WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Haimin Xu
Case No. D2019-2643
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter, Inc., United States of America (the “United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Haimin Xu, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ziprecruitr.com> is registered with DropCatch.com LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 29, 2019. On October 29, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 31, 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 November 6, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 26, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 28, 2019..
The Center appointed Benoit Van Asbroeck as the sole panelist in this matter on December 4, 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, ZipRecruiter, Inc., is an American online recruitment company founded in 2010 which provides its services to individuals and commercial entities. The Complainant has marketing operations 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 their business, allowing employees to post jobs as well as permitting job seekers to search and/or receive alerts.
The Complainant is the owner of the trademark containing or comprising ZIPRECRUITER across various jurisdictions and possesses a numerous trademark registrations. These registrations include:
- United States trademark with registration No. 3934310, registered on March 22, 2011, in International class 42;
- European Union trademark with registration No. 015070873, registered on June 13, 2016, in International classes 9, 36, 41 and 42;
- Canadian trademark with registration No. TMA979480, registered on August 28, 2017, in International classes 9, 41 and 42.
Additionally, the Complainant is also the registrant of numerous domain names such as <ziprecruiter.com>, <ziprecruiter.co.nz>, <ziprecruiter.com.au>, <ziprecruiter.fr>, <ziprecruiter.co>, <ziprecruiter.co.uk> containing the trademark ZIPRECRUITER.
The disputed domain name <ziprecruitr.com> was registered on September 20, 2019, well after the Complainant secured rights to the trademarks. The disputed domain name currently resolves to a pay-per-click parking page displaying links related to job posting and recruitment.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that each of the three elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are satisfied in the present case, as follows:
(a) the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the ZIPRECRUITER trademark, consisting of the word “zip” and a misspelling of the word “recruiter”. 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.
(b) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Complainant states that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name since there is no indication of any registration of the ZIPRECRUITER trademark in the name of the Respondent.
Moreover, the Respondent does not appear to have used the disputed domain name for any legitimate noncommercial purpose. The disputed domain name currently resolves a pay-per-click parking page with links related to job posting and recruitment. In doing so, the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name intentionally attracts and redirects Internet users looking for the Complainant to a competitive website for the Respondent’s commercial gain as these pay-per clicks are likely to generate revenues.
The Respondent is further not affiliated in any way with the Complainant and has not been authorized or licensed by the Complainant to use its trademarks.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is and was not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Nor is there any indication that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with a company name.
(c) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant asserts that, at the time of registration of the disputed domain name, given the well-known character, online presence and reputation of the ZIPRECRUITER trademark, the Respondent knew the existence of the Complainant’s trademark and was therefore in bad faith when registering the disputed domain name.
Relying on Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Sheraton, LLC, and Sheraton International Inc. v. Jake Porter, WIPO Case No. D2007-1254, the Complainant deems that the Respondent should have made a quick trademark search or even a simple Google search before registering the disputed domain name. According to the Complainant, this would have been sufficient to reveal to the Respondent the existence of the Complainant and its rights in the ZIPRECRUITER trademarks.
Additionally, the Complainant mentions that the term “zip recruiter” is distinctive, which reinforces the Respondent’s lack of good faith on the occasion of the registration of the disputed domain name.
As to the use of the disputed domain name, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has engaged in typosquatting to take advantage of users seeking to find the Complainant’s website at the domain name <ziprecruiter.com>, and the services offered at that website, but who mistakenly type the disputed domain name. The Respondent would further be exploiting the Complainant’s trademark, in order to gain click through commissions from the diversion of Internet users, which the Complainant claims to be a common example of use in bad faith.
Finally, the Complainant contends that bad faith can also be deducted from the Respondent’s history of abusive domain name registrations.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant is required to establish the two following elements:
(1) that it has trademark rights, and, if so;
(2) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark(s).
First of all, this Panel finds that the Complainant has clearly evidenced that it has registered trademark rights to ZIPRECRUITER.
Secondly, the disputed domain name differs from the Complainant’s trademark ZIPRECRUITER merely by the deletion of the letter “e”. In the view of the Panel, the deletion of one simple letter does not influence the similar overall impression of the disputed domain name and the trademark as there are only minor differences in the appearance and pronunciation. This conduct is commonly referred to as typosquatting and creates virtually identical and/or confusingly similar domain names to the trademarks of complainants (see Edmunds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, dba This domain name is 4 sale, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694). Ample authority exists to support that “essential” or “virtual” identity is sufficient for the purpose of satisfying the second element required above (see Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol, WIPO Case No. D2001-0489; United Feature Syndicate, Inc. v. Mr. John Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2000-1449).
On the basis of the foregoing findings, and according to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, this Panel finds and concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademarks.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy lists circumstances, in particular but without limitation, which, if found by the Panel to be proved, demonstrate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy reads:
“When you receive a complaint, you should refer to paragraph 5 of the Rules of Procedure in determining how your response should be prepared. Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are 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 or service mark at issue.”
This Panel finds that there is no evidence that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
It is a well established view of the UDRP panels, with which this Panel agrees, that a prima facie case advanced by the complainant is generally sufficient for the complainant to satisfy the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, provided that the respondent does not submit any evidence to the contrary (AGUAS DE CABREIROA, S.A.U. v. Hello Domain, WIPO Case No. D2014-2087; Spigen Korea Co., Ltd., Spigen Inc. v. Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp., WIPO Case No. D2016-0145; HubSpot, Inc. v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Steve Johnson, WIPO Case No. D2016-1338).
In the present case, taking into consideration the default of the Respondent, this Panel finds that the Complainant has submitted a sufficient prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, in view of the circumstances of this case, including the following factors:
- there is no evidence that legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name has taken place;
- there is no evidence that the Respondent has been authorized or licensed to use the disputed domain name by the Complainant;
- there is no evidence that the Respondent has commonly been known by the disputed domain name.
For all the foregoing reasons, this Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy identifies, in particular but without limitation, four circumstances which, if found by this Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy reads:
“For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name 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 your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) you have 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 you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.”
Each of the four circumstances in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, if found, would be an instance of “registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.”
A registration in bad faith occurs, inter alia, where the Respondent knew or should have known of the registration and use of the trademarks prior to registering the disputed domain name. This Panel finds, similarly to other UDRP panels, that the Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademarks are well-known and have acquired worldwide recognition and reputation with regard to its services. It is therefore extremely unlikely that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademarks at the time of registration of the disputed domain name. Such conclusion of bad faith is according to the Panel enhanced by the fact that the ZIPRECRUITER trademarks are highly distinctive.
The Panel also notes that the disputed domain name is a misspelling of the Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademark, which indicates, in the circumstances of this case, that the Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name with the intention to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademarks of the Complainant as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or location or of a service on its website or location. This constitutes registration and use in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The allegation that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to direct consumers to a parking website displaying commercial links to direct competitors of the Complainant is also indicative of bad faith conduct. The Panel further finds that the use to which the disputed domain name has been put constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Finally, the Respondent’s history of bad faith registration and use of domain names indicates also for the Panel that the disputed domain name has been registered in bad faith (see inter alia Government Employees Insurance Company (“GEICO”) v. Haimin Xu, WIPO Case No. D2018-2728).
In light of the above, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith under 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 <ziprecruitr.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Benoit Van Asbroeck
Date: December 18, 2019