WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge v. Romy Naoum
Case No. D2018-1794
1. The Parties
The Complainant is The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge of Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”), represented by Stobbs IP Limited, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Romy Naoum of London, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cannbridge.org> is registered with The Registry at Info Avenue, LLC d/b/a Spirit Telecom (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 7, 2018. On August 7, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 22, 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 the Complainant on August 29, 2018 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on August 30, 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 10, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 30, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 1, 2018.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on October 11, 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 world-renowned University. One of the Complainant’s departments, Cambridge University Press sells books, journals and other educational resources that it publishes, through the domain name <cambridge.org>, registered on April 18, 1998. The Complainant owns a number of trademarks for the name CAMBRIDGE including United Kingdom trademark registration number UK00002023166, registered on December 18, 1998.
The disputed domain name was registered on May 2, 2018. No website has ever been constructed using the disputed domain name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
These are the Complainant’s contentions.
The Complainant owns extensive rights in the trademark CAMBRIDGE in the United Kingdom and abroad. The disputed domain name is very similar to the Complainant’s trademarks. It is an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark. The two lower case letters “nn” placed next to each other resemble very closely the lowercase letter “m”. As a result, the disputed domain name looks very similar to <cambridge.org>, the domain name used for the main website of the Complainant’s Cambridge University Press. The Complainant’s use of “@cambridge.org” in all their official email addresses lends any email sent from an address using that string an air of authenticity.
The Respondent is not known by the name “Cambridge” or “Cannbridge” and has no trademark registrations or rights in those names. The disputed domain is not being use in connection with any website.
The Respondent is highly likely to have registered the disputed domain name when well aware of the Complainant in the light of latter’s history and general reputation. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the Complainant’s business. The disputed domain name was used, almost immediately after its registration, to send a fraudulent email to one of the Complainant’s customers. The Respondent used the disputed domain name to create an email address which closely mimics an email address used by the Complainant by substituting “@cambridge.org” for “@cannbridge.org”. The Respondent then sent an email using its new email address, created using the disputed domain name, to one of the Complainant’s customers, seeking payment of a large sum of money to a bank account that is not connected to the Complainant. The email purports to be signed off by an employee of the Complainant with a role relevant to the email’s recipient.
The brevity of the interval between the disputed domain name’s registration and the email to the Complainant’s customer strongly suggests that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the intention of using it to attempt to defraud the Complainant’s customers.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed 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 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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The difference between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark is the insertion of “nn” in place of “m” and the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.org”. The gTLD is irrelevant here because it does not affect the meaning of the disputed domain name.
The similarity between “nn” and “m” supports the view that disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. This is an example of typosquatting on which WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), paragraph 1.9, comments:
“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.
This stems from the fact that the domain name contains sufficiently recognizable aspects of the relevant mark.”
For all these reasons, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent is not called “Cannbridge”, “Cambridge” or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized the Respondent to use its trademark. For these reasons, and in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant’s claim that the Respondent has never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Senior Counsel at Cambridge University Press, the Complainant’s publishing business, supplied a witness statement, dated July 30, 2018. Included in it is an email exchange between someone purporting to be from the International Credit Management Department of the Cambridge University Press and a University in Saudi Arabia. The sender of the initial email, dated on the day of the disputed domain name’s registration, used the address cm “[…]@cannbridge.org” to request payment of GBP 252,859.99 to an account at a well-known United Kingdom bank. This is not an account of the Complainant’s. The following day, the recipient of the email, a client of the Complainant, immediately emailed the Complainant seeking confirmation of the overdue payment position.
The email sent on the day of the disputed domain name’s registration using an address derived from the disputed domain name indicates that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the purposes of creating an email address which could confuse and in this way be used to defraud the Complainant’s customers. This demonstrates bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent registered and is using 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 <cannbridge.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 12, 2018