WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Nanci Nette, Name Management Group
Case No. D2018-0717
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. of San Francisco, California, United States of America (“United States”), internally represented.
The Respondent is Nanci Nette, Name Management Group of Los Angeles, California, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <fwikipedia.org> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 30, 2018. On April 3, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 3, 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 April 13, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 3, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 4, 2018.
The Center appointed Martin Schwimmer as the sole panelist in this matter on May 25, 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, The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., manages free knowledge projects, including the famous WIKIPEDIA online encyclopedia. The Complainant owns many registrations for the WIKIPEDIA Mark, the oldest of which were registered in 2006. The Respondent registered the Domain Name <fwikipedia.org> on November 13, 2017, which it uses to redirect traffic to third-party websites, which allegedly disseminate malware.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., is a nonprofit charitable organization that manages 13 free knowledge projects maintained by volunteers. The most-well-known project is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, found at “www.wikipedia.org”. The Complainant owns various trademark registrations for the trademark WIKPEDIA (the “Mark”) in the United States and worldwide. UDRP panels have found that the Mark is
The disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Mark, and is an example of typo-squatting.
The Respondent has no legitimate interest on the Domain Name. It is not authorized by the Complainant in any manner. It does not use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor is it making any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. Currently, the Domain Name is being used to redirect to websites that allegedly disseminate malware.
The Respondent knew or should have known of the Complainant’s famous Mark. The Respondent likely diverts traffic to unrelated sites for a fee.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant, Wikimedia, has used the WIKIPEDIA trademark (the “Mark”) since 2001 in connection with an online encyclopedia found at “www.wikipedia.org.” It owns numerous trademark registrations for the Mark including United States registration no. 3,040,722, registered January 10, 2006.
The domain name <fwikipedia.org> is confusingly similar to the Mark, as it incorporates the Mark in its entirety with only the addition of the letter “f”. There is no evidence that FWIKIPEDIA is a word in any language, is pronounceable in any language, or has an independent meaning in any context. “WIKIPEDIA”, a coined term, is the visual dominant element of the Domain Name. The Panel takes notice of the fact that when one enters “fwikipedia” as a search term in the Google search engine, Google treats that term as the equivalent of the term “wikipedia”.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar, as outlined in paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The second ground to be demonstrated by the Complainant, according to the provisions of the Policy, is the Respondent’s absence of any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, per paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that it is sufficient for a complainant to prove a prima facie case that the respondent does not hold rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455 and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110). Once a prima facie case is shown, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant and has not received any license or consent to use the WIKIPEDIA trademark in a domain name or in any other manner. The Complainant alleges that there is no such connection here.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent uses the Domain Name to direct traffic to, among other sites, third party sites that distribute malware. As discussed further below in Section C, the distribution of malware is obviously not a bona fide offering of goods.
The Respondent has not submitted any reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
Therefore, in light of the Complainant’s prima facie case, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant has shown that its WIKIPEDIA Mark is well-known. In the absence of evidence that the letter string “fwikipedia” has any independent meaning, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name is a
typo-site, and that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to use it to redirect Internet users to pages with malware or spyware by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s well-known mark.
Furthermore, the dissemination of malware through a predictable typo-variant is often used to steal consumer information for commercial gain and this is evidence of bad faith. See Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Walter Gerbert, WIPO Case No. D2016-1346.
Furthermore, the Panel may make negative inferences arising from the Respondent’s failure to respond. See, e.g., Sony Kabushiki Kaisha (also trading as Sony Corporation) v. Inja, Kil, WIPO Case No. D2000-1409.
The Panel finds that in light of all the circumstances of this case the Complainant has established that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, as outlined in 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 Domain Name <fwikipedia.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 13, 2018