WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Accenture Global Services Limited v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD

Case No. D2021-0234

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited, Ireland, represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP, United States of America.

The Respondent is Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, Panama.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <mygivingaccenture.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 January 27, 2021. On January 27, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 30, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 8, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 28, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 3, 2021.

The Center appointed Johan Sjöbeck as the sole panelist in this matter on March 8, 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 has submitted evidence that it is the owner of a large number of trademark registrations in numerous countries, including the following:

ACCENTURE, United States trademark registration with registration number 3,091,811 and registration date May 16, 2006 for goods and services in class 9, 16, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 42.

ACCENTURE, United States trademark registration with registration number 2,665,373 and registration date December 24, 2002 for goods and services in class 9, 16, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 42.

ACCENTURE, United States trademark registration with registration number 3,340,780 and registration date November 20, 2007 for goods and services in class 6, 8, 9, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24 and 28.

ACCENTURE, United States trademark registration with registration number 2,884,125 and registration date September 14, 2004 for goods and services in class18, 25 and 28.

ACCENTURE & Design, United States trademark registration with registration number 3,862,419 and registration date October 19, 2010 for goods and services in class 35 and 36.

The disputed domain name <mygivingaccenture.com> was registered on December 11, 2020. The disputed domain name is being used to redirect Internet users to an apparently malicious website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant has used the trademark ACCENTURE in connection with various services, including management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services since January 1, 2001. The Complainant has offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 51 countries. The Complainant has extensively used and continues to use the ACCENTURE trademark in connection with various services and specialties, including management consulting and business process services, which comprises various aspects of business operations such as project management, supply chain and logistics services, digital innovation, as well as technology services and outsourcing services. The Complainant owns registrations for the ACCENTURE trademark and ACCENTURE & Design trademark in over 140 countries. The Complainant owns more than 1,000 registrations for the trademarks ACCENTURE, ACCENTURE & Design and many other trademarks incorporating the ACCENTURE brand for a variety of products and services including, but not limited to, its management consulting, technology services and outsourcing services.

The disputed domain name contains the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark, paired only with the descriptive terms “my” and “giving”, which serve to create a direct reference to the Complainant’s internal, online fundraising platform “myGiving”. The Complainant’s myGiving platform was launched in 2016 and offers a variety of ways for Complainant’s employees to make charitable donations. Therefore, the use of the terms “myGiving” paired with the ACCENTURE trademark in the disputed domain name suggests that the Respondent may attempt to use the disputed domain name to solicit donations or to perpetrate other financial fraud.

According to the WhoIs record, the disputed domain name was registered on December 11, 2020, which is more than 18 years after the Complainant first registered the ACCENTURE trademark in the United States.

The Complainant’s trademark ACCENTURE is distinctive and famous. See for example Accenture Global Services Limited v. ICS Inc./PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-2098. The trademark consists of a coined term and, as such, should be afforded a wide scope of protection, particularly in view of the ubiquitous nature of the brand. The disputed domain name is virtually identical to and is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, its “myGiving” platform and is likely to mislead, deceive, and cause mistake as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the disputed domain name. The Respondent’s addition of “myGiving” to the disputed domain name only increases the potential for confusion with the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark. Internet users are very likely to be confused as to whether an association exists between the disputed domain name and the Complainant or the Complainant’s information technology consulting services business.

The Respondent is neither affiliated with, nor has it been licensed or permitted to use the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark or any domain names incorporating the trademark. The Respondent’s WhoIs information identifies the registrant as “Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD”. As such, the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. Instead, it appears that the Respondent has chosen to use the Complainant’s famous ACCENTURE trademark to create a direct affiliation with the Complainant and its business, including the Complainant’s “myGiving” fundraising platform. Therefore, the Respondent is not making a legitimate, noncommercial fair use of the disputed domain name.

The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for any valid purpose. Depending on the applicable Internet browser, the disputed domain name results to some version of a redirected domain displaying a security warning, sponsored website, or some other form of suspicious and malicious website. The Respondent’s failure to use the disputed domain name to provide a bona fide offering of goods and services confirms that it does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, particularly since the Complainant has proven its rights in the trademarks at issue.

Given the Complainant’s worldwide reputation and the ubiquitous presence of the ACCENTURE trademark on the Internet, the Respondent was or should have been aware of the ACCENTURE trademark long prior to registering the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not used the disputed domain name for any legitimate purpose. It has long been held in UDRP decisions that the passive or inactive holding of a domain name that incorporates registered trademarks without a legitimate Internet purpose may indicate that the domain name is being used in bad faith. Furthermore, the Respondent has obscured its identity as the registrant of the disputed domain name through a WhoIs privacy service. The disputed domain name is being held passively and in bad faith by the Respondent.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:

(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and

(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

According to the submitted evidence, the Complainant is the owner of the registered trademark ACCENTURE. The disputed domain name incorporates the trademark in its entirety with the addition of the dictionary terms “my” and “giving”. In the present case, the Complainant’s trademark is readily recognizable in the disputed domain name and the addition of the terms “my” and “giving” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element test. It is standard practice to disregard the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) under the confusingly similar test.

Having the above in mind, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark ACCENTURE and that the Complainant has proven the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant must show that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name. The Respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name by demonstrating in accordance with paragraph 4(c) of the Policy any of the following:

(i) that the Respondent uses or has made preparations to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to the dispute; or

(ii) that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if the Respondent has not acquired any trademark rights; or

(iii) that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark.

The Complainant’s trademark registration for ACCENTURE predates the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. The nature of the disputed domain name carries a risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.5.1. The Complainant has not licensed, approved or in any way consented to the Respondent’s registration and use of the ACCENTURE trademark in the disputed domain name.

There is no evidence in the case file indicating that the Respondent has used or made any preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to the dispute. On the contrary, the Complainant has submitted evidence indicating that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to an apparently malicious website.

Although given the opportunity, the Respondent has not rebutted the Complainant’s prima facie case. It has not submitted any evidence indicating that the Respondent is the owner of any trademark or that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. Furthermore, there is no evidence indicating that the Respondent intends to make a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark.

The Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstances, which could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise, any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Thus, there is no evidence in the case that refutes the Complainant’s submissions, and the Panel concludes that the Complainant has also proven the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, evidence of bad faith registration and use include without limitation:

(i) circumstances indicating the disputed domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name registration to the owner of a trademark or to a competitor of the trademark owner, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

(ii) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name was registered in order to prevent the owner of a trademark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding disputed domain name, provided there is a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) circumstances indicating that the disputed domain name has intentionally been used in an attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website or location or of a product or service on that website or location.

As previously mentioned, the Complainant’s trademark registration for ACCENTURE predates the registration of the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the Panel notes that the Complainant’s trademark is considered well-known according to previous UDRP decisions cited by the Complainant. The Complainant has argued and submitted evidence that the addition of “mygiving” to the ACCENTURE trademark increases the risk of confusion given that the Complainant has been using the term for an internal, online fundraising platform since 2016. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the disputed domain name was registered and used by the Respondent with the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark in mind.

The disputed domain name resolves to an apparently malicious website. Depending on the applicable Internet browser, it results to some version of a redirected domain displaying a security warning, sponsored website, or some other form of suspicious website. In this regard, the WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.4 states: “Panels have held that the use of a domain name for purposes other than to host a website may constitute bad faith. Such purposes include sending email, phishing, identity theft, or malware distribution”. The Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name described above may be damaging to the goodwill and reputation associated with the Complainant’s trademark if Internet users falsely believes that the Respondent’s website is associated with or endorsed by the Complainant.

Thus, the evidence in the case before the Panel indicates that the disputed domain name has intentionally been used in an attempt to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website or the disputed domain name.

There is no evidence in the case file that refutes the Complainant’s submissions.

The Panel concludes that the Complainant has proved the requirements under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy and that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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 disputed domain name <mygivingaccenture.com> shall be transferred to the Complainant.

Johan Sjöbeck
Sole Panelist
Date: March 22, 2021