WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Perfect Privacy, LLC / Jan Everno, The Management Group II
Case No. D2019-2274
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter, Inc., United Kingdom, represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Perfect Privacy, LLC, United States of America / Jan Everno, The Management Group II, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ziprecuriter.com> is registered with Domainsoverboard.com LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 18, 2019. On September 19, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 19, 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 September 23, 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 October 2, 2019.
The Center verified that the Complaint 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 October 4, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 24, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 25, 2019.
The Center appointed Mario Soerensen Garcia as the sole panelist in this matter on October 31, 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 ZipRecruiter, an American online recruitment company founded in 2010 which provides services to individuals and commercial entities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, attracting over 7 million active jobs seekers, 40 million job alert email subscribers and 10,000 new companies every month. The Complainant’s web-based platform is the foundation of their business, allowing employees to post jobs as well as permitting job seekers to search and/or receive alerts.
The Complainant owns several registrations in multiple jurisdictions for its ZIPRECRUITER trademark, including the following:
- United States of America trademark registration No. 3934310, registered on March 22, 2011;
- Canadian trademark registration No. TMA979480, registered on August 28, 2017;
- European Union Trade Mark registration No. 015070873, registered on June 13, 2016.
The Complainant operates the domain name <ziprecruiter.com> which was registered on February 23, 2010. The Complainant also owns various domain names consisting of the mark ZIPRECRUITER, such as <ziprecruiter.co.nz>, <ziprecruiter.fr>, <ziprecruiter.co>, <ziprecruiter.com.uk>, among others.
The disputed domain name was registered on March 13, 2019, and resolves to a landing page featuring services that compete with the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name on March 13, 2019, and that it is confusingly similar to its marks, consisting of the word “zip” and a misspelling of the word “recruiter”, by swapping the letters “u” and “r” which could mislead Internet users into believing it is identical to the Complainant’s marks.
The Complainant alleges that previous UDRP panels have recognized that the mere misspelling or omission of letters, is insufficient to distinguish a domain name from a complainant’s trademark.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, does not hold any trademark for the term “Ziprecruiter” and is not known by the disputed domain name.
In addition, the Complainant says and evidences that the Respondent has not made a bona fide offering of goods or services and/or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Instead, the disputed domain name resolved to a Pay-Per-Click (“PPC”) parking page with links related to job posting and recruitment.
The Complainant says that the Respondent is not licensed or authorized to register and use the disputed domain name, and that it was registered with full knowledge of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark ZIPRECRUITER to create a likelihood of confusion among Internet users and in order to gain monetary compensation.
Additionally, the Complainant mentions that the term “zip recruiter” is not generic or descriptive nor associated with any other business, brand or service provider other than the Complainant, which reinforces the Respondent’s lack of good faith on the occasion of the disputed domain name’s registration and use.
Finally, the Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
As per paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(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 evidence presented in the Complaint demonstrates that the Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations for ZIPRECRUITER around the world as well as several domain names comprising the ZIPRECRUITER trademark.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark ZIPRECRUITER. Indeed, the misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark in the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity and it seems evident that it was intentional. See section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark for purposes of the Policy “when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of the other terms in the domain name” (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662).
The Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been proved by the Complainant, i.e., the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not submitted a response to the Complaint.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has any authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark or to register domain names containing the trademark ZIPRECRUITER.
There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There is also no evidence that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name or that before any notice of the dispute the Respondent has made use of or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Instead, the Complainant evidenced that the disputed domain name was being used as a PPC website with links to the Complainant’s competitors in the recruitment segment.
The Panel finds that the use of the disputed domain name, which incorporates the Complainant’s trademark, does not correspond to a bona fide use of the disputed domain name under the Policy.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The trademark ZIPRECRUITER is registered by the Complainant in several jurisdictions and has been used for years. Also, the Complainant registered many different domain names consisting of the mark ZIPRECRUITER. The Complainant’s trademark rights predate the registration date of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name represents an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s mark and the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER mark is distinctive and has a strong online visibility, being the website platform operated by the Complainant at “www.ziprecruiter.com”, its main business tool. Thus, a domain name that imitates such a mark is already suggestive of the registrant’s bad faith. It is not conceivable that the Respondent would not have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name.
In addition to the above, the Complainant evidenced in the Complaint that the disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent with the intention to sell, rent or transfer it for profit.
Moreover, the Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complainant’s allegations. According to the panel’s decision in The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, WIPO Case No. D2009-0610, “the failure of the Respondent to respond to the Complaint further supports an inference of bad faith”.
Therefore, this Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to cause confusion with the Complainant’s trademark by misleading Internet users to believe that it belongs to or is associated with the Complainant.
This Panel finds that the Respondent’s attempt of taking undue advantage of the trademark ZIPRECRUITER as described in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy has been demonstrated by the Complainant.
For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the condition of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied, i.e., the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used 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 disputed domain name <ziprecuriter.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Mario Soerensen Garcia
Date: November 14, 2019