WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Accenture Global Services Limited v. Kranthi Kumar K

Case No. D2019-1073

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited, Ireland, represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP, United States of America (“US” or “United States”).

The Respondent is Kranthi Kumar K, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <acceanture.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 9, 2019. On May 9, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 10, 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 22, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 11, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 13, 2019.

The Center appointed Theda König Horowicz as the sole panelist in this matter on June 19, 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

The Complainant is an international business based in Ireland that provides management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services under the name ACCENTURE.

The Complainant is the owner of US ACCENTURE trademark including:

ACCENTURE, in Classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 42, No. 3,091,811, registered on May 16, 2006
ACCENTURE & Design in Classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 42, No. 2,665,373, registered on December 24, 2002
ACCENTURE & Design in Classes 16, 18, 21, 24 and 28, No. 3,340,780, registered on November 20, 2007
ACCENTURE & Design in Classes 18, 25 and 28, No. 2,884,125, registered on September 14, 2004

ACCENTURE & Design, in Classes 35 and 36, No. 3,862,419, registered on October 19, 2010

The Complainant also owns trademark registrations for ACCENTURE in several other countries, including in India where the Respondent is based.

The Complainant operates its official website under the domain name <accenture.com> which was registered on August 29, 2000. At this website, Internet users can find detailed information about the Complainant’s business in the United States and in other countries.

The Complainants has been using its ACCENTURE mark since many years ago for its business and promoted said mark notably through advertising campaigns, social development projects, sponsorship of sporting events, etc. Besides, the ACCENTURE mark has been recognized and ranked in several Brands Reports since 2002. The Complainant has also received numerous awards for its business, products and services provided under the ACCENTURE mark.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on April 22, 2019. It resolves to a page that is blank, respectively which has no content or function.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the distinctive and famous ACCENTURE marks. The only difference in the disputed domain name is the addition of the letter “a” between the first letter “e” and “n” in the ACCENTURE mark which constitutes “typosquatting”.

Furthermore, the Complainant states that the Respondent has no interest in the famous ACCENTURE marks and has not been authorized by the Complainant to use them or to use to the disputed domain name or any other domain name containing the ACCENTURE marks. The Respondent would not be known by the disputed domain name, being noted that the disputed domain name is currently not used by the Respondent (passive holding). The Complainant also notes that the disputed domain name was registered 18 years after the Complainant began using its ACCENTURE mark.

Finally, the Complainant explains that the Respondent had constructive notice that the well-known ACCENTURE mark was a registered trademark in the United States and many other jurisdictions worldwide. Given the Complainant’s worldwide reputation and the ubiquitous presence of the ACCENTURE marks on the Internet, the Respondent was or should have been aware of the ACCENTURE marks prior to registering the disputed domain name. In addition, passive holding of the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith use. Considering the renown of the ACCENTURE marks, it is implausible for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name other than to trade off the reputation and goodwill of the Complainant’s marks. Moreover, typosquatting constitutes strong evidence of bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Under the Policy, in order to prevail, a complainant must prove the following three elements for obtaining the transfer of a domain name:

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

(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in 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 Complainant has shown to have trademark rights over the name ACCENTURE.

The trademark ACCENTURE is reproduced in its entirety in the disputed domain name. The mere addition of the letter “a” in the disputed domain name to the mark ACCENTURE, that is “acceanture”, does not detract from the obvious confusingly similarity and is an obvious example of intentional misspelling (typosquatting).

The Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s marks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy contains a nonexhaustive list of circumstances that may demonstrate when a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the use of a domain name. The list includes:

(1) the use of the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services;

(2) being commonly known by the domain name; or

(3) the making of a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers.

The Complainant has made a prima facie case showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, notably by

(i) providing strong evidence on the famous character of its ACCENTURE marks which supports the fact that the Respondent has no interest in said marks.

(ii) stating that the Respondent has not been authorized by the Complainant to use its marks or to use them in the disputed domain name or any other domain name containing the ACCENTURE marks.

(iii) underlining that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name is not used by the Respondent (passive holding).

Consequently, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to rebut the showing by providing concrete evidence that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. See Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110.

The Respondent submitted no reply to the case against it. No evidence is contained in the case file which would evidence that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, in particular that it would be commonly known by the disputed domain name.

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

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The third element requires that the respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. See the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii). Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy enumerates non-exhaustive circumstances in which evidence of bad faith registration and use can be found:

(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that he has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of his web site or location or of a product or service on his web site or location.

The Complainant evidenced that its ACCENTURE marks have been registered since several years including in India where the Respondent is based. Furthermore, the Complainant has shown to have a strong Internet presence and to have been using its ACCENTURE marks extensively in relation to its specific services.

Under the circumstances, there is no doubt that the Respondent must have known the ACCENTURE marks when registering the disputed domain name.

The Panel also finds that the passive holding of the disputed domain name constitutes bad faith use in the present case considering (i) the famous character of the ACCENTURE marks, (ii) the typosquatting (please see above under section 6.A.), and (iii) the silence of the Respondent within these proceedings (See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 3.3.).

Considering the above-mentioned circumstances, the Panel finds that the Complainant has also satisfied the requirements of 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 <acceanture.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Theda König Horowicz
Sole Panelist
Date: July 8, 2019