WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Kraft Heinz Foods Company v. Dion Dudley, Grownmark

Case No. D2019-0979

1. The Parties

Complainant is Kraft Heinz Foods Company, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Jennifer Woods, United States.

Respondent is Dion Dudley, Grownmark, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <krafthainz.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 29, 2019. On April 30, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 1, 2019, 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 verified that the 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 May 2, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 22, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on May 23, 2019.

The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on June 4, 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

Complainant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kraft Heinz Company, which is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations in the United States and other countries for the marks KRAFT (registered with United States trademark no: 554187, on January 29, 1952) and HEINZ (registered with United States trademark no: 62182, on April 23, 1907), among others. Complainant also owns the domain names “www.kraftheinzcompany.com” and “www.kraftheinz.com”.

The disputed domain name <krafthainz.com> was registered on March 20, 2019.

Complainant submitted evidence of actual confusion among Internet users. The disputed domain name was used to exchange communications with and solicit at least one of Complainant’s vendors for payment of Complainant’s invoices, with the intent to deceive the Internet user to believe she was providing information and customer service to legitimate The Kraft Heinz Company employees.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is virtually identical to and confusingly similar with Complainant’s registered trademarks KRAFT and HEINZ, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated 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 Complainant has rights; and

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain names has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide a complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has demonstrated that it has strong rights in the trademarks KRAFT and HEINZ, including numerous registered trademarks in the United States dating back to 1907. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s marks in their entirety, except for the substitution of the letter “a” for “e” in the mark HEINZ. This is an obvious example of typosquatting, designed to lure Internet users into believing they are communicating with Complainant or Complainant’s employees and contractors.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant asserts and the evidence indicates that Respondent does not use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent has no website advertising any goods or services of his own. The disputed domain name returns an error message and does not display a webpage. Respondent does not send email messages under his actual name, choosing instead to steal the identity of multiple The Kraft Heinz Company employees and contractors. Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name and has not acquired any trademark rights related to the disputed domain name.

By sending fraudulent emails from the disputed domain name, Respondent sought to take advantage of the fame of Complainant’s trademarks and the trust and goodwill that Complainant has developed among consumers. Respondent’s fraudulent use of the disputed domain name with devious motives clearly does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The KRAFT and HEINZ trademarks are widely known and registered in the United States and worldwide. The evidence indicates that Respondent was obviously aware of Complainant’s rights with respect to the KRAFT and HEINZ trademarks when registering the disputed domain name. There is no conceivable legitimate reason for Respondent to register the disputed domain name. The evidence shows that Respondent has registered the disputed domain name for the sole purpose of conducting a phishing campaign. The emails submitted with the Complaint establish that Respondent used the disputed domain name to defraud Complainant’s vendors under the guise of conducting business on behalf of Complainant while stealing the identify of several of Complainant’s employees and contractors.

The evidence indicates that Respondent intentionally designed the disputed domain name to closely mimic Complainant’s trademarks and domain name for the purpose of fraudulent financial gain. This is further evidence of bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.

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 <krafthainz.com> be transferred to the Complainant

Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Sole Panelist
Date: June 18, 2019