WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Facebook, Inc. v. Daniel Khrayzat
Case No. D2019-2813
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Facebook, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, France.
The Respondent is Daniel Khrayzat, United States.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <facebookcryptotrader.com>, <facebookglobalpay.com>, <facebookglobalpayment.com>, <facebookglobaltrading.com>, and <getfacebookcrypto.com> are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 15, 2019. On November 18, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 18, 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 20, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 10, 2019. The Center received multiple email communications from the Respondent on November 20, 21, 24, and 26, 2019.
The Center appointed Colin T. O'Brien as the sole panelist in this matter on November 28, 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 founded in 2004 is a well-known provider of online social networking services. The Complainant is a publicly traded company and its online social networking platform is accessible on the Internet worldwide. As of September 2019, the Complainant has 2.27 billion users. According to the information company Alexa, the Complainant’s website “facebook.com” is the 4th most visited website in the world. In December 2018, international media publication were speculating that the Complainant was in the process of a developing a cryptocurrency product. On June 18, 2019, a proposed digital currency called “Libra” was officially introduced by the Complainant.
The Complainant has secured trademark rights in the FACEBOOK name throughout the world, including but not limited to the following jurisdictions:
United States (Reg No. 3,122,052), FACEBOOK, registered on July 25, 2006;
European Union (Reg. No. 009151192), FACEBOOK, registered on December 17, 2010;
International (Reg. No. 1075094), FACEBOOK with figurative element, registered on July 16, 2010, designating Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Egypt, France, Georgia, Ghana, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Sudan, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Viet Nam.
All the disputed domain names were registered by the Respondent on June 8, 2019.
On October 2, 2019, the Complainant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent by email and registered post, notifying the Respondent of the Complainant’s rights, and requesting, inter alia, transfer of the disputed domain names. The Complainant sent a reminder to the Respondent on October 14, 2019. The Respondent never replied to the Complainant’s letter.
None of the disputed domain names resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for FACEBOOK in many jurisdictions throughout the world. The disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Complainant's FACEBOOK trademark as they incorporate the Complainant’s FACEBOOK trademark in its entirety as its leading element, together with various combinations of the descriptive terms: “crypto”, “get”, “global”, “pay”, “payment”, “trader”, and/or “trading”. The applicable generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), for the disputed domain names “.com”, may be disregarded for the purposes of similarity assessment under the first element, as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement.
The Respondent is not using the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy. The Respondent is not a licensee of the Complainant and the Complainant has not granted any authorization for the Respondent to make use of its FACEBOOK trademark, in a domain name or otherwise. The Complainant is not aware of the Respondent making any active use of the disputed domain names nor has the Respondent come forward in reply to the Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter to assert that it has made any demonstrable preparations to make any bona fide use of the disputed domain names. Non-use of the disputed domain names does not support a finding of bona fide use on the part of the Respondent.
Respondent cannot credibly claim to be commonly known by the disputed domain names, or a name corresponding to the disputed domain names, within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy. The Respondent is “Daniel Khrayzat”, a name which bears no resemblance to the disputed domain names whatsoever. To the best of the Complainant’s knowledge, the Respondent has not secured any trademark registrations for the term “facebook” or “facebook” together with any combination of the terms “crypto”, “get”, “global”, “pay”, “payment”, “trader”, and/or “trading”, as reflected in the disputed domain names.
The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers within the meaning of paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy. It does not appear that the Respondent is making any active use of the disputed domain names whatsoever.
In response to the Complaint, the Respondent wrote: “The subject domains were deleted, now they have been renewed and locked by Godaddy. I would like to make the requested transfer. Please advise the preferred method of this transfer.”
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has demonstrated it owns registered trademark rights in the FACEBOOK trademark both worldwide and in the United States. The addition of the descriptive terms “crypto”, “get”, “global”, “pay”, “payment”, “trader”, and/or “trading” are insufficient to avoid a finding of confusing similarity. See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Accordingly, the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has presented a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and has not at any time been commonly known by the disputed domain names. The fact that the Respondent obtained the disputed domain names after news reports had anticipated the Complainant’s foray into the cryptocurrency field indicates that the Respondent likely sought to obtain a windfall based on the sale of the disputed domain names to the Complainant.
After a complainant has made a prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to present evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. See, e.g., Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455.
Here, the Respondent has provided no evidence of any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; rather, the evidence suggests that it was registered to make an undue profit based on the Complainant’s rights. See, e.g., Bottega Veneta SA v. ZhaoJiafei, WIPO Case No. D2013-1556.
In the absence of any evidence rebutting the Complainant’s prima facie case indicating the Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain names were registered many years after the Complainant first registered and used its famous FACEBOOK trademark. The evidence on the record provided by the Complainant with respect to the extent of use of its FACEBOOK trademark, combined with the absence of any evidence provided by the Respondent to the contrary, is sufficient to satisfy the Panel that, at the time the disputed domain names were registered, the Respondent undoubtedly knew of the Complainant’s FACEBOOK mark, and knew that it had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Complainant has provided evidence it was of creating a cryptocurrency payment system and that this decision by the Complainant was widely reported.
There is prima facie no non-benign reason for the respondent to have registered the disputed domain names containing FACEBOOK and the terms “crypto”, “get”, “global”, “pay”, “payment”, “trader”, and/or “trading”. The fact that the Respondent registered a total of five separate domain names, all which incorporate the Complainant’s famous FACEBOOK as well as terms that relate to the financial industry, establish that the Respondent engaged in a bad-faith pattern of abusive domain name registration, pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy. See Ladbroke Group Plc v. Sonoma International LDC WIPO Case No. D2002-0131(“It is most unlikely that the Respondents just happened to unintentionally select the Complainant’s distinctive service marks LADBROKE and LADBROKES and inadvertently put them in combination with the name of the card game ‘poker’ when selecting its domain names”. Ordering the transfer of <ladbrokespoker.com>, <ladbrokepoker.com>, <ladbrokepoker.org>, and <ladbrokepoker.net> to the Complainant).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that 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 names <facebookcryptotrader.com>, <facebookglobalpay.com>, <facebookglobalpayment.com>, <facebookglobaltrading.com>, and <getfacebookcrypto.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Colin T. O'Brien
Date: December 16, 2019