WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Tata Technologies Limited v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Name redacted, Mr. Baubles
Case No. D2021-0569
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Tata Technologies Limited, India, represented by K&S Partners, India.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Name redacted1, Mr Baubles, United States of America (“United States or U.S.”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <tatatechonlogies.com> (“Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 24, 2021. On February 24, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On February 24, 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 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 February 26, 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 March 2, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 22, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response however, the Center received an email from a third party claiming identity theft. Accordingly, the Center notified the Commencement of the Panel Appointment on March 25, 2021.
The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on March 31, 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.
On March 22, 2021, the Center received a communication from a lawyer representing (Name redacted) stating that their client might be a victim of identity theft and fraud.
4. Factual Background
The factual background is taken from information submitted in the Complaint. Tata Technologies Limited is a part of the Tata Group, the largest corporate group in India, a global engineering and product development company. The Complainant has a workforce of 8,600 employees, worldwide, serving clients from facilities in APAC, Europe and North America. .
The Complainant has been authorized by TATA SONS LIMITED under the Tata Brand Equity and Business Promotion Agreement dated January 16, 2001, and December 29, 2009, to use and associate the name and trademark TATA with its business and marketing activities.
By virtue of Tata Brand Equity and Business Promotion Agreement, the Complainant is entitled to the use and association of the following registered trademark in respect of its business and marketing activities globally:
- TATA TECHNOLOGIES, India trademark Registration No. 4159229, registered on April 26, 2019;
- TATA (& Design), United States Trademark Registration No. 2929070, registered on March 1, 2005; and
- TATA, United States Trademark Registration No. 4031815, registered on September 27, 2011.
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on October 20, 2020. The Disputed Domain Name resolves to an inactive webpage. However, the Complainant submitted evidence that the Disputed Domain Name resolved to a webpage with Related Links including a link under the trademark TATA. In addition, the Complainant submitted evidence that the Disputed Domain Name has been used by the Respondent to create fake identities for electronic mails to carry on phishing activities by the Respondent.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contentions can be summarized as follows.
Identical or confusingly similar
The Complainant alleges that the Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies.com> is identical to the Complainant’s name and trademark TATA TECHNOLOGIES and directly refers to the Complainant business activities.
Rights or legitimate interests
The Complainant states that the Respondent has no right or legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant further alleges that it is known by the corporate name, trade name and trademark TATA TECHNOLOGIES since 1994.
The Complainant has no relationship whatsoever with the Respondent and has never authorized the Respondent to use the domain name <tatatechonlogies.com> or any other domain name.
In addition, the Complainant states that the Respondent maliciously and intentionally registered the Disputed Domain Name for typosquatting by misspelling the word TECHNOLOGIES to read as “tatatechonlogies”.
The Complainant further states that the Respondent is illegally diverting and attracting Internet users into believing that the Disputed Domain Name belongs to the Complainant or is directly authorized and /or connected by the Complainant, which is not the case. Since the Complainant has not given any license to the Respondent to use its trademark in the Disputed Domain Name or in any manner whatsoever.
Finally, the Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies.com> and the Disputed Domain Name is not used in connection with bona fide offering of goods or services.
Registration and use in bad faith
The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered and use the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith, as it is evident that the Respondent “knew or should have known” of the registration and use of the trademark TATA TECHNOLOGIES prior to registering the Disputed Domain Name.
The Complainant is globally recognized engineering and product development digital services company. The Complainant started its business in India as early as 1996 and since then the Complainant has been known by the name and trademark TATA TECHNOLOGIES.
Further, the Complainant alleges that the Respondent has created the following fake and dupe email names using the Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies>:
Consequently, the Respondent has not only registered the Disputed Domain Name but also created fake email identities to dupe innocent customers and Internet users to believe that the Respondent is the Complainant.
In this regard, the Respondent with the fake and dupe email identities have sent communications to the Complainant’s customers and have fraudulently extracted huge amount of money from such innocent customers. These customers believing the Respondent to be the genuine Complainant and for business purpose have given them money to the amount of USD 76,125 to the Respondent.
In addition, the Respondent’s bad faith use, and registration of the Disputed Domain Name is evident from the email correspondences wherein all the details in the signature portion of the emails are the same as that of the Complainant.
Thus, the Respondent registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in order to attract Internet users for commercial gains and has attracted and duped innocent customers through the fake and dupe email identities for monetary gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
However, there was an email communication from a U.S. law firm representing Name redacted informing the Center that their client was a victim of identity theft and fraud, and that their client has no association with any person, company, or entity by the name of “Mr. Baubles”. In addition, Name redacted has no information regarding, or affiliation with, Tata Technologies Limited or the Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies.com>.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements which the Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Disputed Domain Name:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in the which the complainant has rights;
(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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
A trademark owner’s affiliate such as a subsidiary of a parent or of a holding company, or an exclusive trademark licensee, is considered to have rights in a trademark under the UDRP for purposes of standing to file a complaint (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition
(WIPO Overview 3.0), section 1.4.1.).
Although the Complainant is not the owner of any trademark registrations for the marks TATA TECHNOLOGIES and TATA, the Complainant has established that its corporate parent company owns such trademark registrations. The Complainant is authorized to use the TATA TECHNOLOGIES and TATA trademarks as evidenced by its Tata Brand Equity and Business Promotion Agreement. Therefore, the Panel understand that in this particular case the Complainant has standing to bring this Complaint.
Based on the evidence submitted, the Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademarks TATA TECHNOLOGIES and TATA visually and phonetically.
The Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies.com>, reproduces the entirety of the trademark TATA TECHNOLOGIES but with a misspelling of the word technologies.
Moreover, the misspelling is also hardly noticeable and results in a very minor modification of the Complainant’s trademark, being a common mistake that any Internet user can make. This is a clear example of typosquatting. As section 1.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 states:
“A domain name which consists of a common, obvious, or intentional misspelling of a trademark is considered by panels to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark for purposes of the first element.(...) Examples of such typos include
(i) adjacent keyboard letters,
(ii) substitution of similar-appearing characters (e.g., upper vs lower-case letters or numbers used to look like letters),
(iii) the use of different letters that appear similar in different fonts,
(iv) the use of non-Latin internationalized or accented characters,
(v) the inversion of letters and numbers; or
(vi) the addition or interspersion of other terms or numbers.”
Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the first requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name:
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a 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 at issue.
There is no evidence of the existence of any of those rights or legitimate interests. The Complainant have not authorized, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the Disputed Domain Name or to use the TATA TECHNOLOGIES and TATA trademarks.
The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any rights with respect to the Disputed Domain Name or that the Disputed Domain Name are used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services. On the contrary, the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name in order to send fake emails to the Complainant’s customers.
The Respondent had the opportunity to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests, but it did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
As such, this Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent registered and subsequently used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith. The fact that the Disputed Domain Name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark establishes that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Name.
Furthermore, Respondent intentionally registered the Disputed Domain Name in a clear typosquatting case by misspelling the word TECHNOLOGIES in the Disputed Domain Name to read as <tatatechonlogies.com>. It is well settled that the practice of typosquatting constitutes an evidence of the bad faith registration of a domain name. See, Longs Drug Stores California, Inc. v. Shep Dog, WIPO Case No. D2004-1069 (finding typosquatting to be evidence of bad faith domain name registration); Lexar Media, Inc. v. Michael Huang, WIPO Case No. D2004-1039 (“Typosquatting has been held under the Policy to be evidence of bad faith registration of a domain name”); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Longo, WIPO Case No. D2004-0816 (“[typosquatting] is presumptive of registration in bad faith”).
Moreover, the Complainant has argued that the Respondent used the Disputed Domain Name to create fake electronic mail accounts in order to send emails to the Complainant’s customers requesting, among other things, payments that are not authorized or required by the Complainant. This fact alone shows that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its business and trademark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name.
Furthermore, the Disputed Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark and domain name. The Panel finds that the Respondent thereby deliberately attempts to disrupt the Complainant’s business. In addition, the Respondent did not submit any explanation or possible justification for its use of the Disputed Domain Name.
Due to this conduct, it is obvious that the Respondent intentionally created likelihood of confusion with the TATA TECHNOLOGIES and TATA trademarks as described by paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Finally, the letter sent on March 22, 2021, to the Center by an attorney representing Respondent (Name redacted) denouncing a case of identity theft and the non authorized use of the name of their client as registrant for the Disputed Domain Name are considered by the Panel as further evidence of bad faith.
Therefore, taking all the circumstances into account and for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
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, <tatatechonlogies.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Pablo A. Palazzi
Date: April 14, 2021
1 The Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name <tatatechonlogies.com> was registered by a third-party without the involvement of the person identified in the WhoIs as the registrant of the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel has redacted the name of this person from the caption and body of this Decision. The Panel has attached as an Annex to this Decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the Disputed Domain Name that includes the name of that person so as to enable effect to be given to the Panel’s order. To this end, the Panel authorizes the Center to transmit the Annex to the Registrar and the parties but further directs the Center and the Registrar, pursuant to paragraph 4(j) of the Policy and paragraph 16(b) of the Rules, that the Annex 1 to this Decision shall not be published in this exceptional case.