WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0158491442 / Terry Sybert
Case No. D2020-2167
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, represented by Diana Milley, Germany.
The Respondent is Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0158491442, Canada / Terry Sybert, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianzfinance-online.com> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 17, 2020. On August 17, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 26, 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 August 31, 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 September 3, 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 September 4, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 24, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 25, 2020.
The Center appointed Martin R. Michaus as the sole panelist in this matter on October 8, 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 an international insurance and financial services group. The first company of today’s Allianz Group, Versicherungs-AG was founded in 1890 in Berlin, Germany. In 1893 the first international branch, an office in London, was opened.
The Complainant has operated under the Allianz name and has used the ALLIANZ mark in connection with its insurance, healthcare, and financial services products.
The Complainant employs approximately 147,000 employees worldwide, its serves approximately 100 million customers in more than 70 countries. The Complainant is a market leader in the German market and has an strong international presence, with third party assets of EUR 1,686 billion.
The Complainant has a comprehensive portfolio of registrations for the trademark ALLIANZ throughout the world, including European registrations dating from 1979 and United States registrations dating from 1999. See, e.g., trademark registration no. 987481 for ALLIANZ, registered in Germany on November 7, 1979; and International trademark registration no. 714618 for ALLIANZ, registered May 4, 1999. The Complainant owns several domain names compromising the trademark ALLIANZ.
The disputed domain name <allianzfinance-online.com> was registered on June 30, 2020. At the time of filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a website similar to Complainant’s website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant states in its Complaint that the Respondent:
1) registered the disputed domain name, which is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known trademark ALLIANZ, without the Complainant’s knowledge or authorization;
2) registered the disputed domain name to create confusion amongst Internet users, that the disputed domain name is affiliated with the Complainant;
3) has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
4) likely intended to confuse the Complainant’s customers or potential customers, considering the complete reproduction of the ALLIANZ trademark in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the disputed domain name was selected, registered and used by the Respondent in bad faith and not for a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor any fair use, but rather to mislead Internet users, disrupt the Complainant’s business, and affect the reputation or notoriety of the ALLIANZ trademark.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: “[a] Panel shall 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”.
Considering that the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, in order to determine whether the Complainant has met its burden as stated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel bases its Decision on the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy and the Rules.
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following: (i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted evidence of its rights in the ALLIANZ trademark.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s ALLIANZ trademark. The disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark ALLIANZ in its entirety, with the addition of the term “finance-online” at the end.
The ALLIANZ trademark is included in the disputed domain name, and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”), “.com”, as well as the addition of the “finance-online”, do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the ALLIANZ trademark.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not received permission or authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent did not substantively reply to the Complainant’s contentions, and therefore has not provided any evidence to demonstrate anything to the contrary. It should be pointed out that nothing in the available record indicates that the Respondent is an individual, business, or corporation known by the name “allianz” or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor for a legitimate or noncommercial fair use that might give rise to rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name, has made demonstrable preparation to use it for a bone fide offering of goods or services, owned a trademark or is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Accordingly, the Complainant has put forward a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, which the Respondent has failed to rebut.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, it is clear to the Panel that the registration and the use of the disputed domain name has been in bad faith, by including the ALLIANZ trademark, to intentionally attract Internet users for commercial gain. The composition and use of the disputed domain name attempts to deceive or lead Internet users to believe that the disputed domain name is operated by the Complainant.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith due to the following:
The disputed domain name was registered in 2020, 41 years after the Complainant’s trademark registrations were registered. The disputed domain name was registered without authorization, as the Complainant did not grant the Respondent any authorization to use its trademark in a domain name. The Complainant’s trademark has strong reputation that is based on the customer trust in the Complainant’s mark. The Panel is of the opinion that at the time the disputed domain name was registered, the Respondent must have been aware of the existence and use of the ALLIANZ trademark by the Complainant.
The Respondent has demonstrated, by registering the disputed domain name, which reproduces the Complainant’s trademark, an intent to capitalize on the goodwill of the Complainant’s trademark. Furthermore, the Respondent intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website or other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s ALLIANZ trademark.
The previous and current use of the disputed domain name was deliberately conducted to take advantage of the reputation of the business activities of the Complainant and goodwill of its trademark. The use of the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that appears similar to the Complainant’s official website and offers competing services supports an inference of bad faith.
This also negatively affects the Complainant’s online presence and disrupts the Complainant’s business. See paragraphs 4(b)(iv) and 4(b)(iii) of the Policy.
The above mentioned activities, as well as the Respondent’s default, in view of the Panel support a finding of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies 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 <allianzfinance-online.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 16, 2020