WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Milen Wheel, Milen Radumilo

Case No. D2021-0130

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Gilead Sciences, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented internally.

The Respondent is Milen Wheel, Milen Radumilo, Romania.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name, <gileadsciencess.com> (the “Domain Name”), is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 15, 2021. On January 18, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On January 18, 2021, 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 the Complainant on January 21, 2021, 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 January 21, 2021.

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 January 22, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 11, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 12, 2021.

The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on February 23, 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.

The invitation to the Complainant to file an amendment to the Complaint stemmed from the fact that the registrant details of the Domain Name were not available in the public WhoIs at the time of the submission of the Complaint. In response to the Center’s registrar verification request, the Registrar disclosed the name and address of the entity in whose name the Domain Name is currently registered. The amended Complaint names the registrant as the Respondent.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a United States-based biopharmaceutical company founded in 1987. It is the registered proprietor of numerous trade mark registrations covering the “Gilead” name, including by way of example:

United States Trade Mark Registration No. 1,611,837 GILEAD SCIENCES (words in stylized form) registered on September 4, 1990 (application filed September 1, 1989) covering “pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of viral diseases, such as AIDS and cancers, for professional medical use” in Class 5. The registration features a disclaimer to the effect that no claim is made to the exclusive right to use “sciences” apart from the mark as shown; and

United States Trade Mark Registration No. 3,251,595 GILEAD (standard character mark) registered on June 12, 2007 (application filed August 1, 2006) covering “pharmaceutical preparations, namely, antivirals, antifungals and preparations for the treatment of infectious conditions” in Class 5.

The Domain Name was created on December 30, 2020 and is connected to a parking page featuring “Related Links” labeled “Sales”, “Biotechnology”, “Pharmaceutical”, Hbv”, “Hiv Drugs”, Pharma”, “Amantadine”. A note at the foot of the page states that the Domain Name may be for sale. At the date of filing of the Complaint the Domain Name was connected to a webpage inviting the visitor to click a “continue” button leading through to a security check involving a redirection to a Chrome store with an option to install security software.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its GILEAD and GILEAD SERVICES registered trade marks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. General

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:

(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) The 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.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Domain Name comprises the Complainant’s registered trade mark GILEAD, the descriptive word, “sciences”, the letter “s” and the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) identifier. It also incorporates the Complainant’s GILEAD SCIENCES registered trade mark with an additional “s” and the gTLD identifier.

Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) explains the test for identity or confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy and includes the following passage:

“While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing.”

The Complainant’s registered trade marks are readily recognizable in their entirety in the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to trade marks in which the Complainant has rights.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The name of the Complainant, “Gilead Sciences”, which is protected by inter alia its GILEAD SCIENCES registered trade mark, is unique and exclusively referable to the Complainant. The Complainant contends that the Domain Name can only have been inspired by the fame of the Complainant’s name and constitutes a clear case of typosquatting.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case under this element of the Policy; in other words a case calling for an answer from the Respondent.

The Respondent has chosen not to provide an answer and the Panel cannot conceive of any basis upon which the Respondent could be said to have rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. It is, as the Complainant contends, a straightforward case of typosquatting.

The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.

D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Typosquatting is a mis-spelling of a complainant’s name or trade mark. Where the domain name is used to connect to a website, the aim of the typosquatter is to attract to that website Internet users deceived by the mis-spelling. It is a form of impersonation and of itself indicative of bad faith registration and use.

At the date of the Complaint the Respondent was using the Domain Name to connect to a webpage inviting the visitor to click a “continue” button leading through to a security check involving a redirection to a Chrome store with an option to install security software. The Complainant contends that this would likely have led the visitor to download malware and that this was the Respondent’s original purpose in registering the Domain Name. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that this is a possibility, but takes the view that whatever the Respondent’s precise objective, it was likely to have been a bad faith objective, given the nature of the Domain Name.

Following the filing of the Complaint the Domain Name has been connected to a parking page featuring “Related Links” mainly devoted to the Complainant’s area of business (see section 4 above). It is likely that pay-per-click revenue is derived from this use of the Domain Name, revenue stemming from the inherent deceit of the Domain Name and another bad faith use of the Domain Name.

The Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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, <gileadsciencess.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tony Willoughby
Sole Panelist
Date: March 9, 2021