WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Nikki Dockum, Tred
Case No. D2018-0155
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Tarrytown, New York, United States of America ("United States"), represented by Ohlandt, Greeley, Ruggiero & Perle, LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Nikki Dockum, Tred of Shaftsbury, Vermont, United States.
2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)
The disputed domain name <regeneronglobal.com> is registered with 1&1 Internet AG (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on January 24, 2018. On January 25, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 26, 2018 and February 05, 2018, 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 February 7, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 27, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 28, 2018.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on March 2, 2018. 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 is in the business of research, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products, and enjoys the benefit of many registrations around the world for its trademark REGENERON, including United States Reg. No. 1,654,595, issued on August 20, 1991.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on December 20, 2017. On that same day, the Respondent used an email address associated with the disputed domain name to send – as the Complainant alleges – a "spear phishing" message. The message purported to be from the CFO of the Complainant to one of the Complainant's employees, seeking to deceive and induce the employee to pay a fraudulent invoice.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel finds that all three of these elements have been met in this case.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety is sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's registered mark. See Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505. In this case, the disputed domain name contains the Complainant's trademark REGENERON in its entirety. The additional word "global" in this context does not distinguish the disputed domain name from the Complainant's mark (particularly because the Complainant is an international company, that is, operating "globally").
A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner. See Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Les Publications Conde Nast S.A. v. Voguechen, WIPO Case No. D2014-0657. The Complainant has demonstrated its rights because it has shown that it is the owner of valid and subsisting trademark registrations for the mark REGENERON as noted above.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent.
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. By failing to respond to the Complaint, the Respondent did not overcome its burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests, and no other facts in the record tip the balance in the Respondent's favor.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy instructs respondents on a number of ways they could demonstrate rights or legitimate interests ("you" and "your" in the following refers to the particular respondent):
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.
In this case, the principal indicator of the lack of rights or legitimate interests comes from the alleged fraudulent nature of the Respondent's use of the disputed domain name to generate spear phishing email. See Syngenta Participations AG v. Guillaume Texier, Gobain Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2017-1147 (registrant cannot acquire rights or legitimate interests by the use of a domain name as an email address from which to send phishing emails). Accordingly, the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in regard to the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has provided evidence that the disputed domain name was used for fraudulent activity (sending a spear phishing email) on the very day on which it was registered.
On the uncontroverted evidence before this Panel, the disputed domain name was used on December 20, 2017 as an email address to send a request to an employee of the Complainant requesting urgent payment of monies claimed to be due on a false invoice. In an attempt to mislead the recipient into thinking that the email was legitimate, the sender of the email used the name of the Complainant's Chief Financial Officer.
This Panel finds that on the balance of probabilities the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith for the purposes of unlawful phishing activity.
The Complainant has therefore also succeeded in satisfying this third and final element 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 <regeneronglobal.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: March 20, 2018