WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Quest Diagnostics Investments LLC v. Domain Admin/Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / John Snow

Case No. D2019-1031

1. The Parties

Complainant is Quest Diagnostics Investments LLC, United States of America (“Complainant), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.

Respondent is Domain Admin/Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org), United States of America / John Snow, United States of America (hereinafter, jointly and severally, “Respondent”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <questdiagnosticinc.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 May 6, 2019. On May 6, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 7, 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 May 7, 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 May 13, 2019.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaint (hereinafter, “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 13, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 2, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 5, 2019.

The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on June 7, 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 the provider of diagnostic information services regarding routine medical, drugs of abuse, and non-hospital anatomic pathology testing services. (Complaint, Annexes 6.1 and 6.2). Complainant’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Complainant is headquartered in the United States and has facilities there and in other countries, with more than 46,000 employees, with revenues in 2018 of approximately 75 Billion United States Dollars. (Complaint, Annexes 6.3 and 6.4). Complainant has been recognized in lists of major business publications, such as Fortune 500, Forbes Global 2000, and Baron’s 500. (Complaint, Annex 6.5.

Complainant is the owner of numerous trademarks incorporating or consisting of its QUEST DIAGNOSTICS mark. Complaint, Annex 1. Complainant’s registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office date back to as early as September 23, 1996. It registrations with the European Union date back to as early as July 18, 2001. (Complaint, Annex 1). Complainant is the registrant of 65 domain names, which incorporate its well-known QUEST DIAGNOSTICS trademark. Its primary web site for business purposes is <questdiagnostics.com>. (Complaint, Annexes 4, 5, and 8).

Respondent registered the disputed domain name on November 2, 2018. (Complaint, Annex 2). Respondent previously used the domain name to send emails to customers concerning alleged back payments owed to a former employee. In some of these communications, Respondent used the name and title of an officer of Complainant. (Complaint, Annexes 9.1 and 9.2). The web site was taken down and now resolves to a blank web site. (Complaint, Annex 3).

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s QUEST DIAGNOSTICS trademark, that Complainant has never authorized Respondent to use its trademark in any fashion for any purpose, and that Respondent has used the disputed domain name in bad faith to impersonate an officer of Complainant and for seeking payments from Complainant’s customers.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

“A Panel shall 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.”

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and,

(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,

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

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s QUEST DIAGNOSTICS trademark, omitting only the final “s” and the addition of “inc”, the indicator in the United States of a corporation. Complainant’s domain name has been registered in the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.

In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Respondent was initially using the disputed domain name to resolve to send emails to Complainant’s customers and seeking money from them. Respondent frequently used the name and title of one of Complainant’s officers in such communications. The Panel has no difficulty in finding that Respondent 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, <questdiagnosticinc.com> be transferred to Complainant.

M. Scott Donahey
Sole Panelist
Date: June 10, 2019