WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Bechtel Group, Inc. v. Williams Bender, Bender Group

Case No. D2018-2297

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Bechtel Group, Inc. of Reston, Virginia, United States of America (“United States”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Williams Bender, Bender Group of Delhi, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <bechtel.online> is registered with Web4Africa Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 10, 2018. On October 10, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 1, 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. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on November 1, 2018 providing further registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 5, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 25, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 26, 2018.

The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on December 10, 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 the holding company for a large group of international construction, procurement and engineering companies based in the United States and founded in 1898. It owns multiple trademark registrations incorporating its BECHTEL trademark, including U.S. Reg. No. 1047369 issued on August 31, 1976 and several trademark registrations for India (where the Respondent is based).

The disputed domain name was registered on September 11, 2018 and is currently resolving to a landing page with the following text: “SORRY! If you are the owner of this website, please contact your hosting provider: Web4Africa”.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has shown that it has rights in the BECHTEL trademark. The disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s BECHTEL trademark in its entirety.

It has become a consensus view among UDRP panels that the applicable Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) in a domain name is a standard registration requirement and as such may be disregarded when assessing confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy. This practice also applies with regard to new TLDs such as “.online” (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), sections 1.11.1 and 1.11.2).

Therefore, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s BECHTEL trademark.

The Complainant has thus satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant has presented evidence of emails sent by the Respondent from the disputed domain name to people creating the impression that such emails originate from the Complainant’s Chief Human Resources Officer. In these emails, the Respondent is stating that the email recipient is being considered for a position within the Complainant’s company. The emails ask the recipient to complete a series of questions and attach a “Contract Employment Agreement”. Such use of the disputed domain name cannot be considered as use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or as a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.

Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.

The Respondent’s efforts to masquerade as the Complainant in an attempt to solicit sensitive personal and/or financial information from unsuspecting people clearly demonstrates bad faith in the sense of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, i.e. an attempt by the Respondent to attract Internet users for commercial gain to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website. Panels have also held that the use of a domain name to send deceptive emails constitutes bad faith. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.4.

The Panel thus finds that the Complainant has also fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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, <bechtel.online>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tobias Zuberbühler
Sole Panelist
Date: December 14, 2018