WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
PrideStaff, Inc. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Code optimal Solutions, Code optimal solutions
Case No. D2020-0154
1. The Parties
The Complainant is PrideStaff, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Frost Brown Todd LLC, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States / Code optimal Solutions, Code optimal solutions, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <pridestaffingco.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 21, 2020. On January 22, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 22, 2020, 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 January 23, 2020, 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 January 24, 2020.
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 January 27, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 16, 2020. The Center received an informal email communication from the Respondent on January 30, 2020, stating he “is going to release the domain and wants to discontinue it, [s]o please advise us how we will remove or delete or transfer this domain to you so all will be good at this point”. The Complainant agreed to explore settlement possibilities and the proceedings were suspended on February 21, 2020. The proceedings were reinstituted on March 24, 2020.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on March 30, 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 PrideStaff, Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of California, United States, which provides professional staffing services for both employers and individuals looking for jobs. The Complainant advertises and sells its services through its <pridestaff.com> domain name.
The Complainant owns the PRIDESTAFF trademark in the United States (United States registration No. 2,116,589, registered on November 25, 1997).
The disputed domain name was registered on December 16, 2019 and resolves to a website marketing recruitment and job placement services.
Despite offering to discontinue the use of the disputed domain name and its transfer to the Complainant, the Respondent has not taken any respective action.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
On the basis of the facts and evidence introduced by the Complainant, and with regard to paragraphs 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Policy, the Panel concludes as follows:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate its registered rights in the PRIDESTAFF trademark in the United States.
The PRIDESTAFF trademark is reproduced in its entirety in the disputed domain name <pridestaffingco.com>.
A domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662). Hence, the confusing similarity is not dispelled by the addition of the ending “ing” and the addition of the letters “co”.
The disputed domain name is therefore confusingly similar to the Complainant’s PRIDESTAFF trademark, and the Complainant has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor making any bona fide use of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent uses the disputed domain name to host a website that offers the same or similar services as the Complainant. Moreover, the Complainant credibly shows that the Respondent asks those seeking employment opportunities through the website under the disputed domain name to fill out a “right of representation form” and take an online class from a third-party website to be paid for via credit card. This cannot be considered as a bona fide offering of goods or services or a noncommercial use.
Even though the Respondent has offered the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant, the Respondent has not taken any action in that respect, nor has the Respondent refuted the allegations of the Complainant.
Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.
The evidence submitted by the Complainant supports the finding that the Respondent is engaged in an attempt to pass itself off as the Complainant and to attract Internet users to its website for its own commercial benefit. The Respondent therefore registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith (see Claudie Pierlot v. Yinglong Ma, WIPO Case No. D2018-2466).
Accordingly, the Complainant has also fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(iii) of 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 <pridestaffingco.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 13, 2020