WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Domain eRegistration
Case No. D2018-1886
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited of Dublin, Ireland, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Domain eRegistration of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <accentureplacement.com> is registered with OnlineNic, Inc. d/b/a China-Channel.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 17, 2018. On August 20, 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 23, 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 23, 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 August 27, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 16, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 17, 2018.
The Center appointed Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira as the sole panelist in this matter on October 3, 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 Accenture Global Services Limited, an international business corporation that provides management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services under the name “ACCENTURE”.
The Complainant is the owner of the ACCENTURE trademark and company name, and several trademark registrations fully incorporating “ACCENTURE” (collectively the “ACCENTURE Mark”). The Complainant has been using the ACCENTURE Mark since 2001. The Complainant is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services and owns more than 1,000 trademark registrations worldwide, for ACCENTURE and other marks incorporating the expression “ACCENTURE”.
As evidenced by the documents attached to the Complaint, Complainant’s mark ACCENTURE was extensively promoted, without limitation, in print advertisements, promotional materials, Internet forums, etc. Also the ACCENTURE Mark has been recognized as a leading global brand by reputable brand consulting companies, and has also been recognized in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Report since 2002.
The disputed domain name was registered on August 15, 2018, and currently resolves to an inactive webpage.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is the owner of the trademark ACCENTURE, which is part of more than 1,000 trademark registrations worldwide. Due to the Complainant’s operations, the ACCENTURE Mark has acquired international recognition and is clearly linked to the Complainant.
The ACCENTURE Mark is associated to the Complainant’s core business. The use of the mark has started more than 16 years ago. The Complainant has been recognized for its business services and brand recognition. For the past 16 years, it has been listed in the Fortune Global 500, which ranks the world’s largest companies. In addition, the Complainant has appeared in various other top rankings by Fortune.
Further, as stated by the documents presented, the registration and use of the ACCENTURE Mark predates the registration of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the ACCENTURE Mark.
The disputed domain name directs to the Complainant’s website, as shown in Annex S to the Complaint. Nevertheless, the Complainant alleges that the Respondent has been contacting people, posing as recruiters and requesting CVs to be sent to an email that relates to the disputed domain name. Proof of at least one contact was presented.
Additionally, the Complainant alleges that the registration and use of the disputed domain name intentionally misleads Internet users, and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy, in its paragraph 4(a), determines that three elements must be presented and duly proven by a complainant to obtain relief. These elements are:
(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 disputed domain name is, indeed, confusingly similar to the ACCENTURE Mark, as the latter is entirely incorporated in the disputed domain name with the addition of the expression “placement”.
The Complainant has presented consistent evidence of ownership of the ACCENTURE Mark in jurisdictions throughout the world, by presenting international trademark registrations, as well as comprehensive evidence of the use of the trademark. The Complainant’s trademark registrations for ACCENTURE include United States Registration No. 2,665,373, registered on December 24, 2002, United States Registration No. 3,091,911, registered on May 16, 2006, and European Union Trade Mark No. 001958370, registered on August 14, 2002.
The use of the ACCENTURE Mark with the addition of the expression “placement” in the disputed domain name does not differentiate it from the trademark and therefore does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has met the requirements under the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Given the clear evidence that the ACCENTURE Mark is registered in the Complainant’s name and is widely known as identifying the Complainant’s activities, and that the Complainant has not licensed this trademark to the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In the absence of a Response, the Respondent has not rebutted such prima facie case.
It has also been shown that the Respondent is not making any direct use of the disputed domain name, but redirecting it to the Complainant’s website. Evidence also shows that the Respondent is in fact using the disputed domain name to deceive Internet users via a fraudulent email scheme.
The Panel, thus, finds for the Complainant under the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the circumstances of this case, the facts evidence the Respondent’s bad faith in the registration and use of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has submitted evidence of a fraudulent email scheme executed by the Respondent, using an email account relating to the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name was registered to clearly mislead the consumers – hence the addition of the word “placement”. The Respondent intended to give an overall impression that the disputed domain name is associated with the Complainant’s employment opportunities, and the Panel accepts that the disputed domain name may be intended for unlawful purposes. The Respondent’s redirection of its website to the Complainant’s website further shows that it is attempting to mislead consumers into believing that the Domain Name is associated or affiliated with the Complainant, when it is not. The disputed domain name currently resolves to an inactive webpage, but this does not prevent a finding of registration and use in bad faith.
All the points above lead to the conclusion by this Panel that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has also proved the third element 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 <accentureplacement.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira
Date: October 18, 2018