WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Minerva S.A. v. Miranda Nyenhuis
Case No. D2018-0763
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Minerva S.A. of Barretos, São Paulo, Brazil, represented by Opice Blum, Brazil.
The Respondent is Miranda Nyenhuis of kaduna, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <minarvefoods.com> ("the Domain Name") is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on April 5, 2018. On April 6, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 9, 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 Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on May 18, 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 the owner of the trade mark MINERVA filed January 21, 2004 and registered on December 5, 2017 in Brazil for food products including meat.
The Domain Name registered on October 25, 2017 has been used for a fraudulent email scam using the name of one of the Complainant's employees.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant's contentions can be summarised as follows:
The Complainant is the owner of the trade mark MINERVA filed January 21, 2004 and registered on December 5, 2017 in Brazil for food products including meat. Its corporate name is Minerva Foods and MINERVA has been distinctive of the Complainant since 2004.
The Domain Name registered on October 25 2017 is a typosquatting registration and confusingly similar to the Complainant's MINERVA trade mark transposing the 'e' and the 'a'. The Domain Name has been used for a fraudulent email scam causing confusion among third parties.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name and has no authorisation from the Complainant to use a sign similar to or the Complainant's MINERVA mark. The use of a domain name for a fraudulent email scam cannot be bona fide offering of goods and services or a legitimate noncommercial fair use and it is registration and use in bad faith intending to cause confusion on the Internet.
The use of the Complainant's name and the name of one of its employees for a fraudulent email scam shows the Respondent is aware of the Complainant and the Complainant's business.
Typosquatting itself is registration and use in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name consists of a sign confusingly similar to the Complainant's MINERVA trade mark (registered in Brazil for, inter alia, meat on December 5, 2017), merely transposing the letter "e" and the "a" and adding the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com" and the dictionary word "foods". Transposing two letters and adding a dictionary word and a gTLD does not distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant's MINERVA mark which is the distinctive component of the Domain Name.
Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar for the purpose of the Policy to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint and there is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Name.
The Domain Name has been used in a fraudulent email scheme using the name of one of the Complainant's employees. This is deceptive and confusing. As such it cannot amount to the bona fide offering of goods and services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
As such the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.
C. Registration and Use in Bad Faith
Typosquatting per se is bad faith registration and use under the Policy.
Impersonating a complainant by use of a complainant's mark and the name of one of its employees in a fraudulent email scam is disruptive and also evinces bad faith registration and use.
Further, such use in relation to an email scam is confusing in that recipients of the emails may reasonably believe those emails are connected to or approved by the Complainant. This mimicking by the Respondent of the Complainant shows that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its business and rights. Accordingly, the Panel holds additionally that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trade marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of electronic content on the Internet under paragraph Policy 4(b)(iv).
As such, the Panelist believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy under paragraphs 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv). There is no need to consider any additional grounds of bad faith.
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, <minarvefoods.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 30, 2018