WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter Inc. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico
Case No. D2020-3323
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter Inc., United States of America (“United States” or “US”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
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 <ziprecruiterl.com> 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 December 8, 2020. On December 8, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 9, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 9, 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 December 10, 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 December 11, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 31, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 4, 2021.
The Center appointed Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira as the sole panelist in this matter on January 13, 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, ZipRecruiter, Inc., is a globally renowned American online recruitment company, created in 2010. The Complainant segments their business into two main categories, providing their services to individuals and services for commercial entities.
Since its incorporation in 2010, the Complainant has gained considerable reputation as a start-up company doing business in the employment field. In 2014, significant media attention was given to the Complainant when it raised USD 63 million in funding. Renowned publications profiled the Complainant’s rapid growth and large user base. Annexes 5 and 6 to the Complaint show evidence of these allegations.
The Complainant owns several registrations for the mark ZIPRECRUITER throughout the world, notably registrations granted in the US, European Union, Australia, and Canada. (See as examples, US Registration No. 3,939,310 registered on March 22, 2011; European Union Registration No. 015070873, registered on June 13, 2016; and, Canadian Registration No. TMA979480, registered on August 28, 2017). Annex 8 of the Complaint brings a comprehensive list of these registrations.
The Complainant has established a social media presence, where the ZIPRECRUITER trademark is used to promote the Complainant’s services, such as in Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Evidence of the presence in this media appear as Annex 9 to the Complaint.
The disputed domain name was created on September 18, 2020. The disputed domain name dynamically redirects to various third-party websites, including to a page that provides links to several different websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark, registered and used worldwide. In fact, the only distinctive term included in the disputed domain name is “ziprecruiter”, which is identical to the Complainant’s registered mark.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name, <ziprecruiterl.com>, is virtually identical to the mark previously registered by the Complainant, differing for just the addition of one letter (“l”) at the end. This similarity clearly leads to confusion, given the presence of the Complainant’s mark and the difference of just one letter.
The Complainant owns several registrations worldwide for the trademark ZIPRECRUITER, which has an important presence in social media, as evidenced by Annexes 8 and 9 of the Complaint. The Complainant submits evidence of the renown of the mark ZIPRECRUITER, as shown in Annexes 5 and 6 of the Complaint.
The disputed domain name adopted by the Respondent – a reproduction of the Complainant’s registered mark with the addition of an “l” – shows a clear intention of misleading Internet users and redirects to various websites which ask the user to download software with malware. The Complainant underlines that the disputed domain name gives the impression that it is associated with the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy, in its paragraph 4(a), determines that three elements must be present and duly proven by a complainant to obtain relief. These elements are:
i. the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
ii. the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect to the disputed domain name; and
iii. the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Regarding the first of the elements, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has presented adequate proof of having rights in the mark ZIPRECRUITER.
Further, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is indeed confusingly similar to the trademark belonging to the Complainant, since this mark is entirely reproduced in the disputed domain name registered by the Respondent with the addition of one letter “l” at the end. A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.9. The addition of the letter “l” to the ZIPRECRUITER mark is an obvious and intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s mark and thus the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark.
Hence, the Panel concludes that the first of the elements in the Policy has been satisfied by the Complainant in this dispute.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel notes the Complaint provides clear evidence that the trademark ZIPRECRUITER is registered in the Complainant’s name and is widely known as identifying the Complainant’s activities, and that the Complainant has not licensed this to the Respondent.
Furthermore, there is no evidence before the Panel that the disputed domain name has been used for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, or that the Respondent has made a bona fide offering of goods or services under the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. In the absence of a Response, the Respondent has not rebutted such prima facie case.
The composition of the disputed domain name is intentionally misleading for consumers – the adoption of a domain name that reproduces the one owned by the Complainant differing by just one “l” supports this finding. Furthermore, the Complainant has provided evidence of the dynamic redirection scheme in which the disputed domain name engages, redirecting users to webpages offering potentially harmful malware and/or webpages with pay-per-click (“PPC”) links relating to the Complainant’s services. Panels have found that use of a domain name for illegal activity (e.g., distributing malware) can never confer rights or legitimate interests. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.13. Similarly, the use of a domain name to host a parked page comprising PPC links does not represent a bona fide offering where such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the complainant’s mark. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.9.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has made a prima facie showing of the Respondent’s lack of rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, noting also that the cease and desist letter and present proceeding were ignored by the Respondent, that has not been rebutted by the Respondent.
Thus, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. For the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is clear to the Panel that the Respondent has in all probability registered the disputed domain name with the purpose of taking advantage of the Complainant’s mark.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was likely registered to mislead Internet consumers.
The disputed domain name was registered to mislead Internet consumers – hence the intentional typo adding a seemingly random letter to the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent intended to give an overall impression that the disputed domain name is associated with the Complainant.
Further, the additional letter can be also considered a common mistyping, a fact which typo squatters normally take profit from by giving Internet users the impression that the disputed domain names belong to the Complainant. It may lead the public to consider the disputed domain name to lead to a site related to the Complainant.
The use of the disputed domain name to dynamically resolve to various websites, including some that may contain malware, supports a finding of bad faith in the circumstances of this case. Further, the disputed domain name is offered for sale, as shown in Annex 12 of the Complaint.
All the points above lead to the conclusion by this Panel that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant when registering the disputed domain name and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has also proved the third element 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 disputed domain name <ziprecruiterl.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Alvaro Loureiro Oliveira
Date: January 27, 2021