WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Mohamed Elsheikh
Case No. D2019-0776
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited, Ireland, represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Mohamed Elsheikh, Egypt.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <accenture-egypt.com> (“Domain Name”) is registered with eNom, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 8, 2019. On April 9, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On April 9, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name, which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on April 18, 2019, 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 April 19, 2019
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 April 24, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 14, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 15, 2019.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on May 29, 2019. 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.
The amendment to the Complaint referred to above stemmed from the fact that the Respondent was making use of a privacy service. The identity of the Respondent was disclosed to the Center by the Registrar in response to the Center’s request for registrar verification.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is an international management consultancy, technology and outsourcing services company, which with its affiliates and predecessor in title has been conducting business under the ACCENTURE trade mark since 2001.
The Complainant is the proprietor of a large number of trade mark registrations covering the ACCENTURE trade mark. One such registration is United States registration No. 3,091,811 ACCENTURE (typed drawing) registered May 16, 2006 (application filed October 26, 2000) for a wide range of goods and services in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 42. Another such registration is Arab Republic of Egypt registration No. 138277 ACCENTURE registered January 15, 2007 (application filed November 14, 2000) for educational services in class 41.
The Complainant has produced evidence to demonstrate that its ACCENTURE brand is well known in the United States and internationally. Its expenditure on advertising has been substantial and in the years 2009 to 2017 never amounted to less than USD 66 million.
The Complainant operates a website connected to its domain name, <accenture.com>, which it registered on August 30, 2000.
The Complainant has an affiliate company in Egypt, which operates under the name Accenture Egypt L.L.C. out of an address in Cairo.
The Domain Name was registered on November 7, 2018 and is connected to a commercial website of a business unconnected with the Complainant and named “Accenture Egypt” with an address in Cairo, identifying itself as a “Supply-Chain and Logistics Consultancy”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trade mark, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith for the purpose of impersonating the Complainant and/or the Complainant’s Egyptian affiliate.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) The Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name comprises (a) the Complainant’s trade mark ACCENTURE, (b) a hyphen, (c) the geographical indicator “Egypt”, and (d) the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain identifier. The Complainant’s ACCENTURE trade mark being readily recognizable in the Domain Name, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has established to the satisfaction of the Panel that it is very well known internationally in the business areas in which it operates including specifically the areas of Supply Chain Management services and Logistics services, that it has an affiliate company in Egypt operating out of Cairo under the name Accenture Egypt L.L.C. and that it has an Egyptian trade mark registration for ACCENTURE dating back over 10 years. The Complainant has also satisfied the Panel that the Respondent is unconnected with the Complainant and has not been granted any permission by the Complainant to use the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trade mark. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is using the Domain Name to impersonate the Complainant.
According to the Respondent’s website it is trading out of an address in Cairo in identical areas of activity to those in which the Complainant operates. With this in mind, it seems inconceivable to the Panel that the Respondent could have adopted the Domain Name unaware of the existence of the Complainant.
The Complainant has made out a prima facie case under this element of the Policy. In other words, the Respondent has a case to answer.
One circumstance that is capable of constituting rights or legitimate interests in respect of a domain name for the purposes of this element of the Policy is where a respondent is using its own name for the disputed domain name (paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy). However, it is not open to a respondent to seek the benefit of that provision where the name was adopted for the purpose of impersonating the complainant and the Respondent has made no attempt to provide a justification for its adoption and use of the Domain Name.
The Respondent has chosen not to answer. In the absence of an explanation from the Respondent, the Panel finds on the balance of probabilities that the Respondent has no answer, that the Complainant’s contentions are well-founded and that the Respondent adopted the Domain Name for the purpose of trading on the back of the reputation and goodwill that the Complainant has built up under the “Accenture” brand and in breach of the Complainant’s trade mark rights.
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
By the same reasoning, the Panel finds on the balance of probabilities that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(a)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) 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 Domain Name, <accenture-egypt.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 31, 2019