WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot
Case No. D2019-1722
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, United States of America (the “United States”), represented by Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <nationwideautoinsurancequotes.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 19, 2019. On July 22, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On July 24, 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 sent an email communication to the Complainant on July 26, 2019, informing the Complainant of the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar.
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 July 29, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 18, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 19, 2019.
The Center appointed Michelle Brownlee as the sole panelist in this matter on August 26, 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 numerous United States trademark registrations for NATIONWIDE and marks that include the word NATIONWIDE in connection with insurance and financial services, including registration numbers 854,888; 2,017,147; and 3,328,989.
The Domain Name was registered on December 4, 2018, and was redirecting to a different domain name featuring a website offering competing services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states that it is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, and that it has been using the NATIONWIDE mark since at least as early as 1955. The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s NATIONWIDE mark. The Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. The Complainant has submitted evidence that the Respondent is using the Domain Name in connection with a website that directs users to competitors’ insurance services.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to be entitled to a transfer of a domain name, a complainant must prove the following three elements:
(i) the 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 to or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated that it owns rights in the NATIONWIDE trademark. The addition of the words “auto insurance quotes” in the Domain Name does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s trademark. See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), “[w]here the relevant trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) would not prevent a finding of confusing similarity […]. The nature of such additional term(s) may however bear on assessment of the second and third elements.” Under these circumstances, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s NATIONWIDE trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides that a respondent can demonstrate rights to or legitimate interests in a domain name by demonstrating one of the following facts:
(i) before receiving any notice of the dispute, the respondent used or made demonstrable preparations to use the domain name at issue in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name; or
(iii) the respondent is 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 at issue.
In this case, the Respondent has not presented evidence that the Respondent used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name; that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name; or in any other way refuted the Complainant’s prima facie case. The Complainant has alleged that the Respondent is using the Domain Name in connection with a website that is diverting Internet traffic to services competitive with the Complainant’s by creating the misleading impression that the Respondent’s web site is affiliated with the Complainant. The Respondent has not refuted these allegations. In the Panel’s view, this cannot be considered a bona fide offering of goods or services. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established this element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states that the following circumstances are evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
“(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or acquired the domain name at issue 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 documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent 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 the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its web site or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its web site or location or of a product or service on its web site or location.”
The Complainant has established bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Domain Name is being used in connection with a website that is being used to promote services competitive with those the Complainant offers. The Panel finds that the use of the Complainant’s trademark in the Domain Name in connection with a website that offers insurance services competitive with the Complainant’s demonstrates an intent by the Respondent to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s NATIONWIDE trademarks, which presumably results in commercial gain to the Respondent. Under the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Name, <nationwideautoinsurancequotes.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 9, 2019