WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
RS Components Limited v. Prabjyot Gill
Case No. D2018-1142
1. The Parties
Complainant is RS Components Limited of Corby, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“U.K.” or “United Kingdom”), represented by SILKA Law AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Prabjyot Gill of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <rscomponentss.com> is registered with Domain.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 22, 2018. On May 23, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On the same date, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 31, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 20, 2018. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 21, 2018.
The Center appointed Michael A. Albert as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 RS Components Limited was founded in 1937 and is a distributor for various products, including electronics, test and measurement equipment, and electrical and mechanical components. According to the respective certificates, Complainant owns multiple registrations for its mark, including U.K. Reg. No. 00001255111 for RS COMPONENTS, registered November 25, 1985 (expiring November 25, 2026), and European Union Reg. No. 001865369 for RS COMPONENTS, registered May 16, 2003 (expiring September 21, 2020).
Respondent registered the disputed domain name, <rscomponentss.com>, with the Registrar on March 21, 2018. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website, but consists of a webpage with various links posted on the homepage. These links do not appear to lead to Complainant’s website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its RS COMPONENTS marks because it entirely incorporates the same mark with the addition of an extra letter “s” at the end.
Complainant further alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name because the disputed domain name was held for the purpose of furthering fraud through impersonation. Complainant alleges that on the same day the disputed domain name was registered, an email address was created using the disputed domain name preceded by the name of one of Complainant’s employees. That same day, the email address was used to send emails to potential customers in order to ask them to submit payments to foreign bank accounts not controlled by the Complaint. Complainant further submits that Respondent has not been authorized or licensed to register the disputed domain name, is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, and has not been preparing to use the disputed domain name in a bona fide offering of goods or services.
Finally, Complainant alleges that illegitimate activity or phishing is manifestly evidence of bad faith, and that the aforementioned fraudulent behavior of Respondent establishes bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated rights to RS COMPONENTS. Complainant has provided certificates that show the mark was registered with the European Union in 2003 (expiring in 2020), and was registered in the United Kingdom in 1985 (expiring in 2026). Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Les Publications Conde Nast S.A. v. Vougechen, WIPO Case No. D2014-0657 (“A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner”).
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s RS COMPONENTS mark, because it includes Complainant’s mark and adds an additional letter “s” to the end. Domain names that incorporate the entirety of a trademark are typically considered confusingly similar for the purposes of UDRP standing. See Covance, Inc. and Covance Laboratories Ltd. v. The Covance Campaign, WIPO Case No. D2004-0206 (holding that adding a descriptive word to the end of the complainant’s trademark was not enough to remove confusing similarity); SoftCom Technology Consulting Inc. v. Olariu Romeo/Orv Fin Group S.L., WIPO Case No. D2008-0792 (finding that adding a common word to the end of the complainant’s mark was not enough to overcome confusing similarity, and holding that when a disputed domain name incorporates a distinctive mark in its entirety, there is sufficient similarity to render it confusingly similar).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has demonstrated that the disputed domain name was used for illegal activity, which cannot confer rights or legitimate interests on a respondent. See Richemont International SA v. brandon gill, WIPO Case No. D2013-0037 (finding that using a domain name “as a means of improperly diverting Internet customers” could not be legitimate); Groupama, S.A. v. Club Web, Best France, WIPO Case No. D2017-0631 (finding that the respondent did not have any rights or legitimate interests, partly because it fraudulently used the disputed domain name “to deceive and mislead consumers”); Carrefour v. Jean Dorangeville, WIPO Case No. D2016-2003 (holding that where there was evidence of a phishing scheme, the respondent did not establish rights or legitimate interests). Complainant has demonstrated that Respondent acted fraudulently by creating an email address using the name of one of Complainant’s employees and the disputed domain name. The evidence shows that there was illegal activity, because the email address was used to impersonate an employee and send emails to at least one of Complainant’s customers. This customer was deceived into canceling previous payments and taking steps toward sending money to a foreign bank account not controlled by Complainant.
Furthermore, Complainant has alleged that Respondent has not been and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or a legitimate noncommercial use, and that Respondent is not sponsored by or affiliated with Complainant. Respondent has not replied, thus failing to point to any evidence demonstrating otherwise. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. v. Arena International Inc., WIPO Case No. D2011-0203 (holding that once a complainant has made a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests through allegations or evidence, the respondent’s failure to respond is generally considered a failure to meet its burden of production).
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant has established that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. L’Oréal v. Cimpress Schweiz GmbH, WIPO Case No. DCO2017-0021 (holding that while the four factors of paragraph 4(b) of the Policy are considered in the analysis of bad faith, other relevant circumstances can also be included in the analysis). Using a domain name for illegal purposes can constitute bad faith. Facebook, Inc. v. Werner Gonzalez, WIPO Case No. D2017-2046 (holding that using “a domain name for phishing related activities is inherently in bad faith”); Tetra Laval Holdings & Finance S.A. v. Harry Bradley, Harry B. Holdings Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2016-0616 (finding that the respondent’s scheme of sending emails impersonating an employee in order to divert payments was bad faith); The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc v. Secret Registration Customer ID 232883 / Lauren Terrado, WIPO Case No. D2012-2093 (holding that “[u]se of a disputed domain name for the purpose of defrauding Internet users […] is perhaps the clearest evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith”). As described above, unrebutted evidence indicates that Respondent used the disputed domain name to commit fraud. This was accomplished by sending emails, which included impersonating a Complainant employee, to redirect customer payments to an account not controlled by Complainant.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied 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 disputed domain name <rscomponentss.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Michael A. Albert
Date: July 17, 2018