WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Juniper Networks, Inc. v. Contact Privacy Inc.Customer 1246093832 / Christy Wood, cancost inc
Case No. D2020-0524
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Juniper Networks, Inc., United States of America (“Complainant”), represented by Hanson Bridgett LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1246093832, Canada / Christy Wood, cancost inc, (hereinafter referred to, jointly and severally, as “Respondent”) United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <jnuiper.net> is registered with Google LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 4, 2020. On March 4, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 4, 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 March 6, 2020 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on March 10, 2020 (hereinafter, the “Complaint”).
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 13, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 2, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 3, 2020.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on April 9, 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
Complainant is a technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley and has 9,000 employees worldwide located in 70 countries. Complainant develops and markets customized networking hardware and software and related goods and services. Since its inception almost thirty years ago, Complainant has grown rapidly to where in 2018 it had sales exceeding USD 4.6 billion. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries. It is the owner of several trademarks for the mark JUNIPER NETWORKS registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), which issued at least as early as June 22, 1999. Complaint, Annex 3. Complainant is the registrant of the domain name <juniper.net>, which it registered on August 7, 1996. Complaint, Annex 5. Complainant’s <juniper.net> domain name resolves to Complainant’s primary business web site. Complaint, Annex 4.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name <jnuiper.net> on January 4, 2020. Complaint, Annex 1. Respondent has been using the disputed domain name to send emails to Complainant’s customers using the names of Complainant’s employees with whom those customers regularly communicate, seeking to divert amounts owing to Complainant from those customers to Respondent’s accounts. Complaint, Annex 7.
Complainant contacted the hosting service of Respondent’s email service, notifying the service of Respondent’s use of Complainant’s trademarks in an attempt to persuade Complainant’s customers to send amounts owing to Complainant to accounts maintained by Respondent. Complaint, Annex 6. As a result of this communication, Google terminated the hosting services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s JUNIPER NETWORKS registered trademarks. Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name in that Complainant has never authorized, licensed, or permitted Respondent to use Complainant’s trademark or to mimic Complainant’s primary domain name which resolves to Complainant’s business web site. Complainant contends that Respondent is using the domain name in bad faith in a blatant attempt to defraud Complainant’s customers.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of a misspelling of the distinguishing part of Complainant’s JUNIPER NETWORKS trademark affixed to the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.net”. Moreover, the disputed domain name, <jnuiper.net>, is a deliberate misspelling of Complainant’s domain name <juniper.net>, which Complainant uses to resolve to its primary web site. Moreover, Respondent has used the disputed domain name in emails allegedly from actual employees of Complainant directed to Complainant’s customers and seeking transfer of funds owing to Complainant to bank accounts maintained by Respondent.
Accordingly, the Panel has no difficulty in finding that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark. “A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element…” WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP 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.
In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name is an obvious and deliberate misspelling of Complainant’s primary business domain name. It is deliberate, since Respondent has used the disputed domain name as an email platform with which to contact Complainant’s customers. Using the names of Complainant’s business employees, and by actually inserting the fraudulent emails into communications between the Complainant’s employees and Complainant’s customers, Respondent has attempted to defraud Complainant’s customers into transferring to accounts maintained by Respondent monies which are due and owing to Complainant. This is a blatant bad faith effort by Respondent to enrich itself at the expense of Complainant and Complainant’s legitimate business customers. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name 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 name, <jnuiper.net>, be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: April 23, 2020