WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Domain Administrator
Case No. D2019-2276
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Limited, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <ziprecreuiter.com> and <ziprecruite.com> are registered with Above.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The separate Complaints involving the disputed domain names were 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 names. On September 20, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification responses disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondents and contact information in the separate Complaints. The Center sent email communications to the Complainant on September 24 and 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 withdrew one of the Complaints and filed an amended Complaint, including the disputed domain name on October 1, 2019.
The Center verified that 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 October 7, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 27, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. On October 31, 2019, the Center notified the Respondent that the Center would proceed with the Panel appointment process on November 5, 2019.
The Center appointed Mario Soerensen Garcia as the sole panelist in this matter on November 12, 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 Inc., an American online recruitment company founded in 2010, which provides services to individuals and commercial entities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, 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 its business, allowing employees to post jobs, as well as permitting job seekers to search and/or receive alerts.
The Complainant owns several registrations in different jurisdictions for ZIPRECRUITER trademark, including the following:
- United States of America registration No. 3934310 registered on March 22, 2011;
- Canadian registration No. TMA979480 registered on August 28, 2017; and
- European Union registration No. 015070873 registered on June 13, 2016.
The Complainant operates from a website from the domain name <ziprecruiter.com>, which was registered on February 23, 2010, and also owns many domain names consisting of the mark ZIPRECRUITER, such as <ziprecruiter.co.nz>, <ziprecruiter.fr>, <ziprecruiter.co>, and <ziprecruiter.co.uk>, among others.
The disputed domain name <ziprecruite.com> was registered on September 5, 2013, and the disputed domain name <ziprecreuiter.com> was registered on April 24, 2015. Both disputed domain names resolve to landing pages featuring services that compete with the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its marks, consisting of the word “zip” and a misspelling of the word “recruiter”, by omitting the letter “r” in the disputed domain name <ziprecruite.com> and by inserting an additional letter “e” in the disputed domain name <ziprecreuiter.com>, which could mislead many users into believing they are identical to the Complainant’s marks.
The Complainant alleges that UDRP panels have previously 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 any legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, does not hold any trademark for the term “ziprecruiter”, and is not known by the disputed domain names.
In addition, the Complainant provides 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 names. Instead, the disputed domain names resolve to Pay-Per-Click (“PPC”) parking pages with links related to job posting and recruitment.
The Complainant claims that the Respondent is not licensed or authorized to register and use the disputed domain names, and the disputed domain names were registered with full knowledge of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark ZIPRECRUITER to create a likelihood of confusion among Internet users and gain monetary compensation. The Complainant alledges that the Respondent has engaged in typosquating practices, which further support a finding of bad faith registration and use.
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 names’ registration.
Finally, the Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain names.
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 names are 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 names; and
(iii) the disputed domain names have been registered and are 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 different domain names comprising ZIPRECRUITER trademark.
The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark ZIPRECRUITER. Indeed, the misspelling between the disputed domain names and the Complainant’s trademark does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity and it seems evident that it was intentional.
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 “consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark” (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.9).
The Panel finds that paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been proved by the Complainant, i.e., the disputed domain names are 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 names.
There is also no evidence that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names or that before any notice of the dispute the Respondent has made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain names or a name corresponding to the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Instead, the Complainant showed evidence that the disputed domain names were being used as PPC websites with links to the Complainant’s competitors in the recruitment field.
The Panel finds that the use of the disputed domain names, which incorporates the Complainant’s trademark, does not correspond to a bona fide use of the disputed domain names 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 names.
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 earliest registrations predate the registration dates of the disputed domain names.
The disputed domain names represent an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s mark and the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
The Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER mark is distinctive and has a strong online visibility, being the website platform operated at “www.ziprecruiter.com” as its main business tool. Thus, domain names that imitate 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 names.
The disputed domain names resolve to PPC websites with links to the Complainant’s competitors in the recruitment field. 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 the disputed domain names belong to or are associated with the Complainant.
This Panel finds that the Respondent’s attempt of taking unfair advantage of the trademark ZIPRECRUITER as described in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy has been demonstrated.
In addition to the above, the Complainant has provided evidence in the Complaint that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name <ziprecruite.com> with the intention to sell, rent, or transfer it for a profit by offering it for sale at Sedo.
Moreover, the Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complainant’s allegations. In these circumstances, and as found in 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”.
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 names have been registered and are 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 names, <ziprecreuiter.com> and <ziprecruite.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Mario Soerensen Garcia
Date: November 14, 2019