WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Corning Incorporated v. Mark Brown
Case No. D2021-0375
1. The Parties
Complainant is Corning Incorporated, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Canada.
Respondent is Mark Brown, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <cornng.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 5, 2021. On February 8, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 9, 2021, 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 February 18, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 10, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 22, 2021.
The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on April 16, 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, a United States company with its headquarters in New York, manufactures, among other things, glass and ceramic cookware, which Complainant offers under its CORNING mark. In addition to operating a website via the URL associated with its disputed domain name, <corning.com>, Complainant owns several registrations for the CORNING mark, including in the United States, where Respondent lists an address of record. These include United States Registration No. 545,056 (registered July 17, 1951) and United States Registration No. 618,649 (registered January 3, 1956).
The disputed domain name <cornng.com> was registered on November 20, 2019.
Respondent has used the URL associated with the disputed domain name to resolve to parked webpages that include links to competing cookware. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant. Complainant has not authorized any activities by Respondent, nor any use of its trademarks thereby.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that (i) the disputed domain name <cornng.com> is identical or confusingly similar to Complainants’ trademarks, (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
In particular, Complainant contends that it has a “famous” mark in the field of manufacturing, particularly with regard to glass and ceramic cookware. Complainant further contends that it has used the CORNING mark for decades, long before the date that Respondent registered the disputed domain name, and that Complainant has successfully offered products under its CORNING mark, with net sales of over 11 billion USD in 2018. Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is merely an obvious misspelling of the CORNING mark, with a simple deletion of the letter “i,” which a consumer may inadvertently miss while searching for Complainant and its CORNING products. Complainant contends that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, and rather has registered and is using it in bad faith, having simply acquired the disputed domain name for Respondent’s own commercial gain, in an attempt to confuse consumers.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel must first determine whether the disputed domain name <cornng.com> is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Panel finds that it is. The disputed domain name contains an obvious misspelling of Complainant’s well-known CORNING mark. This indicates a practice commonly known as “typosquatting,” where a domain name registrant deliberately registers common misspellings of a well-known mark in order to divert consumer traffic. Other UDRP panels have routinely found typosquatted disputed domain names like this to be “confusingly similar” for purposes of a finding under the UDRP. See Edmonds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694 (<edunds.com>); Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol, WIPO Case No. D2001-0489 (<disneychanel.com>, <disneywolrd.com>, <walddisney.com>); See also Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Admin, WhoIs Privacy Corp., WIPO Case No. D2017-0194 (<credidkarma.com>).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph (4)(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel next considers whether Complainant has shown that Respondent has no “rights or legitimate interest” as must be proven to succeed in a UDRP dispute. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue”.
No evidence has been presented to the Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and Respondent has no license from, or other affiliation with, Complainant.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of “rights or legitimate interests” in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the] website or location”. As noted in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the URL associated with the disputed domain name to resolve to parked webpages that include links to competing cookware. Respondent is thus trading on the goodwill of Complainant’s trademarks to attract Internet users, presumably for Respondent’s own commercial gain.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with 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 <cornng.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: April 30, 2021