WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Servicemaster Brands, L.L.C. v. Scott Rosenbaum
Case No. D2018-0961
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Servicemaster Brands, L.L.C. of Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Partridge Partners PC, United States.
The Respondent is Scott Rosenbaum of Miami, Florida, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <merrymaids.cleaning> is registered with Name.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 30, 2018. On May 1, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 4, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s 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 7, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 27, 2018.
At the request of the Complainant, the administrative proceeding was suspended on May 24, 2018 and reinstituted on July 25, 2018. The due date for Response thereafter was July 28, 2018.
The Center received informal email communications from the Respondent on May 24, 2018; May 25, 2018; May 30, 2018; and May 31, 2018.
The Center notified the Parties on July 30, 2018, that it will proceed to appointment of the Panel.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on August 8, 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 leader in the cleaning services industry and has provided residential cleaning services under the coined MERRY MAIDS name and trademark for almost forty years. The Complainant has expanded its brand to provide services under the mark in the majority of the United States, including several locations in the state of Florida, where the Respondent is located. The Complainant owns numerous marks worldwide containing the term MERRY MAIDS, including but not limited to, U.S. Registration Nos. 1,343,329 (registered June 18, 1985) and 1,343,330 (registered June 18, 1985).
The disputed domain name was registered on March 6, 2018. It resolves to a website providing pay-per-click links to cleaning services and companies other than the Complainant or its Merry Maids brand.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark; 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’s email communications mentioned above refer to a consent to transfer the disputed domain name to the Complainant. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The disputed 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 disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant undoubtedly has rights in the mark MERRY MAIDS. The mark is among the most recognizable brands in the residential cleaning services marketplace, having been registered and in widespread use for many years. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to this mark. It contains the words comprising the mark in its entirety, accompanied by the new generic Top-Level Domain (“new gTLD”) “.cleaning”. The use of this new gTLD does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity and does not impact the assessment of the first element. Accordingly, the Panel finds in favor of the Complainant on this first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant will be successful under this element of the Policy if it makes a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and if that prima facie showing remains unrebutted by the Respondent. The Complainant asserts, among other things, that i) there is no relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent, nor is there any authorization for the Respondent to use the disputed domain name, ii) there is no indication the Respondent was known for its use of the disputed domain name, and iii) the Respondent used the disputed domain name to “divert and siphon off” Internet users into visiting the Respondent’s website, which offers links to services that compete with the Complainant’s services. These assertions establish the Complainant’s prima facie case. The Respondent has not answered the Complainant’s assertions, and, seeing no basis in the record to overcome the Complainant’s prima facie showing, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied this second Policy element.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Because the Complainant’s mark is well-known, it is implausible to believe that the Respondent was not aware of that mark when it registered the disputed domain name. The Panel notes the nature of the disputed domain name consisting of the mark MERRY MAIDS in its entirety at the second-level portion of the disputed domain name, along with the new gTLD “.cleaning”, a word descriptive of or related to the Complainant’s services. In the circumstances of this case, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name. Bad faith use is clear from the Respondent’s activities of using the disputed domain name to provide a website with pay-per-click links for competitive services. For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has successfully met this third Policy element.
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 <merrymaids.cleaning> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: August 10, 2018