WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Zhichao Yang
Case No. D2018-1388
1. The Parties
Complainant is Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette of Sliema, Malta, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org of Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America ("US")/ Zhichao Yang of Anhui, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cjatroulette.com> is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on June 21, 2018. On June 21, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 21, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on June 27, 2018 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on July 2, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 6, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 26, 2018. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent's default on July 27, 2018.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on August 9, 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 is the owner of the trademark CHATROULETTE for use in connection with an online chat website that pairs random people around the world together for real time, webcam-based conversations.
Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations including the mark CHATROULETTE (including trademark registrations in the European Union (EUIPO), China (CTMO), the Russian Federation (ROSPATENT), Germany (DPMA) and the US (USPTO)):
CTMO 8126890 registered 2011 Class 42
CTMO 8126891 registered 2011 Class 38
CTMO 8126892 registered 2011 Class 35
ROSPATENT 429957 registered 2011 Classes 35, 38, 42
EUIPO 008944076 registered 2012 Classes 35, 38, 42
EUIPO 008946352 registered 2012 Classes 35, 38, 42
DPMA 302010003706 registered 2013 Classes 35, 38, 42
USPTO 4445843 registered 2013 Classes 38, 45
Complainant began using the CHATROULETTE mark in connection with online chat website services in 2009 as a high school student in Moscow, Russian Federation. Complainant's services under Complainant's mark have generated significant interest and attention internationally in the media, including in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New York magazine, as well as on television shows including Good Morning America and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. According to SimilarWeb statistics, Complainant's website located at <chatroulette.com> averaged over 4.522 million monthly visitors in the period November 2017 – January 2018.
Complainant registered its domain name <chatroulette.com> on November 16, 2009, and established its CHATROULETTE service and website shortly thereafter.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 23, 2018. The disputed domain name redirects to a website with adult content, offering products or services of Complainant's competitors.
5. Parties' Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademark rights, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide a complaint "on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable".
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the trademark registrations referenced above. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's marks. The disputed domain name consists of a slight misspelling of Complainant's marks. The disputed domain name differs from Complainant's trademark by only one letter. Respondent has removed the letter "h" from CHATROULETTE and replaced it with the letter "j", which is also adjacent to the letter "h" on the QWERTY keyboard. This is a classic example of "typo-squatting," designed to lure Internet users to the cyber-squatter's website.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant contends that Respondent is not sponsored by or affiliated with Complainant. There is no evidence in the record suggesting that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
Respondent is not making a bona fide offering of goods or services nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. On the website located at the disputed domain name, Respondent offers to sell products or services of Complainant's competitors, which directly compete with Complainant's own services. In addition, Respondent is using the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a website that features adult content, as well as directing Internet users to a website featuring links to third-party websites, some of which directly compete with Complainant. Presumably, Respondent receives pay-per-click fees from the linked websites that are listed at the disputed domain name website.
The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
By registering the disputed domain name with a one letter typo, Respondent has demonstrated a knowledge of and familiarity with Complainant's trademark and business. The disputed domain name is a slight misspelling of Complainant's trademark, as well as Complainant's <chatroulette.com> domain name. The evidence of record indicates that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name to take advantage of Internet traffic generated by typing errors committed by Complainant's prospective customers. In addition, the website at the disputed domain name features sexually-explicit content, which provides further evidence of Respondent's bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent's website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's mark for Respondent's own pecuniary gain, as evidenced by the presence of multiple pay-per-click links posted to Respondent's website.
In addition, Respondent has previously been involved in the following cases, which provides evidence of Respondent's pattern of cybersquatting conduct:
- Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette v. Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2018-0817;
- Credit Karma, Inc. v. Zhichao Yang, Private Registration, Domains By Proxy, LLC, PRIVACYDOTLINK CUSTOMER 2444911, PRIVACYDOTLINK CUSTOMER 2447251, PRIVACYDOTLINK CUSTOMER 2447234, PRIVACYDOTLINK CUSTOMER 2447222, WIPO Case No. D2018-0031;
- G4S Plc. V. Domain Administrator, SeePrivacyGuardian.org / Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2017-1396;
- Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd. / Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2017-0744;
- Pet Plan Ltd v. Domain Administrator, SeePrivacyGuardian.org / Zhichao Yang, WIPO Case No. D2016-2014
Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
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 <cjatroulette.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Date: August 22, 2018