WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Shuai Lou Pan / Pan Shuai Lou

Case No. D2019-2673

1. The Parties

The Complainant is ZipRecruiter, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.

The Respondent is Shuai Lou Pan / Pan Shuai Lou, China.

2. The Domain Names and Registrars

The disputed domain names <zipreceuiter.com>, <ziprecriter.com>, <ziprecriuter.com>, <ziprecruirer.com>, <zip-recruiter.com>, <ziprecruiyer.com> are registered with Alibaba Cloud Computing (Beijing) Co., Ltd. and Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 31, 2019. On October 31, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On November 1, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on November 5, 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 in English on November 11, 2019.

On November 5, 2019, the Center transmitted an email in English and Chinese to the Parties regarding the language of the proceeding. The Complainant confirmed the request that English be the language of the proceeding on November 11, 2019. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with 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 in English and Chinese, and the proceedings commenced on November 20, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 10, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 16, 2019.

The Center appointed Deanna Wong Wai Man as the sole panelist in this matter on December 20, 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 in this proceeding is ZipRecruiter, Inc., an online recruitment company founded in 2010, with operations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Complainant offers an online platform allowing employers to post jobs and manage the applicant process, as well as permitting job seekers to search and receive alerts regarding job offers. The Complainant offers its services to both companies and individuals and states that its platform is accessed by over seven million active job seekers, has over 40 million job alert email subscribers and receives registrations for over 10,000 new companies, every month.

The Complainant owns a portfolio of trademark registrations (word marks) for ZIPRECRUITER, for instance, United States trademark registration number 3934310, registered on March 22, 2011 and European Union trademark registration number 015070873, registered on June 13, 2016. The disputed domain names are currently linked to active websites, whereby all but one of the disputed domain names direct to websites displaying what are presumed to be pay-per-click (“PPC”) hyperlinks to third party service providers of, amongst other services, recruitment services, which include competitors of the Complainant. One of the disputed domain names (i.e., <ziprecriuter.com>) directs to a website which seems to be offering malware to Internet users. The evidence filed with the Complaint shows that five of the disputed domain names, <zip-recruiter.com>, <ziprecruiyer.com>, <zipreceuiter.com>, <ziprecriter.com> and <ziprecruirer.com> have resolved to PPC parking pages with links related to job posting and recruitment. The disputed domain name <ziprecriuter.com> did not resolve to any active content.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant essentially contends that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its trademarks for ZIPRECRUITER, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that the disputed domain names were registered, and are being used in bad faith.

The Complainant claims that its trademarks are famous and well regarded in the recruitment sector, and provides evidence of its marketing materials and awards, as well as prior decisions in UDRP proceedings (such as ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Shi Lei, WIPO Case No. D2018-2289), which state that the Complainant and its ZIPRECRUITER trademark are well known. Moreover, the Complainant provides evidence that the disputed domain names are linked to active websites which it claims are taking unfair advantage of its trademarks. The Complainant essentially contends that such use does not confer any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and constitutes use in bad faith.

The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain names.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1 First Preliminary Issue: Consolidation of Respondents

The Complainant requests consolidation in regard to the Respondents, as the disputed domain names are currently owned by multiple persons. In this regard, the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (the “WIPO Overview 3.0”) states in section 4.11.2: “where a complaint is filed against multiple Respondents, panels look at whether (i) the domain names or corresponding websites are subject to common control, and (ii) the consolidation would be fair and equitable to all parties. Procedural efficiency would also underpin panel consideration of such a consolidation scenario.”

The Panel has carefully reviewed all elements of this case, giving particular weight to the following elements: the fact that the websites to which all but one of the disputed domain names resolve are identical; the fact that the names and addresses of the Respondents are very similar; the fact that each of the disputed domain names consist of an intentional misspelling (“typo”) of the same trademark of the Complainant, thereby exposing a pattern; and the fact that all disputed domain names target the same trademarks of the Complainant. The Panel notes that the Respondents did not submit any arguments and did not contest the request for consolidation.

In view of these elements, the Panel rules that the websites linked to the disputed domain names are under common control, that in this case consolidation would be fair and equitable to all parties involved and would safeguard procedural efficiency. The Panel also notes that the fact that the disputed domain names were created by different registrars does not alter this finding, as it does not exclude common control (see also Mou Limited v. Whois Agent, Domain Whois Privacy Protection Service, Domain Admin Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Luo Yuandong, Laoyuandong, Song Li Hong, Sun YanQi, WIPO Case No. D2018-1891).

6.2. Second Preliminary Issue: Language of the Proceeding

Pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement. However, the Panel is given the authority to determine a language of the proceeding other than the language of the Registration Agreement, taking into account the circumstances of every individual case.

The Complainant states that it acknowledges that the Registration Agreement is in Chinese. Nevertheless, the Complainant filed its Complaint in English, and requests that the language of the proceeding be English.

In considering the Complainant’s request that the language of the proceeding be English, the Panel has carefully considered all elements of this case, in particular, the Complainant’s request that the language of the proceeding be English; the lack of comment on the language of the proceeding and the lack of response on the merits of the Respondent (the Panel notes that the Respondent had the opportunity to put forward arguments in either English or Chinese); the fact that the disputed domain names resolve to active webpages, which only contain text in English (and contain no text in Chinese), so that the Panel concludes that the Respondent is able to understand and communicate in English; the fact that panels in prior UDRP decisions involving the Respondent have accepted English as the language of the proceeding (see for instance Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Pan Shuai Lou, WIPO Case No. D2019-0389); and the fact that Chinese as the language of the proceeding could lead to unwarranted costs for the Complainant. In view of all these elements, the Panel rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.

6.3. Discussion and Findings on the Merits

The Policy requires the Complainant to prove three elements:

(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 is being used in bad faith.

Based on the evidence and arguments submitted, the Panel’s findings are as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant has shown that it has valid rights in the sign ZIPRECRUITER based on its intensive use and registration of the same as a trademark in several jurisdictions.

Moreover, as to confusing similarity, the WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.9, states: “A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element”. In this case, the Panel considers that all of the disputed domain names are clearly selected by intentionally misspelling the Complainant’s trademark for ZIPRECRUITER, each time incorporating such trademark in its entirety, except that a single character of the trademark is misspelled (or a hyphen is added in one of the disputed domain names). According to the Panel, this is a clear case of intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark, or “typosquatting”. Accordingly, the Panel rules that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and the first element required by the Policy is fulfilled.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has demonstrated that the Respondent is not an authorized reseller, service provider, licensee or distributor, and is not making legitimate noncommercial use or fair use of the Complainant’s trademark. To the contrary, the Respondent is actively using the disputed domain names, by linking all but one of them to websites displaying what are presumed to be PPC hyperlinks to third party service providers of, amongst other services, recruitment services, which include competitors of the Complainant. One of the disputed domain names <ziprecriuter.com> did not resolve to any active content. The Panel therefore considers that none of the circumstances of right or legitimate interests envisaged by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply. Furthermore, the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain names, and the nature of the disputed domain names carries a risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5.1). The Panel also notes that no evidence or arguments have been submitted by the Respondent in reply. The Panel therefore rules that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements for the second element under the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The registration of the disputed domain names, which incorporate the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, except for the intentional misspelling of one character (or addition of a hyphen) in each of the disputed domain names, is clearly intended to mislead and divert consumers away from the Complainant’s official websites, to the websites linked to the disputed domain names. Given the reputation and fame of the Complainant’s trademark, and the clearly intentional typosquatting, the Panel holds that the registration of the disputed domain names was obtained in bad faith. Moreover, even a cursory Internet search at the time of registration of the disputed domain names would have made it clear to the Respondent that the Complainant owned a registered trademark in ZIPRECRUITER and uses it extensively. The Panel further notes the nature of the disputed domain names, which carries a risk of implied affiliation or association with the Complainant. In the Panel’s view, the preceding elements clearly indicate the bad faith of the Respondent, and the Panel therefore rules that it has been demonstrated that the Respondent registered the disputed domain names in bad faith.

As to use of the disputed domain names in bad faith, the websites linked to the disputed domain names currently display either PPC hyperlinks to third party service providers, which include competitors of the Complainant, or offer what is presumed to be malware (in the case of <ziprecriuter.com>). Moreover, the Complainant provides evidence that the disputed domain names are associated with mail servers (‘MX servers’) which carry a substantial risk of engagement of the Respondent in phishing activities, by reference of the Complainant’s typosquatted trademarks, and which constitutes clear evidence of bad faith (see also Accor SA v. Domain Admin, C/O ID#10760, Privacy Protection Service INC d/b/a PrivacyProtect.org / Yogesh Bhardwaj, WIPO Case No. D2017-1225). Finally, the Complainant also provides evidence that the Respondent has registered a large amount of domain names, many of which incorporate, or are similar to, famous trademarks, from which the Panel deducts that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of trademark-abusive domain name registrations. These elements lead the Panel to conclude that the Respondent is using the disputed domain names in bad faith, to take unfair advantage of the Complainant’s trademarks. The Panel therefore rules that it has been demonstrated that the Respondent is using the disputed domain names in bad faith.

Finally, the Respondent has failed to provide any response or evidence to establish its good faith or absence of bad faith. The Panel therefore rules that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the third element under the Policy.

7. Decision

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, <zipreceuiter.com>, <ziprecriter.com>, <ziprecriuter.com>, <ziprecruirer.com>, <zip-recruiter.com>, <ziprecruiyer.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Deanna Wong Wai Man
Sole Panelist
Date: January 3, 2020