WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Change Healthcare Operations, LLC v. Name Redacted
Case No. D2020-2862
1. The Parties
Complainant is Change Healthcare Operations, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented internally.
Respondent is Name Redacted.1
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <flchangehealthcare.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Launchpad.com 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 disputed domain name. On October 29, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
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 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 26, 2020.
The Center appointed Lawrence K. Nodine as the sole panelist in this matter on December 4, 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 a healthcare technology company that offers software, analytics, network solutions, and technology-enabled services. Complainant’s customer base includes 5,500 hospitals, 118,000 dentists, 900,000 physicians, 600 laboratories, and 33,000 pharmacies, and Complainant facilitates, on average, 14 billion healthcare transactions each year, representing over USD one trillion in healthcare expenditures. Since as early as 2005, Complainant has used the mark CHANGE HEALTHCARE (the “Mark”) in connection with, among other things, its healthcare platform and comprehensive suite of software, analytics, and technology enabled services.
Complainant owns the domain name <changehealthcare.com> and also owns multiple service mark registration for its Mark, including United States Registration No. 5734332, registered on April 23, 2019; United States Registration No. 5618039, registered on November 27, 2018; United States Registration No. 5618040 registered on November 27, 2018; United States Registration. 5788216, registered on June 25, 2019; United States Registration No. 5628440, registered on December 11, 2018; United States Registration No. 5628441, registered on December 11, 2018; and United States Registration No. 5360361, registered on December 19, 2017.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on October 8, 2020. At the time of filing the Complaint, the Disputed Domain Name resolved to a parking page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Respondent fraudulently registered the Disputed Domain Name on October 8, 2020 in the name of a person affiliated with Complainant. However, Complainant alleges that the person named as Registrant did not in fact register the Disputed Domain Name. At the time of the UDRP filing, the Disputed Domain Name resolved to a parking page.
Complainant contends that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s Mark. According to Complainant, the minor change to Complainant’s mark - namely, the addition of the letters “fl” the standard abbreviation for the state of Florida - in the Disputed Domain Name does not reduce the confusing similarity between Complainant’s Mark and the Disputed Domain Name.
Complainant further contends that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. To Complainant’s knowledge, Respondent is not known or identified by the Disputed Domain Name and lacks trademark rights in the same. Complainant asserts that it has not licensed or authorized Respondent’s use of the Mark in the Disputed Domain Name. Complainant also asserts that there is no evidence Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.
As to Respondent’s bad faith, Complainant contends that Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name using fraudulent information of Complainant’s own contractors and Complainant’s Florida office address, without permission. Specifically, Complainant confirms that the person identified as the Registrant did not register the Disputed Domain Name and that Respondent falsely and fraudulently used that person’s information to register the Disputed Domain Name. Complainant also alleges that Respondent fraudulently registered the Disputed Domain Name using Complainant’s Florida office address. Further, Complainant asserts that Respondent created a Mail Exchange record for the Disputed Domain Name, indicating that Respondent had made preparations to circulate emails incorporating the Disputed Domain Name into the handle in an effort to impersonate individuals connected with Complainant and/or contain spam or (fraudulent) phishing emails to solicit payment of fraudulent invoices by Complainant’s actual or prospective customers.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that Complainant has established its rights in the CHANGE HEALTHCARE mark by way of its United States trademark registrations. The Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Mark. The addition of the letters “fl” (the standard abbreviation for Florida, where Complainant has an office) does not dispel the confusing similarity.
Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant has presented a prima facie case for Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, which Respondent has failed to rebut. Respondent is attempting to use the Disputed Domain Name to pass itself of as Complainant, as evident from the impersonation of a person affiliated with Complainant as Registrant, use of Complainant’s Florida office address in the Disputed Domain Name registration, and creation of a Mail Exchange incorporating the entirety of the Mark in the email handle. Impersonation of a complainant cannot confer rights or legitimate interests on a respondent. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.13.1.
Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. Respondent’s knowledge of Complainant is manifest given the undenied allegation that Respondent fraudulently used the name of a person affiliated with Complainant and also listed Complainant’s Florida office addresses when registering the Disputed Domain Name.
The Panel also finds that Respondent’s fraudulent use of the identity of a person affiliated with Complainant and Complainant’s office address when registering the Disputed Domain Name, and the creation of a Mail Exchange demonstrate bad faith use. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.4. Where, as here, there are undenied allegations with supporting evidence that Respondent is making preparations to make fraudulent use of the Disputed Domain Name by sending phishing emails, then Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy. Where there is sufficient supporting evidence to support an inference that Respondent is preparing to engage in fraudulent use of the Disputed Domain Name, this Panel finds that there is no need to wait for the fraud to be confirmed by a victim.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Disputed Domain Name <flchangehealthcare.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Lawrence K. Nodine
Date: December 18, 2020
1 The Respondent has fraudulently used a name of a person affiliated with Complainant employees when registering the Disputed Domain Name. No purpose will be served by including the name of the Respondent in this decision, and the Panel has therefore redacted the Respondent’s name from the caption and body of this decision. The Panel attaches as Annex 1 to this Decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the Disputed Domain Name that includes the named Respondent, and has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding. However, the Panel has further directed the Center, pursuant to paragraph 4(j) of the Policy and paragraph 16(b) of the Rules, that Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published due to exceptional circumstances. See The Hearst Foundations, Inc. and Hearst Communications, Inc v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2016-2479.