WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carvana, LLC v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico
Case No. D2020-2756
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Carvana, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, United States.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name, <carvanacareers.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 20, 2020. On October 21, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 21, 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 22, 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 22, 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 26, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 15, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 16, 2020.
The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on December 7, 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 amended 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 amended Complaint names Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, the underlying registrant, as the Respondent.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is an Arizona, United States limited liability company, which commenced business in 2013. It is engaged in the online business of selling secondhand automobiles and providing automobile financing services. It conducts its business through its website at “www.carvana.com”.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor of several United States trade mark registrations covering the name, “Carvana”, the earliest of which is No. 4328785 CARVANA (standard character mark) registered on April 30, 2013 (application filed on April 11, 2011) in International classes 35 and 36 for online dealership and financing services relating to automobiles. The registration features a “first use in commerce” claim of January 27, 2013.
The Domain Name was registered on September 1, 2020 and currently (for the Panel’s geo-location in England) re-directs to a news website at <businessforthepeople.me>. However, the Complainant has produced evidence to show that prior to the filing of the Complaint the Domain Name redirected to the website of a Nissan dealership.
The Complainant has also produced evidence to show that the Respondent is the registrant of a large number of domain names, many of them featuring well-known third party trade marks or close typographical variants of well-known trade marks, e.g., <bbcneews.com>, <deltaairlinces.com>, <ebayindia.in>, <englishpremiershipleague.com>, and <faacebbok.com>.
The Complainant has had occasion in the recent past to file a complaint against the Respondent under the Policy. The Complainant cites Carvana, LLC v. Carolina Rodrigues, WIPO Case No. D2020-1611 in respect of the domain name, <ucarvana.com>. In the course of finding in favour of the Complainant and ordering transfer of that domain name the learned panel had this to say:
“The Panel also notes that the Respondent has a track record of registering numerous domain names comprising third party trademarks including some of the world’s most well-known brands. These cases include Skyscanner Limited v. Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2020-0018; Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Domains by Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2019-2144; Starbucks Corporation v. Registration Private, Domains by Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2019-1991. The pattern of conduct as suggested by these cases is one of bad faith on the part of the Respondent. It paints a picture of a person who is commonly referred to as a cybersquatter. The Panel is therefore of the considered view that the registration of the disputed domain name in this instance merely forms a part of the Respondent’s portfolio of domain names which wholly or partially incorporate third party trademarks or main features thereof.”
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Respondent is a serial cybersquatter and that this is a typical case of cybersquatting. The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CARVANA registered trade mark. The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no 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 Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
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 trade mark CARVANA, the word “careers” 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 CARVANA 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 Respondent has been using the Domain Name to redirect to third party commercial websites, having no obvious direct connection with the Domain Name, save that prior to the filing of the Complaint it redirected to an automobile website, a website in the same area of activity as the Complainant. The Complainant contends that this indicates that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and that the Complainant’s business is automobile-related. The Complainant contends that the Respondent’s name bears no relation to the Domain Name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent selected the Domain Name for the purpose of attracting Internet users away from the Complainant’s website and for commercial gain resulting from the referral to the third party websites. Such a use, in the view of the Panel, cannot give rise to rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in the hands of the Respondent. The Panel notes that the Respondent has not challenged the evidence filed by the Complainant.
The facts set out in section 4. above demonstrate that the Respondent is, as the Complainant asserts, a serial cybersquatter. The Panel has no reason to believe that this case is anything other than another case in the long line of cases brought against the Respondent in respect of the unauthorized use for commercial purposes of well-known trade marks. The Panel has visited the Center’s website at “www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/casesx/all.html” where cases filed with the Center are listed and the decisions available for inspection online. Cases against the Respondent number in excess of 50 for the year 2020 alone.
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
The Panel has found that the Respondent is, as asserted by the Complainant, a serial cybersquatter (i.e., an individual who intentionally registers and uses domain names in bad faith for a commercial purpose) and that this case is part of that pattern.
It follows 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.
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, <carvanacareers.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 15, 2020