WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter Inc. v. Zip Recruiter
Case No. D2020-2768
1. The Parties
Complainant is ZipRecruiter Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
Respondent is Zip Recruiter, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <ziprecruiterind.com> (“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 21, 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 Complainant on October 22, 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 October 26, 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 October 28, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 17, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 18, 2020.
The Center appointed Marina Perraki as the sole panelist in this matter on November 23, 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
Per Complaint, Complainant is an American online recruitment company, attracting over seven million active job seekers, over 40 million job alert email subscribers and over 10,000 new companies every month. Complainant currently has marketing operations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and its services and products are used by job seekers and employers in multiple countries around the world. Complainant is also active in India, where over 40,000 open positions are currently available.
Complainant is recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America, ranking at 231 in Deloitte (2017) technology Fast 500. Complainant was also featured in Forbes (2017), amongst the top 100 world’s best cloud companies.
Complainant holds various trademark registrations consisting of or including the word combination “Ziprecruiter”, including:
- the United States trademark registration No. 3934310, ZIPRECRUITER (word), filed on July 17, 2010, registered on March 22, 2011 for services in International class 42, with first use in commerce April 3, 2010; and
- the European Union Trade Mark registration No. 015070873, ZIPRECRUITER (word), filed on February 3, 2016, registered on June 13, 2016, for goods and services in International classes 9, 36, 41 and 42.
Complainant is also the owner of domain name registrations for its trademark ZIPRECRUITER, such as <ziprecruiter.in>, <ziprecruiter.co.in>, <ziprecruiter.fr>, <ziprecruiter.co>, and <ziprecruiter.co.uk>.
The Domain Name was registered on September 16, 2020 and, as Complainant demonstrated, at the time of filing of the Complaint was used to host a website, which offered identical services to those of Complainant (the “Website”) and through which Respondent offered services such as “Education Verification”, “Previous Employment Verification” and “Identity Proof Verification” at a fee. Additionally, the Domain Name hosted a redirect link to the third party website “www.paytm.com”. Complainant submitted email communications with a Website user that complained of being asked to pay fees for arranging a job interview of a fraudulent job offer. The Domain Name currently leads to an inactive page.
Currently, Respondent is listed on the WhoIs record of the Domain Name as “Zip Recruiter”. Per Complainant, a search of Indian registered companies provided no record that a company under the name “Zip Recruiter” exists, other than Complainant. Moreover, the address listed on the WhoIs record of the Domain Name is, per Complainant, fictional.
On September 21, 2020, Complainant sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent to which Respondent did not reply.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant asserts that it has established all three elements required under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy for a transfer of the Domain Name.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements, which Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Domain Name:
(i) the Domain Name 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 Domain Name; and
(iii) the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Domain Name incorporates Complainant’s mark ZIPRECRUITER in its entirety. This is sufficient to establish confusing similarity (Magnum Piering, Inc. v. The Mudjackers and Garwood S. Wilson, Sr., WIPO Case No. D2000-1525).
The addition of the letters “ind”, namely the first three letters of the word “India”, does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as the ZIPRECRUITER mark remains clearly distinguishable (WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8).
The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” is disregarded, as gTLDs typically do not form part of the comparison on the grounds that they are required for technical reasons (Rexel Developpements SAS v. Zhan Yequn, WIPO Case No. D2017-0275; Hay & Robertson International Licensing AG v. C. J. Lovik, WIPO Case No. D2002-0122).
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the ZIPRECRUITER mark of Complainant.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, Respondent may establish its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, among other circumstances, by showing any of the following elements:
(i) before any notice to you [Respondent] of the dispute, your 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) you [Respondent] (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you [Respondent] are 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.
The Panel finds that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Respondent has not submitted any response and has not claimed any such rights or legitimate interests with respect to the Domain Name. As per Complainant, Respondent was not authorized to register the Domain Name.
Prior to the notice of the dispute, Respondent did not demonstrate any use of the Domain Name or a trademark corresponding to the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
On the contrary, as Complainant demonstrated, the Domain Name is used to host the Website in an attempt to mislead Internet users into thinking that the financial services purportedly offered on the Website originate from Complainant. Such use demonstrates neither a bona fide offering of services nor a legitimate interest of Respondent (Arkema France v. Aaron Blaine, WIPO Case No. D2015-0502).
Furthermore, there is no evidence on record giving rise to any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name on the part of Respondent within the meaning of paragraphs 4(c)(ii) and 4(c)(iii) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that these circumstances do not confer upon Respondent any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Complainant has established Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, “in particular but without limitation,” are evidence of the registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or has acquired the 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 that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out of pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or
(ii) that Respondent has registered the 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) that Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) that by using the 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 Respondent’s website or location.
The Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and uses the Domain Name in bad faith. As per Complaint, Complainant’s mark ZIPRECRUITER is widely used in the sector of online recruitment services. Because the ZIPRECRUITER mark had been widely used and registered at the time of the Domain Name registration by Respondent, the Panel finds it more likely than not that Respondent had Complainant’s mark in mind when registering this Domain Name (Tudor Games, Inc. v. Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID No. 09382953107339 dba Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Domain Administrator, Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2014-1754).
Respondent should have known about Complainant’s rights, due to the fact that Complainant’s mark was widely known when the Domain Name was registered, as repeatedly recognized (ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Perfect Privacy, LLC / Jan Everno, The Management Group II, WIPO Case No. D2019-2274; ZipRecruiter, Inc. v. Domain Admin, Hush Whois Protection Ltd., On behalf of ziprecuiter.com OWNER, c/o whoisproxy.com / Amir Cohen, Hush Privacy Protection Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2019-2273). Furthermore, such knowledge is readily obtainable through a simple browser search due to Complainant’s use of the ZIPRECRUITER mark on the Internet, namely at “www. ziprecruiter.com” (Caesars World, Inc. v. Forum LLC, WIPO Case No. D2005-0517; Compart AG v. Compart.com / Vertical Axis Inc., WIPO Case No. D2009-0462). This also in view of the nature of Complainant’s services, namely services provided through an online platform.
Respondent could have searched the United States trademark registry and would have found Complainant’s prior registrations in respect of the ZIPRECRUITER’s trademark (Citrix Online LLC v. Ramalinga Reddy Sanikommu Venkata, WIPO Case No. D2012-1338).
Furthermore, the Domain Name incorporates in its entirety Complainant’s mark plus the three letters “ind”, short for “India”, that correspond to Complainant’s presence in India and are similar to the domain name registrations of Complainant <ziprecruiter.in> and <ziprecruiter.co.in>, used by Complainant for its Indian websites.
As regards bad faith use, Complainant demonstrated that the Domain Name was employed to host the Website that provided services identical to those provided by Complainant under Complainant’s trademark ZIPRECRUITER, through which Respondent offered services such as “Education Verification”, “Previous Employment Verification” and “Identity Proof Verification” at a fee. Email communications of a Website user that complained of “fraud” and of being asked to pay fees for arranging a job interview of a fraudulent job offer were submitted by Complainant. The Website included a link to the third party website “www.paytm.com”. The Domain Name operated therefore by intentionally creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s trademark and business as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Website it resolved to. This can be used in support of bad faith registration and use (WIPO Overview 3.0 , section 3.1.4 ). Furthermore, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name to disrupt Complainant’s business.
The Panel also takes into account that Respondent appears on the WhoIs record as “Zip Recruiter”, however, per Complainant, no company under that name exists, per its research of Indian registered companies, other than Complainant. Moreover, the address listed on the WhoIs record is, per Complainant, fictional.
Lastly, Respondent did not reply to the cease and desist letter sent by Complainant. Respondent’s failure to respond to Complainant’s cease and desist letter constitutes further indication of bad faith (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. EAO Digital Solutions, WIPO Case No. D2012-0693).
Under these circumstances and on this record, the Panel finds that Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith.
Complainant has established Policy paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <ziprecruiterind.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: December 7, 2020