WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
KPMG International Cooperative v. Patrick, Patrick Filczinger
Case No. D2019-2751
1. The Parties
The Complainant is KPMG International Cooperative, Netherlands, represented by Taylor Wessing, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Patrick, Patrick Filczinger, Finland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <kpmg-fea.com> is registered with Hostinger, UAB (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 11, 2019. On November 11, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 13, 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 November 13, 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 November 15, 2019.
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, and the proceedings commenced on November 18, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 8, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 9, 2019.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on December 11, 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.
The language of the proceeding is English.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant KPMG International Cooperative, based in the the Netherlands, is one of the four worldwide leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services, in the last thirty years. The KPMG network is formed of member firms licenced by the Complainant to use its KPMG trademark and, according to the Complaint, currently the Complainant operates in approximately 153 countries, having more than 207,000 employees. The combined global revenues of KPMG member firms in 2018 were USD 28.96 billion.
The Complainant holds numerous trademark registrations for KPMG marks worldwide such as:
- the European Union Trademark KPMG, registration number 001011220, filed on December 3, 1998 and registered on April 25, 2000, for goods and services in International Classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 41, 42; and
- the United States of America Trademark KPMG, registration number 2339547, filed on July 3, 1997 and registered on April 11, 2000, for goods and services in International Classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 41 and 42.
The Complainant’s flaship website is “kpmg.com”.
According to the evidence provided in the Complaint, the trademark KPMG is well known worldwide.
The disputed domain name <kpmg-fea.com> was registered on September 16, 2019.
According to the evidence provided in the Complaint, the disputed domain name was used in connection with phishing emails to Complainant’s clients, in an attempt to fraudulentrly obtain sensitive information relating to a purported confidential KPMG group company aquisition and specifically sought to impersonate an employee of the Complainant. No website content is displayed on the corresponding website of the disputed domain name.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its well known trademark KPMG, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of the Respondent’s default, the discussion and findings will be based upon the contentions in the Complaint and any reasonable position that can be attributable to the Respondent. Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(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 the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel will further analyze the potential concurrence of the above circumstances.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant holds rights in the KPMG trademark.
The disputed domain name <kpmg-fea.com> incorporates the Complainant’s KPMG trademark in its entirety with the addition of the word “fea” and a hyphen at the end of the Second‑Level Domain portion. However, such minor addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as the Complainant’s trademark is clearly recognizable within the disputed domain name.
Numerous UDRP panels have considered that the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, pejorative, meaningless or otherwise) to trademarks in a domain name is not sufficient to escape a finding of confusing similarity. See section 1.8 of theWIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Further, it is well established in decisions under the UDRP that the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) (e.g., “.com”, “.info”, “.org”) may typically be disregarded for the purposes of consideration of confusing similarity between a trademark and a domain name.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <kpmg-fea.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark KPMG, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent does not hold any trademark rights, license or authorization whatsoever to use the mark KPMG, that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services.
Under the Policy, “where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element”. See section 2.1 of theWIPO Overview 3.0.
The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions and has not come forward with relevant evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case.
There is nothing in the record suggesting that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
To the contrary, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name in connection with email communications for fraudulent purposes in an attempt to obtain valuable customer information for its own fraudulent purposes. This is definitely not an activity falling under the circumstances listed by paragraph 4(c) of the UDRP as demonstrating the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, nor an activity from which rights or legitimate interests could arise.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant holds registered trademark rights since at least 1997 for KPMG. As shown in the Complaint, the Complainant’s mark gained substantial goodwill and become well known worldwide.
The disputed domain name <kpmg-fea.com> was created in 2019 and incorporates the Complainant’s mark with an additional term – “fea”.
For the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, knowing the Complainant and targeting its trademark.
At the time of filing the Complaint, the disputed domain name did not resolve to an active website. According to the evidence provided in the Complaint and unrefuted by the Respondent, prior to the present proceeding, the Respondent was using the disputed domain name to send email communications for phishing and other fraudulent purposes in an attempt to obtain confidential information from third parties, impersonating an employee of the Complainant. This is a classic phishing scheme and establishes bad faith use and registration.
UDRP panels have consistently held that the use of a domain name other than to host a website may constitute bad faith. Such purposes include sending email, phishing, or identity theft. Many of such cases, as well as the present case, involve the respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to send deceptive emails to obtain sensitive or confidential information from complainant’s actual or prospective clients. See section3.4 of theWIPO Overview 3.0.
Furthermore, the Respondent’s contact details in the WhoIs are innacurate and the Respondent refused to participate in the present proceeding in order to provide arguments in its favor. Having in view the other circumstances of this case, such facts constitute further evidence of bad faith behavior.
For all the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <kpmg-fea.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 17, 2019