WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

The Edrington Group Limited v. King Prime

Case No. D2019-1346

1. The Parties

The Complainant is The Edrington Group Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Demys Limited, United Kingdom.

The Respondent is King Prime, United Kingdom.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <edrnigton.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 June 12, 2019. On June 12, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 13, 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 the Complainant on June 17, 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 June 17, 2019. The Complainant filed a second amended Complaint on June 17, 2019.

The Center verified that the Complaint, together with the amended Complaint and the second 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 June 18, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 8, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 10, 2019.

The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on July 15, 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 a company incorporated in Glasgow, United Kingdom. It is a producer of single malt whiskey brands including “The Macallan”, “Highland Park” and “The Famous Grouse”.

The Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations for the name and mark EDRINGTON including, for example, European Union Trade Mark number 000622050 for the word mark EDRINGTON, registered on March 22, 1999 for alcoholic beverages in Class 33.

The disputed domain name was registered on September 19, 2018.

The disputed domain name does not appear to have resolved to any active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name represents an impersonation by “typosquatting” of its trademark EDRINGTON and that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the purpose of a fraudulent “phishing” scam.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its EDRINGTON trademark. It states that the disputed domain name is identical to that mark but for the transposition of the letters “i” and “n”.

The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. It states that it is not affiliated with the Respondent, that it has never licensed or authorized the Respondent to use its EDRINGTON trademark, that the Respondent has not commonly been known by any name corresponding to the disputed domain name, and that the Respondent is making neither bona fide commercial use nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant submits that, on the contrary, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the purpose of a “phishing” scam as further described below.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant exhibits an email sent by an individual “[…]@edrnigton.com” to a member of the Complainant’s staff concerning the payment of a supplier’s invoice. The individual in question had the same name as a genuine member of the Complainant’s staff “[…]@edrington.com” who had previously dealt with the second staff member in connection with that supplier. The email also included what appeared to be the Complainant’s postal address and standard email footer. The Complainant alleges therefore that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to impersonate a member of the Complainant’s staff for fraudulent purposes. The Complainant contends that the nature of the disputed domain name and its use in this manner clearly indicate the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in its Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:

(i) that the disputed 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 respect of the disputed domain name; and

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

Even in a case where no Response has been filed, it is still necessary for the Complainant to establish that each of the above elements is present.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established that it is the owner of registered trademark rights in the name and mark EDRINGTON. The Panel accepts the Complainant’s submission that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark save for the transposition of the letters “i” and “n”. The Panel finds in the circumstances that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions set out above give rise to a prima facie case for the Respondent to answer that it has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not participated in this proceeding and has not, therefore, submitted any explanation for its registration and use of the disputed domain name or evidence of rights or legitimate interests on its part in the disputed domain name, whether in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. There being no other evidence before the Panel of any such rights or legitimate interests, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that the disputed domain name comprises a misspelling to the Complainant’s trademark EDRINGTON and can conceive of no explanation for the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name other than to impersonate the Complainant. The Panel also accepts the Complainant’s evidence, which the Respondent has not disputed, that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for the purpose of a fraudulent email address and in particular an email impersonating a member of the Complainant’s staff in connection with a financial transaction. Dishonest conduct of this nature indisputably constitutes use of the disputed domain name in bad faith and the Panel therefore concludes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used 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 <edrnigton.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Steven A. Maier
Sole Panelist
Date: July 25, 2019