WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Cult Beauty Limited v. Amaan Shah

Case No. D2019-0863

1. The Parties

Complainant is Cult Beauty Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Dechert LLP, United Kingdom.

Respondent is Amaan Shah, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <cultbeauty.host> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 16, 2019. On April 16, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 16, 2019, 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 April 23, 2019 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 April 23, 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 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. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on May 15, 2019.

The Center appointed Lawrence K. Nodine as the sole panelist in this matter on May 24, 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.

4. Factual Background

Founded in 2007, Complainant is an online retailer that sells beauty products on its website, www.cultbeauty.co.uk. Complainant owns several domestic and international trademark registrations for its CULT BEAUTY mark, including European Union Registration No. 10,304,715, registered November 14, 2013, United States of America (“U.S”). Registration No. 4,709,986, registered March 31, 2015, and International Registration No. 1,195,792, registered February 13, 2014. Complainant ships products to eighty-five countries, including India. As a result of Complainant’s international presence, Complainant has received numerous awards and press coverage. Several hundred thousand individuals follow each of Complainant’s social media accounts.

Respondent registered the disputed domain name on January 17, 2019. As of February 15, 2019, the disputed domain name directed to a website featuring pricing and other information for salon services.

On February 20, 2019, Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to Respondent via the email address provided on Respondent’s website. Complainant sent a follow-up communication to Respondent on March 7, 2019. Respondent never replied to Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is identical to its CULT BEAUTY mark.

Complainant also asserts that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant alleges that Respondent is using the disputed domain to promote goods and services competitive to those offered by Complainant. This use, according to Complainant, does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services. Complainant further contends that it has not licensed, authorized, or otherwise permitted Respondent’s use of the CULT BEAUTY mark in the disputed domain name, and Respondent is not commonly known by CULT BEAUTY.

Regarding Respondent’s bad faith, Complainant contends that Respondent registered the disputed domain name with knowledge of Complainant and Complainant’s CULT BEAUTY mark, as evidenced by the promotion of competitive goods and services on Respondent’s website. Complainant asserts that Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the sole purpose of disrupting Complainant’s business and profiting from Complainant’s reputation and good will acquired through its CULT BEAUTY mark.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has established its rights in the CULT BEAUTY mark by way of its trademark registrations. The disputed domain name is identical to and incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety.

Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant has presented a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Complainant has not consented to or authorized Respondent’s use of the CULT BEAUTY mark. Moreover, Respondent has offered no explanation for its use of the disputed domain name and none is apparent. Oddly, the associated webpage relies primarily on the mark “Salonspa7.” Respondent’s use is, for all that appears, unnecessary and gratuitous, and thereby supports the inference that Respondent exploits the goodwill and popularity of Complainant’s trademark to attract Internet users. This is not a legitimate or bona fide use. See OSRAM GmbH v. Mohammed Rafi/Domain Admin, Privacy Protection Service Inc. d/b/a/ PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2015-1149; Malayan Banking Berhad v. Beauty, Success & Truth International, WIPO Case No. D2008-1393 (“The use of a domain name which is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark with an intention of deriving advantage from user confusion and diverting Internet users to other commercial sites does not confer legitimate rights on the Respondent.”).

Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Given the fame of Complainant’s CULT BEAUTY mark, it is highly unlikely that Respondent registered a domain name identical to the mark without knowledge of Complainant’s rights. More likely, Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the intention to divert consumers to Respondent’s website for Respondent’s commercial benefit. Thus, the record supports the finding that Respondent registered the disputed domain name to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s Mark and/or to disrupt Complainant’s business. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 3.2.2.

Respondent has also used the disputed domain name in bad faith to exploit Complainant’s popularity and goodwill to attract Internet users for commercial gain. Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv).

Complainant has satisfied 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 <cultbeauty.host> be transferred to Complainant.

Lawrence K. Nodine
Sole Panelist
Date: June 6, 2019