WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

LGT Gruppe Stiftung v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Martin Stanfield

Case No. D2020-0543

1. The Parties

The Complainant is LGT Gruppe Stiftung, Liechtenstein, represented by Isler & Pedrazzini AG, Switzerland.

The Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org, United States of America / Martin Stanfield, United States of America (the “United States”).

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <lgtwealthsmanagement.com> (the “disputed domain name”) is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 5, 2020. On March 5, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 5, 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 March 10, 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 March 11, 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 March 12, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for filing a Response was April 1, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 2, 2020.

The Center appointed Kiyoshi Tsuru as the sole panelist in this matter on May 1, 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 LGT Gruppe Stiftung, a foundation established under the laws of Liechtenstein and a member of LGT Group, which is a provider of financial services.

The Complainant owns, among others, the following trademark registrations:

Trademark

Registration Number

Registration Date

Classes

Jurisdiction

LGT

641907

September 11, 1995

9, 16, 35, 36, 38

International Trademark designating among others: Australia, European Union, Singapore

LGT

2,188,693

September 15, 1998

35, 36

United States

LGT & Device

652469

February 19, 1996

9, 16, 35, 36, 38

International Trademark designating among others: Australia, Colombia, Cuba, European Union, New Zealand, Singapore

LGT & Device

2,062,906

May 20, 1997

35, 36

United States

The members of the LGT Group own the domain names <lgt.com> and <lgtcp.com>, which were registered on March 3, 1998 and April 18, 2001, respectively.

The disputed domain name was registered on April 3, 2019 and currently resolves to an inactive website. The disputed domain name previously resolved to a website impersonating the Complainant and promoting competing (financial) services, which was blocked by some browsers.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant argued the following:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark on which the Complainant has rights

That the Complainant is a member of LGT Group which is a provider of financial services.

That the Complainant is the owner of various registrations that include the term LGT alone or with additional terms or devices, such as LGT, LGT CAPITAL PARTNERS, LGT CLASS, LGT SMARTBANKING, and LGT. EMPOWERING WEALTH.

That these marks protect, inter alia, banking and other financial services which fall within the scope of class 36 of the Nice Classification.

That said trademark registrations have a priority date that precedes the date of creation of the disputed domain name.

That the Complainant and other members of the LGT Group have been continuously using the trademark LGT in relation to banking and financial services in various countries, for many years.

That the trademark LGT appears on websites operated by the Complainant and other members of the LGT Group under the following domain names: <lgt.com> and <lgtcp.com>.

That the Complainant and other members of the LGT Group own various domain name registrations with country code Top-Level Domains which include the verbal element LGT, such as <lgt.ch>.

That in the context of banking and financial services, the element “wealthsmanagement” included in the disputed domain name lacks any distinctive force and does not eliminate the danger of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark LGT.

That the element “wealthsmanagement” is almost identical to the term “wealth management”, commonly used to describe a particular branch of the financial industry, which increases the danger of confusion with the Complainant’s business services.

That the inclusion of the trademark LGT in the disputed domain name suggests that it refers to the Complainant’s wealth management services.

That the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark LGT.

(ii) The Respondent has no rights to, or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name

That the Respondent has no rights to the disputed domain name.

That a global research performed on the Saegis database for the term “lgtwealthsmanagement” or any other trademark, industrial name and company name registered on behalf of the Respondent did not provide any results.

That the Complainant is not aware of any third party outside the LGT Group that is conducting business under the name, company name or tradename “LGT”, “LGT Wealth Management” or “LGT Wealthsmanagement” in the field of banking and finance.

That there is no affiliation between the Respondent and the Complainant or any other company belonging to the LGT Group.

That neither the Complainant nor any other company from the LGT Group has granted the Respondent a license or otherwise consented to the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name.

That the Respondent has no rights to, or legitimate interests in respect to the disputed domain name.

(iii) Registration and use in bad faith

That the website to which the disputed domain name resolves displays the sign LGT in capital letters and in a stylized font in the upper left corner of each page, together with the elements “Wealths Management”.

That said website promotes a range of banking services that are identical to some of the services offered by the Complainant through its own website operated under the domain name <lgt.com>.

That the use of the website to which the disputed domain name resolves clearly indicates that the Respondent is attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s well-established mark LGT.

That such conduct evidences registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.

That web-browsers such as “Firefox” or “Explorer” are blocking the access to the website operated under the disputed domain name displaying warnings in German which may be translated into English as follows:

“Fraudulent website blocked
Firefox has blocked this site because it may try to trick you into installing software or revealing personal information such as password or credit card information.
Warning provided by Google Safe Browsing.

This website is not secure.
This problem may indicate an attempt to trick you or intercept data that you have sent to the server. This website should be closed immediately.”

That the website to which the disputed domain name resolves does not provide clear information on the person or company that operates it, and that the footer regarding “LGT Wealths Management” does not allow users to identify any company or person.

That the section “About Us” does not provide any information about the company or person behind the said website or the services promoted therein and that the lack of this kind of information in the field of banking is a further indicator that the disputed domain name is being used in bad faith.

That the fact that the Respondent is shielding its identity and making it difficult or impossible for users to find out who is actually operating the website to which the disputed domain resolves, constitutes a further evidence that the disputed domain name is being used for illicit purposes and thus in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

The Complainant must prove that the three elements of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been met:

(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name;

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In view of the Respondent’ failure to submit a Response, the Panel shall decide this proceeding on the basis of the Complainant’s undisputed factual allegations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules, and shall draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules (see Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. v. null John Zuccarini, Country Walk, WIPO Case No. D2002-0487).

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has provided evidence showing that it owns registrations that cover the trademark LGT in various jurisdictions and classes, including classes 35 and 36 in relation to financial and banking services.

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark LGT, as it incorporates said trademark in its entirety.

As the trademark LGT is recognizable in the disputed domain name, the inclusion of the misspelled terms “wealthsmanagement” as a suffix to the Complainant’s LGT trademark in the disputed domain name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element (see section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)).

The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” to the disputed domain name does not avoid the finding of confusing similarity (see SAP SE v. Mohammed Aziz Sheikh, Sapteq Global Consulting Services, WIPO Case No. D2015-0565; Bentley Motors Limited v. Domain Admin / Kyle Rocheleau, Privacy Hero Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-1919; Compagnie Générale des Etablissements Michelin v. Gui He Xing, WIPO Case No. D2018-1446).

The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets forth the following examples as circumstances where a respondent may have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:

(i) before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the use by the respondent of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the 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 domain name, even if it did no acquire trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that there is no affiliation between the Respondent and the Complainant or any other company from the Complainant’s Group. Furthermore, the Complainant has asserted that the Respondent does not hold any trademark rights to the term “lgtwealthsmanagement” or any similar one. Also, the Complainant argues that neither it nor any company from the LGT Group have granted the Respondent any license or authorization to use the trademark LGT.

The Respondent did not challenge any of the Complainant’s contentions.

The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark LGT in its entirety, with the addition of the misspelled terms “wealthsmanagement” which, even if containing a typographical error, clearly evokes and is directly related to the financial services that the Complainant renders under its LGT trademark.

Although the disputed domain name currently resolves to an inactive website, the evidence presented by the Complainant shows that, in the past, the website to which it resolved purported to operate banking and financial services under the name “LGT Wealths Management”. The services offered therein included personal banking, business banking, credit cards, loans, corporate banking and wealth management.

The disputed domain name carries a risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant and its trademark LGT (see section 2.5.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0; see also Allianz SE v. Paul Umeadi, Softcode Microsystems, WIPO Case No. D2019-1407).

The Respondent’s conduct consisting of the association of the disputed domain name to a website that displayed contents prominently displaying the trademark LGT, and that offered financial services (corresponding to the same field of business of the Complainant) creates an impression of association with the Complainant (see SVB Financial Group v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Citizen Global Cargo, WIPO Case No. D2018-0398; Haas Food Equipment GmbH v. Usman ABD, Usmandel, WIPO Case No. D2015-0285).Such creation of an impression of association with the Complainant constitutes bad faith under the Policy and therefore cannot be considered as a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name (see Allianz SE v. Paul Umeadi, Softcode Microsystems, WIPO Case No. D2019-1407).

The fact that some of the top web-browsers have blocked access to the website to which the disputed domain name resolved, due to suspicions of fraudulent content and a possible phishing scheme that could trick users into disclosing personal information such as passwords or credit card information, confirms that the Respondent’s conduct cannot be considered to confer rights to, or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The requirements set forth in paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy have been fulfilled.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

According to paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, shall be evidence of registration and use in bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on its website or location.

The Complainant has sufficiently proven that it owns various registrations that cover the trademark LGT in different jurisdictions, including the United States where the Respondent has declared to be domiciled.

The disputed domain name not only reproduces the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, but it also incorporates the term “wealthsmanagement” which clearly induces the public to error as to the source of the disputed domain name and the alleged services that were advertised therein.

In the light of the above, it is improbable that the Respondent did not know about the Complainant, its trademark and business, at the moment of registration of the disputed domain name, which constitutes opportunistic bad faith under the Policy (see section 3.2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0; see also L’Oréal v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0149511181 / Jerry Peter, WIPO Case No. D2018-1937; Gilead Sciences Ireland UC / Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Domain Maybe For Sale c/o Dynadot, WIPO Case No. D2019-0980).

As discussed previously, the composition of the disputed domain name and the use by the Respondent that resolved to a website which creates an impression of association with the Complainant, and which conspicuously displayed the LGT trademark with a design in similar colors to those used by the Complainant, clearly translates into a bad faith use under the Policy (see section 2.5.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, and also Allianz SE v. Paul Umeadi, Softcode Microsystems, SVB Financial Group v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Citizen Global Cargo, and Haas Food Equipment GmbH v. Usman ABD, Usmandel, supra).

The Respondent’s conduct clearly indicates an attempt to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website, which constitutes bad faith under paragraph 4 (b)(iv) of the Policy. The fact that the disputed domain name currently resolves to an inactive website does not alter this finding (see International Business Machines Corporation v. Linney Leensey and Brizees Martins, WIPO Case No. D2019-0310, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated v. Private Data Domains Ltd. / AnonymousSpeech, AnonymousSpeech, Michael Weber, WIPO Case No. D2019-1259).

The third element of the Policy has been met.

7. Decision

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 <lgtwealthsmanagement.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Kiyoshi Tsuru
Sole Panelist
Date: May 16, 2020