WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

1st Source Bank v. WhoisSecure / Bolaji Lawson

Case No. D2019-1452

1. The Parties

The Complainant is 1st Source Bank, United States of America (the “United States”), represented by ZwillGen PLLC, United States.

The Respondent is WhoisSecure, United States / Bolaji Lawson, Nigeria.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <lstsource.com> is registered with OwnRegistrar, 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 24, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 25, 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 amended Complaint on June 27, 2019.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the 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 July 3, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 23, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 25, 2019.

The Center appointed Martin Michaus Romero as the sole panelist in this matter on August 1, 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

1) According to LinkedIn, the Complainant was founded in 1863 in South Bend, Indiana, “1stSource” has offered clients a convenient and friendly way to bank for over 155 years. At “1stSource”, we’ll listen to you, understand your needs and always keep your best interests in mind.

2) Is a financial services company incorporated in the State of Indiana with offices located in Indiana and Michigan, United States.

3) 1ST SOURCE BANK wordmark was registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office by 1st. Source Bank Corporation on May 17, 1983. The trademark is in full force in effect and in active status through May 2023, having been last renewed on January 18, 2013 pursuant to Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1059. The trademark distinguishes “Banking Services”.

4) The disputed domain name was registered on March 13, 2019, and does not presently resolve to an active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant states in its Complaint that the Respondent:

1) Registered the disputed domain name <lstsource.com>, which is confusingly similar to the “1st.Source” mark, without the Complainant’s knowledge of authorization.

2) Has registered the disputed domain name <lstsource.com>, which includes almost identically the 1ST SOURCE BANK trademark to create confusion in the consumers.

3) Considering the typographical variation in a disputed domain it is likely to intend to confuse site visitors a potential costumer, therefore, the disputed domain was selected and use by the Respondent not for bona fide business purposes but rather to mislead internet users.

In summary, in this Complaint, the Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark. The Respondent has not rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which was registered and is used in bath faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: “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.”

Considering that the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, in order to determine whether the Complainant has met its burden as stated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel bases its Decision on the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy and the Rules:

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following: (i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the 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.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has submitted evidence of its rights in the 1ST SOURCE BANK trademark. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s 1ST SOURCE BANK trademark. The disputed domain name “lst source” reproduces the Complainant’s trademark 1ST SOURCE BANK almost in its entirety, given the typographical variation of the letter “L” instead of “number 1”. Such term does not prevent a finding of confusingly similarity.

The exclusion of the term “bank” of the Complainant’s trademark does not exclude the finding of confusingly similarity, as the dominant elements of the 1ST SOURCE BANK trademark are included in the disputed domain name. Also, the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), “.com” can be disregarded for the assessment of the first element of the Policy.

The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent has not received permission or authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, and therefore has not provided any evidence to demonstrate anything to the contrary. It should be pointed out that nothing in the available record indicates that the Respondent is an individual, business or corporation known by the name “lstsource”. Furthermore, the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a bona fide offering of good or services, nor for a legitimate or noncommercial fair use that might give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name or owned a trademark or is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, it is clear to the Panel that the registration and the use of the disputed domain name has been in bad faith, by including a typo of the “1STSOURCE” trademark, to intentionally attract Internet users for commercial gain. In this regard, the inclusion of the term “lstsource” in the disputed domain name not only coincides with the Complainant’s trademark, but it also compounds the confusion among Internet users, who can be deceived or be led to believe that the disputed domain name is operated by the Complainant.

The Panel also notes that, in accordance with the evidence in the Complaint, the Respondent’s passive use of the disputed domain name could if, e.g., used as part of an email address, lead to misperceptions as to the source, affiliation, or endorsement of the disputed domain name. The Respondent has demonstrated, by registering the disputed domain name which is a typo of the Complainant’s name and mark, a vicious intent to capitalize on the goodwill of the Complainant’s trademark. These activities constitute, in view of the Panel, clear evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.

The above creates a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation and/or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. This also negatively affects the Complainant’s online presence. See paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies 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, <lstsource.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Martin Michaus Romero
Sole Panelist
Date: August 2, 2019