WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter Inc. v. Grace Phillips
Case No. D2020-0308
1. The Parties
Complainant is ZipRecruiter Inc., United States of America (“U.S.” or “United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
Respondent is Grace Phillips, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ziprecruiter.vip> is registered with Nicenic International Group Co., Limited (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 11, 2020. On February 11, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 12, 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 Complainant on February 12, 2020 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on February 13, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 19, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 10, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 11, 2020.
The Center appointed Gregory N. Albright as the sole panelist in this matter on March 16, 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 following information is derived from the amended Complaint and supporting materials submitted by Complainant.
Complainant is an American online recruitment company. Complainant owns registrations for the ZIPRECRUITER trademark in the U.S., Canada, and European Union, the earliest of which was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 22, 2011 (Registration No. 3934310). Complainant has also registered numerous domain names, including <ziprecruiter.com>, which it uses for business purposes. Complainant also uses its ZIPRECRUITER mark in social media to promote its services on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
The disputed domain name was registered on April 23, 2019. At the time of filing the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to an inactive page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant is an online recruitment company based in the United States. Every month Complainant attracts over 7 million active job seeks, over 40 million job alert email subscribers, and over 10,000 new companies. Founded in 2010, Complainant’s business has two main categories – services to individuals, and services to companies. Complainant currently operates in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Complainant’s web-based platform is the foundation of its business; it allows employers to post jobs and manage the job application process, and permits job seekers to search, and/or receive alerts regarding, the latest job posts.
Complainant contends that (1) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademark; (2) Complainant has not licensed its trademark to Respondent, and Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (3) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires Complainant to prove that: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy elaborates some circumstances that shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(c) sets out various circumstances which, if found by the Panel to be proved based on the evaluation of all the evidence presented, shall demonstrate that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s registered ZIPRECRUITER trademark followed by the “.vip” generic Top-Level Domain in which Respondent effected registration of the disputed domain name. “The applicable Top Level Domain (‘TLD’) in a domain name (e.g., ‘.com’, ‘.club’, ‘.nyc’) is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test”. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11. When the TLD is disregarded here, the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s registered trademark.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
“While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of ‘proving a negative’, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, 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.” WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1.
Here, Complainant asserts that Respondent is not licensed to use Complainant’s registered ZIPRECRUITERtrademark and alleges that Respondent has no other rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Respondent has not come forward to claim any such rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel therefore finds that the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
“From the inception of the UDRP, panelists have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank or ‘coming soon’ page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding.” WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3. For example, in Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, the panel held that where a trademark had a strong reputation and was widely known, respondent had provided no evidence of any actual or contemplated good faith use of the disputed domain name, and it was impossible to conceive of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name could be put, the disputed domain name had been registered and was being used in bad faith.
The same is true in the case.
In addition, “UDRP panels have held that establishing a pattern of bad faith conduct requires more than one, but as few as two instances of abusive domain name registration.” WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.1.2. Here, two prior UDRP proceedings against Respondent have resulted in transfers of disputed domain names registered by Respondent. See Ziprecruiter Inc. v. Grace Phillips, WIPO Case No. D2018-0945 (<ziprecrulter.net>), and ZipRecruiter Inc. v. Grace Phillips, WIPO Case No. D2019-2880 (<ziprecruiter.host>, <ziprecruiter.ink>, <ziprecruiter.press>, <ziprecruiter.pro>, <ziprecruiter.pw>, <ziprecruiter.store>, and <ziprecruiter.top>). The Panel finds that there is a well-established pattern of Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of domain names that are identical to Complainant’s registered trademark.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy is satisfied.
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 <ziprecruiter.vip> be transferred to Complainant.
Gregory N. Albright
Date: March 30, 2020