WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Gearench v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1246504168 / amber boulden

Case No. D2020-0562

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Gearench, United States of America, represented by Brandstock Domains GmbH, Germany.

The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 1246504168, United States of America (“United States” or “US”) / amber boulden, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <gaeranch.com> 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 6, 2020. On March 6, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 6, 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 March 12, 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 25, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 14, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 16, 2020.

The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on April 27, 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 was founded in Texas in 1927 as Gearench Manufacturing Company. Complainant’s first patented product, the Gearench, was a hand tool for use on small diameter pipes. From that first product, Complainant has grown and developed over 40 product lines for use in various areas of the oil industry, including exploration, drilling, production, refining and completion.

Complainant is the owner of the following trademark registrations:

US Trademark Registration No. 1701427 for GEARENCH registered July 21, 1992

US Trademark Registration No. 4394819 for GEARENCH registered September 3, 2013

Complainant also owns the domain name <gearench.com>.

The disputed domain name was registered on February 18, 2020 and does not resolve to a website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:

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

(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name; and

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

Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to 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”.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Complainant has demonstrated that it has rights in the trademark GEARENCH in connection with tools used in the oil industry, and other goods and services related thereto. Complainant’s mark is not a common word, but rather is a term that Complainant has used as a trademark since 1927. The disputed domain name is an example of typosquatting, an intentional misspelling of Complainant’s trademark designed to confuse Internet users into believing that it is the domain name of Complainant.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Complainant contends that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark related to the “gearench” or “gaeranch” terms. Complainant submitted trademark searches revealing no GEARENCH or GAERANCH trademark or right owned by Respondent.

Complainant has not licensed or authorized Respondent to use or register the disputed domain name. There is no evidence in the record showing Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name or preparation to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Rather, Complainant attached evidence demonstrating that Respondent has been impersonating Complainant and sending false invoices and payment orders to some of Complainant’s clients from email addresses using the disputed domain name. Such fraudulent activities do not amount to good faith offering of goods or services. The record is devoid of any facts that establish any rights or legitimate interests of Respondent in the disputed domain name.

In addition, Complainant submitted emails and invoices from a prior domain name dispute involving the domain <gearench.us> in which email addresses were created under the name of Brandon Hoff. In both the <gearench.us> case and the present case involving the disputed domain name <gaeranch.com>, the fraudulent emails use the name “bhoff” appended to the domain name.

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 record indicates that Respondent most likely provided false and/or incomplete name and contact information to the registrar and that Respondent is conducting elaborate fraudulent schemes using Complainant’s trademark and confusingly similar email addresses to confuse Complainant’s customers and illegally obtain payments from Complainant’s customers based on fraudulent invoices and demands for payment.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.

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, <gaeranch.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Sole Panelist
Date: May 20, 2020