WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Facebook Inc. v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot /兵 刘

Case No. D2020-2246

1. The Parties

Complainant is Facebook Inc., United States of America (“US”), represented by Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, France.

Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, US / 兵 刘, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

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

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 26, 2020. On August 26, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 29, 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 Complainant on August 31, 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 September 1, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 17, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 7, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 8, 2020.

The Center appointed Yijun Tian as the sole panelist in this matter on October 18, 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, Facebook, Inc, is a company incorporated in the US. Found in 2004, Complainant is the world’s leading provider of online social networking services. It allows Internet users to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and others, and to share information mainly via its website available at “www.facebook.com”. Complainant currently has more than 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.66 billion daily active users on average worldwide. Its main website “www.facebook.com” is currently ranked as the 5th most visited website in the world, according to information company Alexa.

Complainant is the exclusive owner of numerous FACEBOOK trademarks worldwide, including the US Trademark registered on January 10, 2006 (the US Trademark registration number 3041791), and the Chinese Trademark registered on September 21, 2009 (the Chinese Trademark registration number 5251162). Complainant also registered numerous domain names which contain the FACEBOOK trademark, such as <facebook.com>, <facebook.org>, <facebook.net>, <facebook.cn>, and <facebook.us>.

Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, US / 兵 刘, China. The disputed domain name <facebookbuy.com> was registered on December 10, 2019. The disputed domain name previously resolved to a website in Chinese displaying content related to gambling activities (Annex 10 to the Compliant). It currently first resolves to a news blog-type website in Chinese for a few seconds, and then immediately redirects to a website in Chinese (“www.bc334488.com/#zzc”) displaying content related to gambling activities.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <facebookbuy.com> is confusingly similar to Complainant’s FACEBOOK trademarks. The disputed domain name incorporates the FACEBOOK mark in its entirety with the addition of the dictionary term “buy” under the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The addition of other term “buy” is not sufficient to eliminate the confusing similarity. The gTLD “.com” is irrelevant when assessing whether a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark as it is a functional element.

Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Complainant contends that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to it.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that the disputed domain name should be cancelled or transferred:

(i) the disputed domain name registered by Respondent 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 disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

On the basis of the evidence introduced by Complainant and in particular with regard to the content of the relevant provisions of the Policy (paragraphs 4(a)-(c)), the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that Complainant has rights in the FACEBOOK marks acquired through registration. The FACEBOOK marks have been registered in the US since 2006, and registered in China since 2009. The disputed domain name <facebookbuy.com> comprises the FACEBOOK mark in its entirety. The disputed domain name only differs from Complainant’s trademark by the suffix “buy”, and the gTLD suffix “.com” to the FACEBOOK mark. This does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between Complainant’s registered trademark and the disputed domain name.

Previous UDRP panels have consistently held that a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark for purposes of the Policy “when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of the other terms in the domain name” (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662).

Further, in relation to the gTLD suffix, the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) further states: “The applicable Top Level Domain (‘TLD’) in a domain name (e.g., ‘.com’, ‘.club’, ‘.nyc’) is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test.” (WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1)

Thus, the Panel finds that disregarding the suffix “buy”, as well as the gTLD suffix “.com”, the disputed domain name is otherwise identical to the FACEBOOK mark.

The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the first condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:

(i) before any notice to Respondent of the dispute, the use by Respondent of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish Complainant’s trademarks.

The overall burden of proof on this element rests with Complainant. However, it is well established by previous UDRP panel decisions that once a complainant establishes a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, the burden of production shifts to respondent to rebut complainant’s contentions. If respondent fails to do so, a complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. (Danzas Holding AG, DHL Operations B.V. v. Ma Shikai, WIPO Case No. D2008-0441; WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1 and cases cited therein).

Complainant has rights in the FACEBOOK marks in the US since 2006 and in China since 2009, which precede Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name (2019). According to the Complaint, Complainant is the world’s leading provider of online social networking services. It allows Internet users to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and others, and to share information mainly via its website available at “www.facebook.com”. Complainant currently has more than 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.66 billion daily active users on average worldwide.

Moreover, Respondent is not an authorized dealer of Facebook branded products or services. Complainant has therefore established a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and thereby shifted the burden to Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, WIPO Case No. D2009-0610; Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624; Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455).

Based on the following reasons the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name:

(a) There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondent is using the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Respondent has not provided evidence of a legitimate use of the disputed domain name or reasons to justify the choice of the term “facebook” in the disputed domain name and in its business operation. There has been no evidence to show that Complainant has licensed or otherwise permitted Respondent to use the FACEBOOK marks or to apply for or use any domain name incorporating the FACEBOOK marks;

(b) There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondent has any registered trademark rights with respect to the disputed domain name. Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2019, long after the FACEBOOK marks became internationally known. The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s FACEBOOK marks.

(c) There has been no evidence adduced to show that Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. By contrast, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has resolved to websites displaying content related to gambling activities and news blog. It seems that Respondent is making profits through the Internet traffic attracted to the website under the disputed domain name. (See BKS Bank AG v. Jianwei Guo, WIPO Case No. D2017-1041; BASF SE v. Hong Fu Chen, Chen Hong Fu, WIPO Case No. D2017-2203.)

The Panel finds that Respondent has failed to produce any evidence to establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four circumstances which, without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith, namely:

(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or acquired the disputed 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 Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

(ii) Respondent has registered the disputed 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) Respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the disputed 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 the website or location.

The Panel concludes that the circumstances referred to in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy are applicable to the present case and upon the evidence of these circumstances and other relevant circumstances, it is adequate to conclude that Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.

(a) Registered in Bad Faith

The Panel finds that Complainant has a widespread reputation in the FACEBOOK marks with regard to its products or services. Complainant has registered its FACEBOOK marks in the US since 2006, and in China since 2009. As introduced above, Complainant currently has more than 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.66 billion daily active users on average worldwide. Its main website “www.facebook.com” is currently ranked as the 5th most visited website in the world, according to information company Alexa. It is not conceivable that Respondent would not have had actual notice of Complainant’s trademark right at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name.

The Panel therefore finds that the FACEBOOK mark is not one that a trader could legitimately adopt other than for the purpose of creating an impression of an association with Complainant (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra).

Moreover, Respondent has chosen not to respond to Complainant’s allegations. According to the panel’s decision in The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra, “the failure of the Respondent to respond to the Complaint further supports an inference of bad faith”. See also Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. (This Domain is For Sale) Joshuathan Investments, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0787.

Thus, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.

(b) Used in Bad Faith

Complainant also has adduced evidence to show that by using the confusingly similar disputed domain name, Respondent has “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other online location”. To establish an “intention for commercial gain” for the purpose of this Policy, evidence is required to indicate that it is “more likely than not” that such intention existed (The Argento Wine Company Limited v. Argento Beijing Trading Company, supra).

As noted above, the disputed domain name has been used to attract Internet users seeking Complainant’s website displaying contents of online gambling actives and news blogs, presumably for the commercial gain of Respondent. Such conduct falls squarely within the language of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

Further, given the lack of response, the Panel cannot envision any other plausible use of the disputed domain name that would not be in bad faith under the present circumstances. Taking into account all the circumstances of this case, the Panel concludes that current use of the disputed domain name by Respondent is in bad faith also.

In summary, Respondent, by choosing to register and use the disputed domain name, intended to ride on the goodwill of Complainant’s trademark in an attempt to exploit, for commercial gain, Internet users destined for Complainant. In the absence of evidence to the contrary and rebuttal from Respondent, the choice of the disputed domain name and the conduct of Respondent as far as the website to which the disputed domain name resolves is indicative of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.

The Panel therefore holds that the Complaint fulfils the third condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For all 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 <facebookbuy.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Yijun Tian
Sole Panelist
Dated: November 1, 2020