WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Private Whois, Knock Knock WHOIS Not There, LLC/ Andalib Rana, Allianz Technology
Case No. D2020-2860
1. The Parties
Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, represented internally.
Respondent is Private Whois, Knock Knock WHOIS Not There, LLC, United States of America / Andalib Rana, Allianz Technology, Bangladesh.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianztechnology.net> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Automattic Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 29, 2020. On October 29, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On November 2, 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 November 3, 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 November 3, 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 November 4, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 24, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on November 25, 2020.
The Center appointed Marina Perraki as the sole panelist in this matter on December 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant is the ultimate parent company of an international insurance group founded in Berlin, Germany in 1890. Its first international office opened in London, United Kingdom in 1893. Complainant has been using throughout the ALLIANZ brand for its insurance, healthcare and financial services. Complainant’s group is one of the leading financial services providers worldwide, with 147,000 employees and approximately 100 million customers spread over more than 70 countries. In the insurance market, per Complaint, Complainant is the leader in Germany and has a strong presence worldwide. Complainant is one of the biggest asset managers, managing assets worth of 1,686 billion Euros at the end of year 2019.
Complainant is the owner of numerous ALLIANZ trademarks throughout the world, including:
- International Trademark Registration No. 447004 ALLIANZ, word mark, registered on September 12, 1979, in class 36;
- International Trademark Registration No. 713841 ALLIANZ, figurative, registered on May 3, 1999, in classes 16, 35, and 36; and
- European Union Trademark Registration No. 000013656 ALLIANZ, word mark, registered on July 22, 2002, in classes 16, 35, and 36.
Complainant’s group also owns domain names comprising its mark ALLIANZ, including <allianz.com>, <allianz.de>, <allianz.fr>, <allianz.us>, <allianzgi.com> and <allianz-jobs.com>.
The Domain Name was registered on May 12, 2017 and resolves to a website, in the English language, which appears to provide software services (the Website). In the “Contact Us” section it requests users to fill in their personal details.
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 ALLIANZ 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 word “technology” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity as the ALLIANZ 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”) “.net” 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 ALLIANZ 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 Respondent of the dispute, 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) Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the Domain Name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) 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.
The Panel concludes 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.
Respondent has not demonstrated any preparations to use, or has not used the Domain Name or a name 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 resolved to the Website, which reproduced the trademarks of Complainant for the provision of software services.
The use of a domain name which intentionally trades on the fame of another and suggests affiliation with the trademark owner cannot constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services (Madonna Ciccone, p/k/a Madonna v. Dan Parisi and “Madonna.com”, WIPO Case No. D2000-0847; WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5).
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 used the Domain Name in bad faith. Complainant’s ALLIANZ trademark enjoys reputation, as repeatedly recognized. Because the ALLIANZ mark had been widely used and registered at the time of the Domain Name registration by Respondent, the Panel finds that Respondent had Complainant’s mark in mind when registering the 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; Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas and Christiandior.net, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226).
As regards bad faith use of the Domain Name, Complainant has demonstrated that the Domain Name was used to create a website, which prominently displayed Complainant’s registered trademark, thereby giving the false impression that it is operated by Complainant or a company affiliated to Complainant or an authorized dealer of Complainant. The Domain Name operated 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 resolves to. This can be used in support of bad faith registration and use (Oculus VR, LLC v. Sean Lin, WIPO Case No. DCO2016-0034; and WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3 and 3.4).
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, <allianztechnology.net>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 16, 2020