.S. Registration No. 5,160,061, registered on March 14, 2017. In addition, Complainant owns multiple international trademark registrations for the BLACKROCK mark.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to its BLACKROCK marks, adding only the repeated "R" within the disputed domain name (i.e., blackrrock.com). Complainant argues that as a result of its trademark registration and use, Respondent had constructive notice, if not actual notice, of Complainant's U.S. marks.
Complainant contends that it has not authorized, licensed, or otherwise permitted Respondent to use its BLACKROCK mark or to apply for any domain name incorporating the mark. Complainant argues that Respondent is not commonly known as "blackrrock.com", and is not using the disputed domain name in connection with any bona fide offering of products or services. The disputed domain name currently resolves to a parked page with no content.
Complainant contends Respondent registered the Domain Name in bad faith and breached its registration agreement with the Registrar, Wild West Domains, LLC, by knowingly providing fake contact details and falsely impersonating Complainants/ CEO
Finally, Complainant contends Respondent used the disputed domain name with the bad faith intention of impersonating a BlackRock executive to "phish" or fraudulently solicit personal and financial information from BlackRock customers.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated rights to the BLACKROCK mark. Complainant's mark has been federally registered and continuously and extensively used in connection with the promotion of Complainant's financial and investment funds since at least as early as 1988.
The disputed domain name, <blackrrock.com>, is confusingly similar to Complainant's BLACKROCK mark as it incorporates Complainant's mark in its entirety. The addition of the repeated "R" does not distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant's mark. It is rather a classic example of "typosquatting," intended to use a misspelled version of Complainant's mark to confuse Internet users into believing the two entities are the same or affiliated. See ESPN, Inc. v. XC2, WIPO Case No. D2005-0444; Edmunds.com, Inc. v. Triple E Holdings Limited, WIPO Case No. D2006-1095.
Registration and use of the disputed domain name to impersonate Complainant's CEO and solicit personal information from BlackRock customers further serves as evidence of the likelihood of confusion between the disputed domain name and Complainant's mark and of Respondent's intention to create such confusion.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. Respondent is not known by Complainant's mark. Complainant confirms that Respondent does not have license, permission, or authorization to use Complainant's mark. There is no evidence demonstrating any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name by Respondent. Respondent's failure to respond to the Complaint, coupled with Complainant's contentions, are indicative that Respondent has no legitimate rights in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Respondent's conduct in this case demonstrates bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. Complainant provided evidence that Respondent's intended use of the disputed domain name was and is to mislead BlackRock customers for commercial gain by profiting from the Complainant's reputation and goodwill.
First, Respondent introduced a slight deviation into the BLACKROCK trademark by adding a second "R" when registering the disputed domain name to confuse BlackRock customers for commercial gain. This practice of "typosquatting" is presumptively bad faith registration of a domain name.
Second, Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith by knowingly providing fake contact details and falsely claiming to beComplainant's CEO, of "BlackRock" Respondent's use of a privacy proxy service to hide its identity from Complainant and others is further indication of bad faith.
Third, by using the Domain as the origin of phishing emails, Respondent intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, the financial and personal information of BlackRock customers, by creating a likelihood of confusion between the Complainant's Marks and the source or affiliation of the fraudulent emails.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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, <blackrrock.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Michael A. Albert
Date: December 15, 2017
1 Respondent appears to have used the name and contact details of a third party when registering the disputed domain name. In light of the potential identity theft, the Panel has redacted Respondent's name from this Decision. However, the Panel has attached as Annex 1 to this Decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain names, which includes the name of Respondent. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, and has indicated Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published due to the exceptional circumstances of this case. See: ASOS plc. v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2017-1520; Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788.