WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Li Jin Dong
Case No. D2018-1155
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Dublin, Ireland, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America (“US”).
The Respondent is Li Jin Dong of Jinan, Shandong, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <accenturr.com>, <accenturw.com>, <accenturwe.com>, <accentyure.com>, <accrnture.com>, <accunture.com>, <acecnture.com>, <avcenture.com>, and <sccenture.com> are registered with Xin Net Technology Corp. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 23, 2018. On May 23, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On May 24, 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. On May 25, 2018, the Center sent an email in English and Chinese to the Parties regarding the language of the proceeding. The Complainant requested that English be the language of the proceeding on May 28, 2018. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding by the specified due date.
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 in English and Chinese of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 1, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 21, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 22, 2018.
The Center appointed Deanna Wong Wai Man as the sole panelist in this matter on June 26, 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 global management consultancy and professional services company headquartered in Ireland. The Complainant provides a wide range of services including consultancy, technology, and operations services for a large number of prominent multinational companies.
The Complainant owns a large portfolio of over 1,000 trademark registrations for ACCENTURE (word and device marks) in over 140 jurisdictions, including in the Respondent’s home jurisdiction China, see for instance US trademark registration number 2665373, registered on December 24, 2002 and European Union (“EU”) trademark 001958370, registered on August 14, 2002. The Complainant also owns an official domain name, <accenture.com>, registered on August 29, 2000, through which it provides information about the services it offers. Most relevant registered trademarks and domain names adduced by the Complainant were successfully registered prior to the registration date of the disputed domain names, which were all registered on January 15, 2018. The disputed domain names <accrnture.com> and <sccenture.com> resolve to a pay-per-click websites and the other disputed domain names are inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant essentially contends that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its prior trademarks for ACCENTURE, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Complainant claims that its trademarks are famous and well-regarded in the consultancy sector, and provides a large amount of evidence regarding its fame and its advertising efforts. The Complainant also provides previous UDRP decisions in which its ACCENTURE marks were recognised as well-known marks. The Complainant also provides several previous UDRP decisions in which it was held that the Respondent is a typosquatter, and in which it was ordered that the domain names be transferred to the respective complainants. Moreover, the Complainant provides evidence that some of the disputed domain names are linked to active websites, offering competing online marketing services and further links to competing providers of such services, using the Complainant’s trademarks, without any reference to a license, distribution agreement or other permission from the Complainant. The Complainant essentially contends that such use does not confer any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and constitutes use in bad faith.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain names.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1. First Preliminary Issue: Language of proceedings
Pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, the language of the administrative proceedings shall be the language of the Registration Agreement. However, the Panel is given the authority to determine a language of proceeding other than the language of the Registration Agreement, taking into account the circumstances of every individual case.
The Complainant states that the Registration Agreement is in Chinese. Nevertheless, the Complainant requests that the language of proceedings be English. The Complainant claims that the Respondent is engaging in repeated typosquatting, and allowing the dispute to proceed in Chinese would give the Respondent an advantage and force the Complainant to incur additional costs and expenses.
The Panel has carefully considered all elements of this case, in particular, the Complainant’s request that the language of proceedings be English; the lack of response of the Respondent (the Panel notes that the Respondent had the opportunity to put forward arguments in either English or Chinese); the fact that two of the disputed domain names are linked to active webpages (while the others are linked to inactive web pages) that are both entirely and exclusively in English and that contain hyperlinks to other webpages that are also entirely in English, so that the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no problem with reading and writing in English; and the fact that Chinese as the language of proceedings could lead to unwarranted delay and costs for the Complainant. In view of all these elements, the Panel rules that the language of proceedings shall be English.
6.2. Discussion and Findings on the merits
The Policy requires the complainant to prove three elements:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
(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.
Based on the evidence and arguments submitted, the Panel’s findings are as follows:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that it has valid rights in the sign ACCENTURE based on its intensive use and registration of the same as a trademark, incidentally also commencing over a decade prior to the registration of the disputed domain names.
Moreover, as to confusing similarity, the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) states: “A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element”. In this case, the Panel considers that the disputed domain names are clearly selected by intentionally misspelling the Complainant’s trademark ACCENTURE, each time incorporating such trademark in its entirety, except that a single character of such trademark is misspelled. According to the Panel, this is a clear case of “typosquatting”. Accordingly, the Panel rules that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks and the first element required by the Policy has been fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has demonstrated that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Panel notes that the Respondent is not an authorized reseller, service provider or distributor, and is not making a legitimate noncommercial use or fair use of the Complainant’s trademarks. The Panel therefore considers that none of the circumstances of legitimate interests envisaged by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply. The Panel also notes that no evidence or arguments have been submitted by the Respondent in reply. The Panel therefore rules that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the second requirement under the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the reputation and fame of the Complainant’s trademark, the registration of the disputed domain names, which incorporate such trademark in its entirety, except for the intentional misspelling of one character in each disputed domain name, is clearly intended to mislead and divert consumers to the disputed domain names. Even a cursory Internet search would have made it clear to the Respondent that the Complainant owns trademarks in ACCENTURE and uses it extensively, even in the Respondent’s home jurisdiction China. In the Panel’s view, this clearly indicates the bad faith of the Respondent, and the Panel therefore rules that it has been demonstrated that the Respondent registered the disputed domain names in bad faith.
As to use of the disputed domain names in bad faith, the websites linked to the disputed domain names <sccenture.com> and <accrnture.com> are currently used as platforms offering links to providers of competing services, also containing what is presumed to be pay-per-click hyperlinks to competitors of the Complainant. Such use of those disputed domain names is clearly intended to divert consumers to the disputed domain names, where unauthorized services are advertised and consumers are diverted to the websites of competitors of the Complainant. The other disputed domain names are linked to blank websites, and the WIPO Overview 3.0 states in this regard: “From the inception of the UDRP, panelists have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank or “coming soon” page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding”. Moreover, according to WhoIs results and previous UDRP decisions submitted by the Complainant, the Respondent has registered a large number of domain names, almost exclusively consisting of typographical misspellings of English words or recognizable business or organization names in English. All these elements lead the Panel to conclude that the Respondent is an opportunistic domain name squatter, using the disputed domain names in bad faith to take unfair advantage of the Complainant’s trademarks. The Panel therefore rules that it has been demonstrated that the Respondent is using the disputed domain names in bad faith.
Finally, the Respondent has failed to provide any response or evidence to establish its good faith or absence of bad faith. The Panel therefore rules that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the third requirement under 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 names, <accenturr.com>, <accenturw.com>, <accenturwe.com>, <accentyure.com>, <accrnture.com>, <accunture.com>, <acecnture.com>, <avcenture.com>, and <sccenture.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Deanna Wong Wai Man
Date: July 4, 2018