WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. MartinCo
Case No. D2021-0407
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is MartinCo, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianzrenewableenergy.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 10, 2021. On February 10, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 11, 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 February 12, 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 February 15, 2021. In response to a clarification request from the Center, the Complainant filed a second amended Complaint on February 19, 2021.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaints 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 25, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 17, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 19, 2021.
The Center appointed Fabrizio Bedarida as the sole panelist in this matter on March 25, 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 is Allianz SE, a company incorporated under the laws of Germany.
The Complainant is one of the oldest and largest insurance and financial services groups in the world. The first company in the group was founded in 1890 in Berlin, Germany. Since its inception, the Complainant has continually operated under the Allianz name and has used the ALLIANZ trademark in connection with its insurance, healthcare and financial services products. The Complainant’s Group is one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide.
The Complainant’s Group serves approximately 100 million customers in more than 70 countries.
The ALLIANZ trademark has been used by the Complainant in connection with its several businesses for well over 100 years.
The Complainant has proven to be the owner of the ALLIANZ trademark.
The Complainant is, inter alia, the owner of the following ALLIANZ trademarks:
-International trademark ALLIANZ number 447004, registered on September 12, 1979;
-International trademark ALLIANZ number 714618, registered on May 4, 1999;
-International trademark ALLIANZ number 713841, registered on May 3, 1999;
-German trademark ALLIANZ number 987481, registered on July 11, 1979;
-German trademark ALLIANZ number 39927827, registered on July 16, 1999;
-EU trademark ALLIANZ number 000013656 registered on July 22, 2002;
-EU trademark ALLIANZ number 002981298 registered on April 5, 2004.
The Complainant’s Group owns numerous domain name registrations comprising the ALLIANZ trademark (and variations thereof), such as <allianz.de>, <allianz.com>, <allianz.us>, <allianz.fr>, and <allianz-jobs.com>.
The disputed domain name <allianzrenewableenergy.com > was registered on January 29, 2021.
The Complainant’s trademark registrations predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name resolves to a website offering investment services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant claims that:
(a) The disputed domain name wholly incorporates and is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark;
(b) the Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate rights in the disputed domain name; and
(c) the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established rights in the ALLIANZ trademark.
The disputed domain name consists of the ALLIANZ mark with the addition of the terms “renewable” and “energy”.
The Panel agrees with the Complainant’s assertion that the addition of these terms, “renewable” and “energy”, does not avoid a finding of confusing similarity with the ALLIANZ trademark.
In fact, it has already been held by previous UDRP panels that the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) would not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between a domain name and a complainant’s trademark. Indeed, the Complainant’s trademark is clearly recognizable in the disputed domain name. See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
Therefore, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
This Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent has no connection to or affiliation with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademarks. The Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, nor any use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In addition, the Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the disputed domain name or by a similar name. Moreover, the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions to claim any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the evidence put forward by the Complainant, the Panel is of the opinion that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its renowned ALLIANZ trademark registrations when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name.
The choice to register the disputed domain name, which contains the trademark ALLIANZ in its entirety, for a website where there are numerous references to the Complainant’s name, trademarks, logo, and activities, cannot be a coincidence.
This is even more true considering that on the Respondent’s website a comprehensive description of the Complainant’s Group is displayed in the section “How we invest”. In addition, in the section “About us” the Respondent describes its company as: “part of the Allianz Group’s Asset Management division” and “part of Allianz Global Investors”.
The Complainant has however clearly stated that the Respondent has no connection to or affiliation with the Complainant, and that it has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademarks. The Respondent has not denied these assertions.
To conclude, this Panel agrees with the Complainant’s assertion that the Respondent, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark, intentionally attempted to attract Internet users and to mislead them into thinking that the disputed domain name belongs to and/or is linked to and/or authorized by the Complainant.
In addition, it appears from the report (i.e., bad address) received by the Center from the courier that attempted to deliver the Written Notice to the Respondent, that the Respondent has provided an incorrect or at least not up-to-date address. This fact, on the balance of probabilities, constitutes further inference of the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.
Finally, the Respondent has not responded to, let alone denied, the assertions of bad faith made by the Complainant in this proceeding. It is reasonable to assume that if the Respondent had legitimate purposes for registering and using the disputed domain name then the Respondent would have responded.
Accordingly, the Panel finds on the basis of the evidence presented, that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Therefore, the Complainant has satisfied 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 <allianzrenewableenergy.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 7, 2021