WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Moog Inc. v. James White
Case No. D2018-0886
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Moog Inc. or East Aurora, New York, United States of America (“United States”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is James White of Pitts, Pennsylvania, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <us-moog.com> 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 20, 2018. On April 20, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 21, 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. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, the Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on April 26, 2018.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 27, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 17, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 18, 2018.
The Center appointed Sandra J. Franklin as the sole panelist in this matter on June 4, 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
Complainant, Moog Inc. is a global provider of precision control systems and components for vehicles and equipment. Complainant has been using the MOOG mark since 1950 and holds various registrations for the mark, including with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”), the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”), and the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (e.g. United States Reg. No. 0893181 for MOOG, registered June 23, 1970).
Respondent registered the <us-moog.com> disputed domain name on February 9, 2018, and uses it to conduct a phishing scheme.
5. Parties’ Contentions
1. Respondent’s <us-moog.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s MOOG mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <us-moog.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and uses the <us-moog.com> domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not submit a Response to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
1. the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
2. Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
3. the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
In view of Respondent’s failure to submit a Response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant’s undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(f), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Talk City, Inc. v. Michael Robertson, WIPO Case No. D2000-0009 (In the absence of a response, it is appropriate “to accept as true all of the allegations of the Complaint.”).
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that Complainant has rights to the MOOG mark for purposes of Policy paragraph 4(a)(i) through registrations with the USPTO, CIPO, and WIPO.
Respondent’s <us-moog.com> disputed domain name incorporates the MOOG mark and merely adds the geographical indicator “us,” a hyphen, and a generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”). The Panel finds that these minor changes do not distinguish the disputed domain name from Complainant’s MOOG mark. See Gannett Co, Inc. v. Henry Chan, WIPO Case No. D2004-0117 (“it is well established that a domain name consisting of a well-known mark, combined with the applicable geographically descriptive term or phrase, is confusingly similar to the mark”); see also Chernow Communications, Inc. v. Jonathan D. Kimball, WIPO Case No. D2000-0119 (holding “that the use or absence of punctuation marks, such as hyphens, does not alter the fact that a name is identical to a mark”). Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent’s <us-moog.com> disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s MOOG mark.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Once Complainant makes a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii), the burden shifts to Respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) section 2.1.
Complainant argues that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use its MOOG mark, and the Parties are not affiliated. The WhoIs information for the disputed domain name lists “James White” as the registrant. Therefore, the Panel finds that there is no evidence to suggest that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy paragraph 4(c)(ii). See Moncler S.p.A. v. Bestinfo, WIPO Case No. D2004-1049 (in which the panel noted “that the Respondent’s name is ‘Bestinfo’ and that it can therefore not be ‘commonly known by the Domain Name’ [moncler.com]”).
Complainant demonstrates that the disputed domain name is being used as part of a phishing scheme wherein Respondent poses as Complainant in fraudulent emails. The Panel finds that this use is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use and thus Respondent has no rights under Policy paragraphs 4(c)(i) and (iii).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant argues that Respondent attempts to pass itself off as Complainant and provides evidence of a fraudulent email account using the disputed domain name to phish for Internet users’ personal information. Respondent also uses Complainant’s logo to further deceive Internet users landing at the website associated with <us-moog.com>. The Panel finds that this use indicates that Respondent intentionally attempts to pass off the website at <us-moog.com> as belonging to Complainant in a phishing scheme, thus demonstrating bad faith registration and use under Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).
Complainant also argues that Respondent shows a pattern of bad faith by holding registrations for other domain names that misappropriate well-known trademarks, including <us-agilnnet.com>, <us-ford.com>, <us-jotun.com>, <us-mazda.com>, <us-nissan.com>, and <us-renault.com>. The Panel agrees, noting that the foregoing all use the same convention of adding “us” to the trademarks comprising the domain names, and finds a pattern of bad faith under Policy paragraph 4(b)(ii).
Complainant further contends that Respondent knew of and targeted Complainant’s trademark. Based on the entire record, the Panel agrees and finds that this is further evidence of bad faith under Policy paragraph 4(b)(ii). See Tudor Games, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID No. 09382953107339 dba Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Domain Administrator, Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-1754) (“the Panel makes its finding regarding bad faith registration byasking whether it is more likely than not from the record of the evidence in the proceeding that Respondent had the ELECTRIC FOOTBALL trademark in mind when registering the Domain Name.”)
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 <us-moog.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin
Date: June 7, 2018