WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Zions Bancorporation, N.A, dba AMEGY BANK v. MochaHost, MochaHost
Case No. D2019-1433
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Zions Bancorporation, N.A, dba AMEGY BANK, United States of America (“United States”), represented by TechLaw Ventures, PLLC, United States.
The Respondent is MochaHost, MochaHost, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <amegyfinance.com> is registered with eNom, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 21, 2019. On June 21, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 24, 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 25, 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 amendment to the Complaint on July 2, 2019.
The Center verified that the Complaint, together with the amendment to 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 July 4, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 24, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 25, 2019.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on August 5, 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 owns a number of trademarks comprising the word AMEGY in connection with banking and related services, and owns registrations for those marks, including U.S. Reg. No. 3,269,288 for AMEGY, issued on July 24, 2007.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 27, 2019. The disputed domain name resolves to a website that is displaying the Complainant’s marks and has the appearance of belonging to a banking institution. However, the main page of the website references “Amegy Finance” as well as “Zenith Credit Union” at the top of the page, as well as a reference to “Zenith Credit Union” at the bottom of the page with an address in New York. Additionally, clicking on the “About Us” link leads to a page that indicates the name of the business as “Centennial Bank,” “Zenith Credit Union”, as well as a company called “Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group” in Thailand. Furthermore, clicking on a link for “Online Banking” leads to an apparent login page where a customer can input its account number, password, and access pin. Given the use of various different names to identify the business, including references to businesses located in New York and Thailand, the Complainant asserts that the website associated with the disputed domain name appears to be a scam and created for malicious purposes.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks; that the 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.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the disputed domain name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The incorporation of a trademark in its entirety may be sufficient to establish that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered mark. See Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, WIPO Case No. D2001-0505. In this case, the disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s trademark AMEGY in its entirety, as a dominant element. The disputed domain name also contains the term “finance”. This additional word in this context does not avoid confusing similarity.
A registered trademark provides a clear indication that the rights in the mark shown on the trademark certificate belong to its respective owner. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Les Publications Conde Nast S.A. v. Voguechen, WIPO Case No. D2014-0657. The Complainant has demonstrated its rights because it has shown that it is the owner of multiple valid and subsisting trademark registrations for marks containing the word AMEGY.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent. See Canon U.S.A., Inc. v. Miniatures Town, WIPO Case No. D2014-0948.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy instructs respondents on a number of ways they could demonstrate rights or legitimate interests (“you” and “your” in the following refers to the particular respondent):
“(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
In this case, the Panel credits the Complainant’s assertions that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor has the Respondent made legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Moreover, the Complainant asserts (and the Respondent has not disputed) that the website associated with the disputed domain name appears to be a scam and created for malicious purposes.
The Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. By failing to respond to the Complaint, the Respondent did not forward any evidence of its rights or legitimate interests, and no other facts in the record tip the balance in the Respondent’s favor. Accordingly, the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in regard to the disputed domain name, and the Complainant has prevailed on this element of the UDRP.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Policy requires a complainant to establish that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Policy describes several non-exhaustive circumstances demonstrating a respondent’s bad faith use and registration. Under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, a panel may find bad faith when a respondent “[uses] the domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [respondent’s] web site or location or a product or service on [the respondent’s] web site or location.”
In this case the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Establishing a website to further a scam or otherwise act maliciously using a domain name that incorporates the Complainant’s mark is a strong example of bad faith under the Policy.
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 <amegyfinance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: August 20, 2019