WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
WebCE, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / Grupo S.A. Ltd. Co.
Case No. D2020-1080
1. The Parties
Complainant is WebCE, Inc., United States of America, internally represented.
Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org, United States of America / Grupo S.A. Ltd. Co., United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <wwwwebce.com> (the “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 April 30, 2020. On May 1, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 1, 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 Complainant on May 4, 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 May 5, 2020. Further to the Center requests for clarification dated May 8 and 12, 2020, Complainant submitted amended Complaints on May 11 and 13, 2020.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaints 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 May 15, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 4, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 5, 2020.
The Center appointed Robert A. Badgley as the sole panelist in this matter on June 15, 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, a subsidiary of the International Risk Management Institute (“IRMI”), provides “pre-license and continuing education courses and related services for persons employed in the life insurance, health insurance (including long-term care insurance), property insurance, casualty insurance, accounting, tax and financial planning, real estate, and funeral industries over a global data network”.
Complainant provides such services via a website located at the domain name <webce.com>, which has been held by Complainant since September 12, 1997. Complainant registered the trademark no. 3032335 for WEBCE from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on December 20, 2005.
The Domain Name was registered on May 7, 2005. The Domain Name resolves to a website containing various pay-per-click hyperlinks, which direct the user to the websites of firms in competition with Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that it has satisfied all three elements required under the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.
Respondent did not respond to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:
(i) the 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 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 Panel concludes that Complainant has rights in the mark WEBCE through registration and use demonstrated in the record. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark. The Domain Name incorporates the mark in its entirety and precedes the mark with the letters “www”. This is a common form of typo-squatting, as many Internet users type “www.” before the actual domain name in order to reach the desired website. The Domain Name here is an example of typo-squatting, as it catches traffic from users who erroneously forgot to type the period after the “www”.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:
(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your use 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) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you [Respondent] are 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 Panel concludes that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Respondent has not come forward in this proceeding to explain its bona fides vis-à-vis the Domain Name. Nor has Respondent denied Complainant’s plausible allegations about the use to which Respondent has put the Domain Name, and its reasons for doing so. Hence, the undisputed record indicates that Respondent registered a Domain Name confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark in order to derive pay-per-click revenue from Internet users who, while seeking Complainant’s website, mistakenly arrive at Respondent’s site.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation”, are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in “bad faith”:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or
(ii) that 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 Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the Domain Name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
The Panel concludes that Respondent registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith. The Panel concludes that Respondent had Complainant’s WEBCE mark in mind when registering the Domain Name. This is primarily due to the fact that the Domain Name resolves to a site containing hyperlinks to Complainant’s competitors. That is very likely no coincidence. As respects bad faith use of the Domain Name, the Panel finds bad faith use under the above-quoted Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv). As noted above, the record is undisputed that Respondent is deriving revenue via consumer confusion engendered by the Domain Name, which is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <wwwwebce.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Robert A. Badgley
Date: June 22, 2020