WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Instagram, LLC v. Ferhat Kilinc, Bursa
Case No. D2021-0180
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Instagram, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, France.
The Respondent is Ferhat Kilinc, Bursa, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <instagramforbusiness.com> 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 21, 2021. On January 22, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 22, 2021, 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 January 25, 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 29, 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 February 1, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 21, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 22, 2021.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on March 3, 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 operates a world-renowned online photo and video sharing social networking application with more than 1 billion monthly active users. The Complainant launched in 2016 “Instagram for Business” that provides a set of tools for business users.
The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for the mark INSTAGRAM (the “Mark”) in many jurisdictions around the world, including:
- United States Trademark No. 4146057 registered on May 22, 2012,
- European Union Trade Mark No. 014493886 registered on December 24, 2015, and
- International Trademark No. 1129314 registered on March 15, 2012.
The disputed domain name was registered on October 12, 2020. The disputed domain name resolves to a Google warning page stating “Deceptive site ahead” and labeling the site as “unsafe.”
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Mark because the disputed domain name is composed of the Mark plus the mere addition of the dictionary words “for business” (without a space between the words). Moreover, the Complainant notes that words “for business” in the context of the Mark refer to a well-established and widely used service offered by the Complainant called “Instagram for Business.” The Complainant asserts that the Complainant never authorized the Respondent to use the Mark, that the Respondent is not known by the Mark, and that the Respondent has never engaged in any bona fide commercial activity in connection with the Mark. The Complainant also asserts the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith to lure unsuspecting Internet users to the Respondent’s website for commercial gain.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed the Complainant must satisfy the Panel that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and,
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Mark.
The disputed domain name is composed merely by the addition of the composite expression “forbusiness” to the Mark. A domain name which wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered mark is sufficient to establish confusing similarity for the purposes of the Policy. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7. Instagram, LLC v. Wu Hai Tao (吴海涛), WIPO Case No. D2020-2040 (dictionary word “reels” not capable of dispelling confusing similarity); Instragram, LLC v. Patrick Orleck, WIPO Case No. D2020-3313 (transferring <reelsoninstragram.com>). The gTLD, in this case “.com”, may be disregarded for the purposes of assessment under the first element, as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1.
The Complainant has met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has specifically disavowed providing the Respondent with permission to use the disputed domain name or the Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has conducted any bona fide business under the disputed domain name or is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Complainant has established a prima facie case in its favor, which shifts the burden of production on this point to the Respondent; the Complainant’s case remains unrebutted. The Respondent has failed to come forth with any evidence showing any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent did not formally respond to the Complaint except to offer in an email to abandon the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Respondent intentionally attempted to falsely lure and attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website for commercial gain. The Respondent’s bad faith registration and use is apparent from the warnings that the disputed domain name resolves to a site that is deceptive and “may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).”
Moreover, given the Complainant’s distinctive and well-known Mark, not to mention its popular “Instagram for Business” service, it is difficult to conceive of any use that the Respondent might make of the disputed domain name without the Complainant’s consent that would not involve bad faith.
It is abundantly clear that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith and used the disputed domain name for nefarious purposes.
The Complainant has met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <instagramforbusiness.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. Hamilton
Date: March 8, 2021