WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Allianz SE v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / David Khan, Instnat

Case No. D2020-2622

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, represented internally.

The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / David Khan, Instnat, United Kingdom.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <allianz-investment.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 October 8, 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 October 8, 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 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 Center verified that 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 November 17, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 7, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 8, 2020.

The Center appointed Scott W. Blackmer as the sole panelist in this matter on February 3, 2021. 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 a public company organized as a Societas Europaea under the laws of Germany and the European Union, and headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the parent company of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s oldest and largest international insurance and financial services groups, which traces its lineage from Allianz Versicherungs-AG, launched in Berlin in 1890 and London in 1893. The group has used the ALLIANZ mark for insurance, financial services, and healthcare products continuously since the 1890s. It now has 147,000 employees and some 100 million customers in more than 70 countries. In financial services, at the end of 2019 the group managed EUR 1.686 billion in third-party assets. Total revenues for the group that year amounted to EUR 142 billion.

Interbrand ranked ALLIANZ as one of the 50 most valuable brands globally in 2019. It is registered as a trademark in many jurisdictions, including the following current registrations:








July 11, 1979


International Trademark


September 12, 1979

ALLIANZ (word and design)

International Trademark


May 3, 1999

ALLIANZ (word and design)

International Trademark


May 4, 1999

ALLIANZ (word and design)



July 16, 1999


European Union Trade Mark


July 22, 2002

ALLIANZ (word and design)

European Union Trade Mark


April 5, 2004

The group uses the ALLIANZ mark in numerous domain names, including <allianz.com>, <allianz.de>, <allianz.fr>, <allianz-jobs.com> (recruiting site), and <allianzgi.com> (the website of subsidiary Allianz Global Investors, United States of America).

Other UDRP panels have concluded that the ALLIANZ mark is well known and long established in international commerce and have ordered the transfer to the Complainant of domain names incorporating the string “allianz”. See, e.g., Allianz Sigorta A.S., Allianz Hayat ve Emeklilik A.S. v. Selcuk Yildiz, WIPO Case No. D2015-1762.

The Domain Name was registered on June 16, 2020 in the name of a domain privacy service. After receiving notice of this proceeding, the Registrar identified the registrant as the Respondent Mr. Khan of the organization “Instnat”, with a postal address in the United Kingdom. No such organization appears in the UK’s Companies House online database of registered limited companies, and there does not appear to be a website associated with an organization with such a name and address.

The Complaint attaches two screenshots of the website to which the Domain Name formerly resolved, presenting images of the Complainant’s trademarked design logo. The site included an “About” statement claiming that “Allianz Investment” is an investment advisor established by Allianz Life Insurance Company and a subsidiary of Allianz SE of Munich, Germany, “one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world”. (The Complainant Allianz SE actually has a subsidiary in the United States of America called Allianz Global Investors, as well as another with the name Allianz Investment Management LLC.) A second page on the site associated with the Domain Name displayed the ALLIANZ word and design logo, modified to add the word “investment”, and advertised cryptocurrency investments, displaying the Bitcoin logo, with a registration and login screen. The physical address given on the “Contact Us” page of the website was that of the Complainant.

At the time of this Decision, the Domain Name does not resolve to an active website, displaying instead a message that the account has been suspended.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its registered ALLIANZ trademarks and that the Respondent has no permission or other evident rights or legitimate interests in using the mark in the Domain Name.

The Complainant argues that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its famous mark. The Respondent’s site imitated the Complainant’s logo and the description of the Complainant’s company and service offerings. The Respondent was clearly attempting in bad faith to use the Domain Name to deceive Internet users and convince them under false pretenses to trade with the Respondent or reveal personal information.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to divest a respondent of a domain name, a complainant must demonstrate each of the following:

(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;

(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.

Under paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, “[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”.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The first element of a UDRP complaint “functions primarily as a standing requirement” and entails “a straightforward comparison between the complainant’s trademark and the domain name”. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7.

The Complainant holds registered ALLIANZ trademarks. The Domain Name incorporates this well-known mark in its entirety. The addition of the English dictionary word “investment” does not avoid confusion (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.8). As usual, the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” is disregarded as a standard registration requirement. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1.

The Panel concludes that the first Policy element is established on these facts.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives non-exclusive examples of instances in which the respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, by demonstrating any of the following:

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

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

(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

Because a respondent in a UDRP proceeding is in the best position to assert rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, it is well established that after a complainant makes a prima facie case, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence of its rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1. The Complainant in this proceeding has demonstrated trademark rights, the lack of permission to use its mark, and the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name for a website deceptively copying the Complainant’s mark and describing the Complainant’s business and services. This constitutes a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests and shifts the burden to the Respondent to produce evidence of rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has failed to do so, and the Panel finds that the Complainant prevails on the second element of the Complaint.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Policy, paragraph 4(b), furnishes a non-exhaustive list of circumstances that “shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith”, including the following (in which “you” refers to the registrant of the domain name):

“(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.”

The Respondent was clearly aware of the Complainant’s ALLIANZ mark, as the Respondent copied the mark, including a registered design logo, on the Respondent’s former website and used it to falsely suggest an association with the Complainant and solicit business, in accord with the example of paragraph 4(b)(iv). The Respondent also copied a description of the Complainant and the Complainant’s postal address, further suggesting that the website was operated by the Complainant. The website encouraged visitors to provide or create account login credentials. This technique of collecting confidential personal information on a website imitating a genuine financial services website is indicative of a fraud scheme. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.4. Similarly, the Domain Name would lend itself to use for phishing emails. The Respondent is not accurately identified on the website. These facts support an inference of bad faith in the registration and use of the Domain Name.

The Panel concludes that the Complainant has established the third element of the Complaint, bad faith.

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, <allianz-investment.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

W. Scott Blackmer
Sole Panelist
Date: February 17, 2021