WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Ambac Assurance Corporation v. SureSupport Privacy Service / Chan Kai Man Kant
Case No. D2020-0680
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Ambac Assurance Corporation, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Debevoise & Plimpton, United States.
The Respondent is SureSupport Privacy Service, Bulgaria / Chan Kai Man Kant, Hong Kong, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ambac-international.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with eNom, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 20, 2020. On March 20, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 23, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on April 1, 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 April 2, 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 April 6, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 26, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 27, 2020.
The Center appointed Ian Lowe as the sole panelist in this matter on May 7, 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 a Wisconsin corporation based in New York, United States, that acts as guarantor of public finance and structured finance obligations. It operates a website at “www.ambac.com”. It is the registered proprietor of United States trademark number 5,518,966 AMBAC registered on July 17, 2018 and the Complainant and its predecessors have carried on business under the AMBAC mark since 1972.
The Domain Name was registered on October 4, 2019. According to information provided by the Registrar, the registrant is SureSupport Privacy Service. At the time of filing the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a website purporting to be that of Ambac International, in the English and Chinese languages, soliciting financial investment. It featured a design mark in respect of the word “Ambac” identical to that used by the Complainant on its website.
The Complainant previously filed a successful complaint under the UDRP in respect of <ambacgroup.com> (see Ambac Assurance Corporation v. SureSupport Privacy, SureSupport Privacy Service, WIPO Case No. D2019-2531). In that case, the domain name was used for a website identical to that the subject of this Complaint. Further, the phone number listed on the “Contact Us” page at the website associated with the Domain Name is identical to the phone number that was listed on the website hosted at “www.ambacgroup.com”. Information disclosed by SureSupport Privacy Service identified the underlying registrant inthat case as Chan Kai Man Kant of Hong Kong, China.
The Complainant received an email from a consumer in Hong Kong, China in January 2020 asking if the Complainant was affiliated with the operators of the website at “www.ambac-international.com”.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its AMBAC trademark (the “Mark”), that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(b)(ii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. In light of the evidence as to Chan Kai Man Kant’s earlier registration of the domain name <ambacgroup.com> set out above, the Complainant submits that it is also properly to be treated as the Respondent in this case.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Panel agrees that, in the circumstances, Chan Kai Man Kant should be identified as the Respondent to this Complaint.
For this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has uncontested rights in the Mark, both by virtue of its trademark registration and as a result of the goodwill and reputation acquired through its use of the trademark for nearly 50 years. Ignoring the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”, the Domain Name comprises the Mark together with the word “international”. In the Panel’s view, the addition of this descriptive word does not detract from the confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the Complainant’s mark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has made out a strong prima facie case that the Respondent could have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent has not used the Domain Name for the bona fide provision of goods and services but for a website featuring the Mark and purporting therefore to be operated by the Complainant. The Panel considers that the inescapable inference is that the website was set up, using the Domain Name, for fraudulent purposes, by taking advantage of the Complainant’s rights in the Mark, either to phish for personal data for improper purposes or to draw users into fraudulent transactions. The Respondent has chosen not to respond to the Complaint or to take any steps to counter the prima facie case established by the Complainant. In the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the nature of the Domain Name and the above finding, the Panel considers that the Respondent must have had the Complainant and its rights in the Mark in mind when it registered the Domain Name. The Panel cannot conceive of any legitimate use to which the Respondent could put the Domain Name.
In the Panel’s view, the Respondent registered the Domain Name for commercial gain with a view to taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s rights in the Mark, by confusing Internet users into believing that the Domain Name was being operated by or authorized by the Complainant. The Respondent has used the website with a view to extract personal data for improper purposes or to lure Internet users into fraudulent transactions. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used 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 Domain Name <ambac-international.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 21, 2020