WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Royal Bank of Canada – Banque Royale du Canada v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2020-2618
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Royal Bank of Canada – Banque Royale du Canada, Canada, represented by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Canada.
The Respondent is Name Redacted.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <rbcglobal-asset.com> (the “Domain Name”) 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 October 7, 2020. On October 8, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On the same day, 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 October 9, 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 October 9, 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 October 13, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 2, 2020. On October 29, 2020, a third party contacted the Center via post regarding the claimed unauthorized use of its identity in relation to the disputed domain name.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on November 24, 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 Canada’s biggest bank, and a global financial institution. The Complainant has over 86,000 full and part-time employees and serves 17 million clients in Canada and the United States of America, as well as in 34 other countries worldwide, including Australia, China, France, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom
The Complainant has used its ROYAL BANK trademark since 1901. Today, the Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations worldwide, for example Canadian trademark RBC registration no. TMA369496, registered on June 15, 1990, and European Union trademark RBC registration no. 2026375, registered on January 21, 2004.
According to the Complaint, the Respondent registered the Domain Name on December 12, 2019. At the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name redirected to an error page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registrations and goodwill in its trademarks. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The addition of “global-asset” does nothing to diminish confusion.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name as it has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. On the contrary, as the Complainant has evidenced, the Respondent has used the Domain Name to create email accounts impersonating the Complainant as part of a fraudulent scheme.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name to disrupt the business of the Complainant, and to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement. The Respondent has used the Domain Name as an instrument of fraud by impersonating the Complainant. Moreover, as the Respondent is impersonating the Complainant, it can be no doubt that the Respondent had actual knowledge of the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The Center received however a letter dated October 20, 2020, from a man with the same name as the name listed as registrant, claiming that the registration was not made by him and that he has been victim of a “theft of identity”.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark RBC.
The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark with the addition of “global-asset”. The addition does not prevent confusion. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”; see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to trademarks in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has asserted that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of its trademarks. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as it has not made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name to create email accounts impersonating the Complainant as part of a fraudulent scheme, is obviously not bona fide, but rather evidence of bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name registration, the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that it is likely that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent has used the Domain Name to attempt to defraud third parties by impersonating the Complainant. The Respondent’s use of a privacy service, and perhaps even identity theft, to hide its identity, is further evidence of bad faith.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of 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 Domain Name <rbcglobal-asset.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 26, 2020