WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
KPMG International Cooperative v. Vanshita Sharma, Ms
Case No. D2020-1290
1. The Parties
The Complainant is KPMG International Cooperative, Netherlands, represented by Taylor Wessing LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Vanshita Sharma, Ms, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <kp-mg.org> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 21, 2020. On May 21, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 21, 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 May 26, 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 May 28, 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 May 29, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 18, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 20, 2020.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on June 23, 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 KPMG network, consisting of the Complainant and its member firms, is one of the world's leading providers of audit, tax, and advisory services. The member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with the Complainant and are all operating under the trademark KPMG. The Complainant is recognized as one of the “Big Four” professional services firms in the world. The Complainant's network has been using the trademark KPMG for more than 30 years.
The Complainant owns over 480 trademark registrations containing the name KPMG throughout the world, including the United States of America trademark KPMG (Reg. No. 2339547, registered on April 11, 2000) and the European Union Trade Mark KPMG (Reg. No. 001011220, registered on April 25, 2000).
The Complainant further holds the domain name <kpmg.com> under which the official website of the Complainant is available. The Complainant advertises and sells its services through its <kpmg.com> domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered on April 26, 2020 and resolved to a parked landing page with pay-per-click links. From an email address incorporating the disputed domain name, emails regarding fake job opportunities at the Complainant's Canadian office were sent. In the meantime, the website has been deactivated.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
On the basis of the facts and evidence introduced by the Complainant, and with regard to paragraphs 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Policy, the Panel concludes as follows:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate its registered rights in the KPMG trademark.
The KPMG trademark is wholly reproduced in the disputed domain name.
A domain name is “identical or confusingly similar” to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662). This also includes punctuation like a hyphen because they do not constitute distinguishing elements in the domain name. Hence, the confusing similarity between the Complainant’s KPMG trademark and the disputed domain name is not dispelled by the addition of a hyphen between the letters “kp” and “mg”.
The Complainant has thus fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor making any bona fide use of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent used the disputed domain name as a parked landing page. The website has been deleted in the meantime. Moreover, the Complainant has credibly demonstrated that the Respondent used the disputed domain name as well as an email address (“[...]@kp-mg.org”) for collecting user data, including personal details and passport details, by masquerading as a recruiter for non-existent job opportunities. This cannot be considered as a bona fide offering of goods or services or a noncommercial or fair use.
Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.
The evidence submitted by the Complainant supports a finding that the Respondent was engaged in an attempt to pass herself off as the Complainant and to attract Internet users to her website and use a related email address for her own commercial benefit. The Respondent therefore used the disputed domain name in bad faith (see Claudie Pierlot v. Yinglong Ma, WIPO Case No. D2018-2466).
Accordingly, the Complainant has also fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <kp-mg.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 7, 2020