WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Carvana, LLC v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD
Case No. D2020-3403
1. The Parties
Complainant is Carvana, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, United States.
Respondent is Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Name <carcvanna.com> is registered with Media Elite Holdings Limited dba Register Matrix (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 15, 2020. On December 15, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On December 16, 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 December 23, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 12, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 13, 2021.
The Center appointed Peter Wild as the sole panelist in this matter on January 21, 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
Complainant is a United States business which has been providing a leading platform for sales of used cars and related financing services since 2013. It operates Throughout the United States. Complainant is the owner of United States trademark registrations for CARVANA, e.g. United States Trademark Registration CARVANA (No. 4,328785), filed on April 11, 2011 and registered on April 30, 2013.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on October 7, 2020 and resolves to an active website which redirects users to car dealership websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant shows a portfolio of trademark protection for CARVANA and a body of prior panel decisions, confirming the well-known status of its trademark CARVANA, The trademarks and use of the trademark in commerce predate the registration of the Disputed Domain Name. According to Complainant, the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark CARVANA as it is included in its entirety and only adds 2 letters to create a typical case of typo squatting. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” does not influence the overall impression and is irrelevant for recognising the identity of the Disputed Domain Name. According to Complainant, adding the letters “c” and “n” constitutes “typosquatting” and is insufficient to materially distinguish a domain name from another’s trademark. The trademark CARVANA is well-known and enjoys a high reputation, which Complainant supports with evidence of prior panel decisions.
Complainant furthermore claims that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the term “carvana” and that the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and used in bad faith to profit from the well-known status of Complainant’s trademark.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant is owner of the well-known trademark CARVANA in the United States. Complainant shows that its trademark is well-known. Previous UDRP panels have confirmed that CARVANA is a well-known trademark. In addition, a number of previous UDRP panels confirmed Complainant’s rights. See Carvana, LLC v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2020-2348.
The Disputed Domain Name contains, almost in its entirety and prominently, Complainant’s trademark CARVANA. The addition of a gTLD to the Disputed Domain Name is “completely without legal significance.” See PepsiCo, Inc. v. PEPSI, SRL and EMS Computer Industry, WIPO Case No. D2003-0696. Adding the letters “c” and “n” in the Disputed Domain Name does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Disputed Domain Name and Complainant’s trademark, especially as phonetics and typing of the Disputed Domain Name are closely similar to Complainant’s trademark CARVANA. See Carvana, LLC v. Clyde Yeroomian, SMG, WIPO Case No. D2019-2360; Carvana, LLC v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, WIPO Case No. D2020-1569; Carvana, LLC v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2020-1376; Carvana, LLC v. Perfect Privacy, LLC/Latanya Moore, WIPO Case No. D2020-1570; Carvana, LLC v. Clyde Yeroomian, SMG, WIPO Case No. D2019-2360.
In line with this, the Panel decides that Complainant has rights in the trademark CARVANA and that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455. Once such prima facie case is made, Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. If Respondent fails to do so, Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
There is no reason to believe that Respondent’s name somehow corresponds with the Disputed Domain Name and Respondent does not appear to have any trademark rights associated with the term “carvana”. See VUR Village Trading No. 1 Limited t/a Village Hotels v. Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2019-1596.
Respondent is not identified in the WhoIs database as “carvana”. Previous UDRP panels have held that a respondent was not commonly known by a Disputed Domain Name for example if not even the WhoIs information was similar to the Disputed Domain Name. There is not any evidence in the case file showing that Respondent may be commonly known as “carvana”. The Panel therefore finds under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy that Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name.
According to Complainant, Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by Complainant in any way to use the trademark and there is no other plausible reason for registration of the Disputed Domain Name than to take advantage of the goodwill and reputation associated with the trademark CARVANA. Furthermore, the Disputed Domain Name does point to an active page which indicates that Respondent is aware of Complainant’s business, as it directs the Internet user to competitor websites. There is no sign of any legitimate or bona fide use of the Disputed Domain Name and Respondent did not file any such claim.
Based on these facts, the Panel holds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant’s trademark CARVANA has been found to be well-known by previous UDRP panels, see section A above.
Given the distinctiveness of Complainant’s trademarks and reputation at the time of the registration of the Disputed Domain Name, it is reasonable to infer that Respondent has registered the Disputed Domain Name with full knowledge of Complainant’s trademarks, constituting opportunistic bad faith. The Panel finds it hard to see any other explanation than Respondent knew Complainant’s well-known trademark, especially as the website under the Disputed Domain Name points to competitor car dealerships. See Ferrari S.p.A v. American Entertainment Group Inc. WIPO Case No. D2004-0673 and Revlon Consumer Products Corporation v. Terry Baumer WIPO Case No. D2011-1051.
Furthermore, the Disputed Domain Name points to an active page directing the users to competitor car dealership websites, which is an indication of bad faith use. The Disputed Domain Name is trading on the reputation and goodwill of Complainant and its CARVANA Marks for financial gain. Respondent diverts Internet users away from Complainant’s website toward commercial websites, which offer competing car related services. Such conduct is recognized as constituting bad faith under the Policy. See, e.g., Microsoft 15 Corporation v. Zerbo, WIPO Case No. D2005-0644.
Respondent has not shown to own any trademark or any similar marks or names. Respondent’s lack of rights in the Disputed Domain Name at issue is a further indication of bad faith in registering and using it. Where a domain name is so obviously connected to a particular product or service and the registrant is found to have “no connection” to that product or service, “opportunistic bad faith” is established. See LACER, S.A. v. Constanti Gomez Marzo, WIPO Case No. D2001-01777.
Finally, Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in October 2020, years after Complainant began using its CARVANA marks. See Carvana, LLC v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Ferdit Jemelk, WIPO Case No. D2020-2274. Respondent knew or must have known of Complainant’s established and continuous use of its CARVANA trademarks at the time of registration and that it had no right, title or interest in these marks or the Disputed Domain Name.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
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, <carcvanna.com>, be transferred to Complainant.
Date: January 30, 2021