WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

WestJet Airlines Ltd. v. Amit Mishra, westjetairflights

Case No. D2020-1087

1. The Parties

Complainant is WestJet Airlines Ltd., Canada, represented by Gowlings WLG (Canada) LLP, Canada.

Respondent is Amit Mishra, westjetairflights, India.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

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

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 2, 2020. On May 4, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 5, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that 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 May 13, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 2, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 5, 2020.

The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on June 17, 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, founded in 1996, is a publicly traded international airline with its head office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Complainant offers scheduled airline flights to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe, and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through its airline partnerships.

Between 2012 and 2016 alone, Complainant generated over USD 19 billion in revenue and has enjoyed widespread recognition, including many industry awards.

Complainant is the owner of numerous trademark registrations worldwide comprised of or containing WESTJET, including but not limited to the following:

WESTJET

TMA480424

Canada

WESTJET

TMA651001

Canada

WESTJET & Design

TMA656341

Canada

WESTJET VACATIONS

TMA688699

Canada

WESTJET

3559405

United States of America

WESTJET REWARDS

4602642

United States of America

WESTJET

12810289

European Union

The earliest of Complainant’s WESTJET trademarks, namely, Registration No. TMA480424, matured to registration in 1997.

Complainant’s website located at <westjet.com> was registered in 1995. The website, which prominently features Complainant’s WESTJET trademarks, provides various travel-related services, including booking services.

Respondent registered the disputed domain name on April 9, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a website impersonating Complainant and prominently featuring Complainant’s WESTJET trademarks. Respondent’s website states that “WestJet Airlines Reservations offers Low Fares when you make Reservations. WestJet Airlines is a Canada based airline delivering extraordinary services for a very long time”. Respondent’s website indicates that it is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which is the location of Complainant’s head office.

Respondent’s website is used to defraud unsuspecting consumers by offering them heavily discounted airline tickets, which in fact are unavailable. In order to finalize the purchase of airline tickets, consumers must call a toll free number, at which point the Respondent attempts to defraud consumers by seeking credit card information and personal information. Respondent is also perpetrating the same fraudulent scheme by masquerading as several other airlines, including JetBlue Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Air Canada, using the same toll free telephone number and overall website design.

Respondent is using the email address “[...]@westjetairflights.com”.

On April 15, 2020, Complainant issued a cease and desist letter to Respondent. Respondent failed to respond to the letter and has continued its fraudulent activities using the disputed domain name.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar with Complainant’s WESTJET 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 is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to 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 WESTJET in connection with airline reservation and related services. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s mark in its entirety. The addition of the term “airflights”, a term that describes Complainant’s services, does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.

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 has no relationship with Complainant. Respondent is not licensed or otherwise authorized to register or use the WESTJET trademarks in any manner, including as part of a domain name. There is no evidence to suggest that Respondent has ever used or demonstrated preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Indeed, the record shows that Respondent is using the disputed domain name as an instrument of fraud, which completely undermines any potential claim of rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.

The record indicates that Respondent was well aware of Complainant’s WESTJET trademarks and knowingly adopted Complainant’s mark in the disputed domain name. Respondent did so in an effort to create the false impression that Respondent is associated with Complainant and is an authorized representative of Complainant to defraud unsuspecting consumers into providing their financial information, or providing payment, to Respondent for Respondent’s personal profit and gain.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The disputed domain name resolves to a website that prominently features Complainant’s trademark and an email address incorporating Complainant’s trademark. Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is being used in connection with a fraudulent scam designed to lure consumers into believing that they are being contacted by Complainant, requesting payment, in order to defraud consumers. The record supports Complainant’s contention that Respondent registered the disputed domain name to use it in connection with a larger fraudulent scam involving multiple domain names and email addresses belonging to various airline companies.

The record indicates that Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the WESTJET trademarks prior to registering the disputed domain name and that Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in connection with a fraudulent scam for commercial gain by intentionally creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s marks and for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant.

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, <westjetairflights.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Sole Panelist
Date: July 1, 2020