WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Corporation Service Company Corporation v. Daniel Madi
Case No. D2019-1781
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Corporation Service Company Corporation, United States of America (“United States”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Daniel Madi, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <c0rptax.com> is registered with Click Registrar, Inc. d/b/a publicdomainregistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 25, 2019. On July 25, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On July 29, 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 August 6, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 26, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 27, 2019.
The Center appointed Adam Taylor as the sole panelist in this matter on September 2, 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, founded in 1899, is a leading worldwide provider of business, legal, financial and digital brand services. Since at least 2011, the Complainant’s group has supplied tax software and services under the name “Corptax”. The main website for this aspect of the Complainant’s business is located at “www.corptax.com”.
The Complainant’s subsidiary, Corptax Inc., owns a number of registered trade marks for CORPTAX including United States Trade Mark No. 2823399, filed April 1, 2003, registered March 16, 2004, in classes 9, 35 and 42.
The disputed domain name was registered on February 26, 2019. There is no evidence that it has been actively used.
5. Parties’ Contentions
A summary of the Complainant’s contentions is as follows:
The Complainant has spent substantial time, effort, and money advertising and promoting its “Corptax” brand throughout the world and has thus developed substantial goodwill in the term. Through such widespread, extensive efforts, the term has become distinctive and is uniquely associated with the Complainant and its products and services.
The disputed domain name is a deliberate misspelling of the Complainant’s trade mark, replacing the letter “o” with the number “0”. It is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark.
The Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has not authorised the Respondent to use its trade mark.
The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The registrant name shown in the WhoIs does not resemble the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has not used the disputed domain name at all and therefore the disputed domain name does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant’s trade marks are well known internationally and the Respondent knew, or should have known of them, at the time of registration of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name constitutes a passive holding in bad faith.
The purpose of registering the disputed domain name can only to have been to confuse Internet users as to the true ownership of the disputed domain name. There is no plausible good faith reason for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has failed to respond the Complainant’s cease and desist letters.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove on the balance of probabilities that:
- the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights;
- the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
- the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established rights in the mark CORPTAX by virtue of its subsidiary’s registered trade mark for that term. An affiliate of a trade mark owner, such as its parent company, is considered to have rights in a trade mark under the UDRP for the purposes of standing to file a Complaint – see section 1.4 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Section 1.9 of WIPO Overview 3.0 makes clear that a domain name which consists of an intentional misspelling of a trade mark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element. This stems from the fact that the domain name contains sufficiently recognisable aspects of the relevant mark. Examples of such “typos” are said to include substitution of similar-appearing characters such as use of numbers used to look like letters. That is the case here as, disregarding the generic Top-Level Domain suffix “.com”, the only difference between the disputed domain name and the trade mark is the substitution of the letter “o” by the number “0” (zero).
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
As explained in section 2.1 of WIPO Overview 3.0 , the consensus view is that, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If not, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element.
Here, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorised the Respondent to use its trade mark.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples of circumstances which, if proved, suffice to demonstrate that a respondent possesses rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
As to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, there is no evidence of any use of the disputed domain name for a bona fide offering of goods or services – or indeed at all. Nor is there any evidence that paragraph 4(c)(ii) or (iii) of the Policy apply in the circumstances of this case.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case of lack of rights or legitimate interests and there is no rebuttal by the Respondent.
The Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Complainant has therefore established the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
There is no evidence that the disputed domain name has ever been actively used.
Section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 explains that, from the inception of the UDRP, panels have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank or “coming soon” page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding. While panels will look at the totality of the circumstances in each case, factors that have been considered relevant include: (i) the degree of distinctiveness or reputation of the complainant’s mark, (ii) the failure of the respondent to submit a response or to provide any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use, (iii) the respondent’s concealing its identity or use of false contact details (noted to be in breach of its registration agreement), and (iv) the implausibility of any good faith use to which the domain name may be put.
In this case, the Panel concludes that the following cumulative circumstances are indicative of passive holding in bad faith: the distinctive nature of the Complainant’s trade mark and the Respondent’s adoption of what is plainly a deliberate misspelling thereof; the lack of any response from the Respondent; and the implausibility of any good faith use for the disputed domain name.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has established the third element of paragraph 4(a) of 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 <c0rptax.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 16, 2019