WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Gerald Wilson
Case No. D2018-0935
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, represented by DLA Piper LLP, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Gerald Wilson of Surbiton, Surrey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <accenturegrp.com> (“Domain Name”) is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 26, 2018. On April 27, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 27, 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 May 1, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 21, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 22, 2018.
The Center appointed Tommaso La Scala as the sole panelist in this matter on May 30, 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 a well-known global management consulting and professional firm which uses the trademark ACCENTURE since 2001 in order to identify its services.
In this regard, the Complainant owns a considerable trademark portfolio that involves various jurisdictions throughout the world for the mark ACCENTURE.
The ACCENTURE trademark is widely recognized as a valuable leading global brand (even listed in the Fortune Global 500). Many UDRP panels have found that the Complainant and its trademarks are well-known throughout the world (see Accenture Global Services Limited v. ICS INC. / PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-2098; Accenture Global Services Limited v. WhoIs Privacy Protection Service, Inc. / ROBERT GREEN, WIPO Case No. D2013-2100; Accenture Global Services Limited v. Accenture Automotives Garage LLC / K.V. Binuraj / NetSonic Computers, WIPO Case No. D2014-1328; Accenture Global Services Limited v. Christophe Eck, WIPO Case No. D2017-0557).
The Domain Name <accenturegrp.com> was registered on March 13, 2018. The registrant of the Domain Name is Gerald Wilson. The Domain Name resolves to an inactive website and has been used to send fraudulent emails.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that the Domain Name is identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark, as the Domain Name’s inclusion of the abbreviation of the generic corporate designation for “group” (“grp”) does not materially distinguish it from the ACCENTURE trademark.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, nor it is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain, to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademarks of another.
The Domain Name currently resolves to an inactive website and has been used in connection with an email address – signed by an unknown “General Manager” – that quoted the address of one of the Complainant’s offices to mislead the Complainant’s vendors.
Given the above, the Complainant further states that the Domain Name has been registered and used in bad faith, considering that the Respondent surely had constructive notice that the ACCENTURE trademark was registered in the United States and in many other jurisdictions worldwide.
In addition, registration of a domain name in an attempt to appear associated or affiliated with another to obtain money or other materials is a clear evidence of bad faith use and registration.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must prove each of the following elements:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established its registered rights in the ACCENTURE trademark.
The Domain Name <accenturegrp.com> is composed of the ACCENTURE trademark to which the letters “grp” are added. That is a clear reference to the generic and merely descriptive word “group”.
Such addition does not differentiate at all the Domain Name from the ACCENTURE trademark, nor does the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11) and also Accenture Global Services Limited v. Christophe Eck, supra.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The condition of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel believes the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use any of its trademarks or to register the Domain Name incorporating its trademarks. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name with intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademarks of the Complainant.
Based on the evidence submitted, the Respondent attempted to appear associated or affiliated with the Complainant and its ACCENTURE trademark using an email account connected with the Domain Name, in order to achieve commercial gain by misleading the Complainant’s vendors.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Taking into account the renowned status of the ACCENTURE trademark and the specific circumstances of this case – namely the Respondent’s attempt to appear associated or affiliated with the Complainant and thus obtaining a commercial gain – the Panel believes that the Respondent knew or should have known of the Complainant’s well-known ACCENTURE trademark at the time of registration of the Domain Name, and therefore registered the Domain Name in bad faith.
In particular, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered in bad faith for the purpose of misleading third parties on the origin of emails created using the Domain Name, i.e., to disrupt the Complainant’s vendors and even its reputation.
Furthermore, the Complainant has submitted convincing evidence that the Domain Name <accenturegrp.com> was used to send emails to the Complainant’s vendors, pretending to be an unknown Complainant’s General Manager.
The Panel finds that using the Domain Name to create and use an email address in the manner set out above is an evidence of a fraudulent email scheme and supports a finding of bad faith registration and use of the Domain Name.
Therefore, the condition set out by paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been met by the Complainant.
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 <accenturegrp.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Tommaso La Scala
Date: June 8, 2018