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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited v. Michael Zona

Case No. D2020-2503

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Israel, represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.

The Respondent is Michael Zona, United States of America.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name, <tevaphaarm.com> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 26, 2020. On September 28, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On September 28, 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 the Complainant on September 29, 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 amendment to the Complaint on September 30, 2020.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 6, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 26, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 27, 2020.

The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on November 2, 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.

The invitation to the Complainant to file an amendment to the Complaint stemmed from the fact that the Domain Name was registered in the name of a privacy service. In response to the Center’s registrar verification request, the Registrar disclosed the name and address of the entity in whose name the Domain Name had been registered. The amendment to the Complaint names the underlying registrant as the Respondent.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a leading international pharmaceutical company. It is the registered proprietor of numerous trade mark registrations covering its “Teva” name, including, by way of example, United States Trade Mark Registration No. 1567918 TEVA (typed drawing) registered on November 28, 1989, (application filed February 17, 1989) in Class 5 for pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations.

The Complainant’s website is connected to its <tevapharm.com> domain name, a domain name which it registered on June 14, 1996.

The Domain Name was registered on July 9, 2020, and is connected to pay-per-click parking page featuring sponsored listings.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its TEVA trade mark; that the Respondent has been using the Domain Name for the purpose of phishing and cannot have acquired any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant requests transfer of the Domain Name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. General

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) the 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.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Domain Name comprises the name “teva”, the word “phaarm” and the generic “.com” Top-Level Domain identifier.

Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) explains the test for identity or confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy and includes the following passage:

“While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing.”

The Complainant’s TEVA trade mark is readily recognizable in its entirety in the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has produced evidence demonstrating that individuals using the Domain Name for email addresses have participated in email correspondence with members of the Complainant’s staff over a payment or payments of substantial sums of money. The Complaint does not explain the nature of the transactions, but the nature of the Domain Name (a misspelling of the Complainant’s <tevapharm.com> domain name) and the use of it by participants in that correspondence confirms the Panel’s first impression that:

(a) the Respondent had to have been aware of the Complainant and its website at “www.tevapharm.com” when registering the Domain Name; and

(b) the Respondent’s purpose in registering the Domain Name can only have been to use it for the purpose of impersonating the Complainant.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case under this element of the Policy; in other words a case calling for an answer from the Respondent. The Respondent has not answered the Complainant’s allegations.

The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

By the same reasoning the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 Domain Name, <tevaphaarm.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tony Willoughby
Sole Panelist
Date: November 5, 2020