WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Zhang Dong Xiang , Lian Zheng
Case No. D2019-2970
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondents are Zhang Dong Xiang and Lian Zheng, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrars
The disputed domain names <zoprecruiter.com> and <zprecruiter.com> are registered with Alibaba Cloud Computing (Beijing) Co., Ltd., and Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd., respectively (the “Registrars”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 3, 2019. On December 3, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On December 4, 2019, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center their verification responses disclosing registrants and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. On December 13, 2019, the Center sent an email communication to the Complainant providing the registrants and contact information disclosed by the Registrars and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 20, 2019.
On December 13, 2019, the Center transmitted an email in English and Chinese to the Parties regarding the language of the proceeding. The Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding and made further submissions on this issue in its amended Complaint filed on December 20, 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, and the proceeding commenced on January 6, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 26, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 27, 2020.
The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on February 5, 2020. 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 a company incorporated in the United States in 2010 and a well-known provider of online recruitment services to both employers and job seekers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom under the trade mark ZIPRECRUITER (the “Trade Mark”).
The Complainant is the owner of registrations for the Trade Mark in several jurisdictions worldwide, including United States registration No. 3934310, with a registration date of March 22, 2011.
The Complainant is also the owner of several domain names comprising the Trade Mark, including <ziprecruiter.com> and <ziprecruiter.co.uk>.
The Respondents are apparently individuals located in China.
C. The Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain names <zoprecruiter.com> and <zprecruiter.com> were registered on January 2, 2015 and June 10, 2015, respectively.
D. Use of the Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain names resolve to the same English language website providing sponsored links to recruitment related websites, including by reference to the Trade Mark (the “Website”).
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
6.1 Consolidation of Respondents
Previous UDRP decisions suggest that consolidation of multiple respondents may be appropriate, under paragraphs 3(c) and 10(e) of the Rules, where the particular circumstances of a given case indicate that common control is being exercised over the disputed domain names or the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve, where consolidation would be fair and equitable to all parties, and where procedural efficiency supports consolidation (see section 4.11.2 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).
In the present proceeding, the Complainant contends as follows:
(i) The disputed domain names resolve to the same Website;
(ii) There is a significant overlap of domain name registrations (unrelated to the present proceeding) which have, at one time or another, been transferred between the Respondents;
(iii) The disputed domain names are very similar, each comprising a mistype of the Complainant’s Trade Mark; and
(iv) The WhoIs search results for the disputed domain names show that the Respondents are based in the same city and share the same postal code.
The Respondents did not file a response and did not file any submissions with respect to this issue.
In all the circumstances, the Panel concludes that the evidence relied upon by the Complainant supports the conclusion that common control is being exercised over the disputed domain names.
In all the circumstances, the Panel determines, under paragraph 10(e) of the Rules, that consolidation of the Respondents is procedurally efficient and equitable to all the Parties, is consistent with the Policy and Rules, and comports with prior relevant UDRP decisions in respect of this issue. The Respondents are referred to hereinafter as the “Respondent”.
6.2 Language of the Proceeding
The language of the Registration Agreements for the disputed domain names is Chinese. Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, or unless specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding, in order to ensure fairness to the parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burdens being placed on the parties and undue delay to the proceeding.
The Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding be English for the following reasons:
(i) The Respondent specialises in the registration of domain names made up of English words which contain typographical errors. In order to accomplish this, the Respondent would need to have some knowledge of the English language;
(ii) The Respondent has been a respondent in four prior proceedings under the UDRP all of which were carried out in the English language; and
(iii) Requiring the Complainant to translate the amended Complaint would involve additional costs and would cause delay.
The Respondent did not file a response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.
In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the Registration Agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both Parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the Parties’ ability to understand and use the proposed language, time and costs.
In addition to the grounds relied upon by the Complainant set out above, the Panel notes that the disputed domain names have been resolved to the same English language Website. The Panel therefore finds there is sufficient evidence to suggest the likely possibility that the Respondent is conversant in the English language. The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.
In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding.
Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.
6.3 Substantive Elements of the Policy
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Mark acquired through use and registration.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the Trade Mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name:
(i) Before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) The respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if the respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) The respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.
The Complainant has not authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain names or to use the Trade Mark. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption.
The Respondent has failed to show that he has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain names or that the disputed domain names have been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the disputed domain names both resolve to the same Website containing pay-per-click links to job posting and recruitment websites, including by reference to the Trade Mark.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain names.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain names.
In all the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the manner of the use of the disputed domain names highlighted in Section B. above, the Panel finds that the requisite element of bad faith has been made out.
The Panel therefore finds that 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 <zoprecruiter.com> and <zprecruiter.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Dated: February 23, 2020