WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Name Redacted 1
Case No. D2021-0820
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Israel, represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States of America / Name Redacted, Canada.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <teva-career.com> is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 19, 2021. On March 19, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 19, 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 March 22, 2021 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. On March 22, 2021, the Complainant informed the Center that the registrant details provided by the Registrar were most likely fake since the Respondent used one of the Complainant’s employee’s name, therefore the Complainant chose not to amend the name of the Respondent in the Complaint.
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 March 31, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 20, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 21, 2021.
The Center appointed Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman as the sole panelist in this matter on May 7, 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 a supplier and manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, of some 120 years standing. The scale of the Complainant is indicated by a presence in 60 countries and a workforce of about 45,000 employees.
The Complainant owns a number of trademarks internationally, of which it has selected the following as representative for the purposes of the present proceeding:
TEVA, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), registered November 28, 1989, registration number 1567918, in class 5;
TEVA, USPTO, registered May 30, 2000, registration number 2353386, in class 5.
The Complainant also owns a number of domain names including <tevapharm.com>, <tevapharm.us> and <tevapharma.com>, and has a website devoted to careers located at “www.careers.teva”.
Nothing of significance is known about the Respondent except for such details as were proffered to the Registrar for the purpose of registration of the disputed domain name on February 28, 2021. The contact name provided by the Respondent is believed by the Complainant to be false since it matches the name of an employee of the Complainant. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website but has been used as an email address for sending emails purporting to be from the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant says it was established in 1901 and its trademark is well known in over 60 countries around the world. The disputed domain name contains the entirety of the Complainant’s trademark followed by the dictionary word “career”, which should not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” is a technical requirement that should be disregarded in the determination of confusing similarity.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is being used fraudulently as an email address by the Respondent, in a scheme in which users of LinkedIn may be deceived into applying for fake jobs. There is no evidence the disputed domain name is in use for any bona fide offering of goods or services. The Complainant has had no association with the Respondent, who has not been granted permission to register or use the disputed domain name and is not commonly known by it.
The Complainant says the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Emails sent by the Respondent appear falsely to come from the Complainant’s Human Relations Manager, with an email address “...@teva-career.com”. Applicants who return the false job application form are requested to reveal their confidential financial information, amounting to use of the disputed domain name in bad faith. On the basis of the Respondent’s actions, it would not be credible that the Respondent was unaware of the Complainant and its trademark at the time of registration of the disputed domain name, and consequently it was registered in bad faith.
The Complainant has cited previous decisions under the Policy that it considers relevant to the present circumstances.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Respondent is required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that the Complainant asserts to the applicable dispute-resolution provider, in compliance with the Rules, that:
“(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
The Complainant has made the relevant assertions as required by the Policy. The dispute is properly within the scope of the Policy and the Panel has jurisdiction to decide the dispute.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has produced documentary evidence satisfactory to the Panel of its ownership of and rights in the registered trademark TEVA.
The disputed domain name <teva-career.com> comprises the entirety of the Complainant’s trademark, followed by a hyphen and the dictionary word “career”. Insofar as the disputed domain name prominently displays the Complainant’s trademark, it is found to be confusingly similar to the trademark, and neither the additional dictionary word “career” nor the gTLD “.com” are found to detract from the confusing similarity. (See section 1.8 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)). Accordingly the Panel finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has asserted a prima facie case to the effect that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. There is no evidence of any association between the Complainant and the Respondent, and no permission has been given by the Complainant for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides for the Respondent to contest the Complainant’s prima facie case under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy and to establish rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name by demonstrating, without limitation:
“(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or 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 mark at issue.”
On the evidence, the disputed domain name has been used by the Respondent as the basis of an email address purporting to be that of the Complainant, in which an applicant, in correspondence with the Respondent, was led to believe they were negotiating for employment with the Complainant. Any such use of the disputed domain name cannot qualify as use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, or as a fair or non-commercial use without intent to mislead the consumer. There is no evidence the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has not replied to the contrary. The Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and finds for the Complainant under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant must prove under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four alternative circumstances, without limitation, that shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith by a respondent, namely:
“(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.”
The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website. It has, however, been used as an email address. The Complainant has produced evidence in the form of copies of email letters between the Respondent, masquerading as the Complainant, and an applicant wishing to work for the Complainant.
The portent to the emails was a notice on the website LinkedIn, an employment-oriented service, under the heading “Teva administrative in United States”, purporting to advertise for administrative assistants at two locations in the United States of America (to work by telecommuting). Wage rates were quoted. These postings were later removed.
A person applied for such a position. On March 1, 2021, the applicant received an email allegedly from the Complainant and over the name of a real employee who works in the accounts payable department of the Complainant, but in fact originating from an email address at the disputed domain name. Attached to the email was a six-page document with each page heavily branded with the Complainant’s distinctive logo in full colour and a similar watermark. The document described aspects of the work in detail and listed substantial equipment the successful applicant would be provided with, including “Apple Mac Book Air 13-inch with OS Sierra ... HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf ... Laminating machine ... Fellowes Micro-Shred Confetti-cut paper shredder ... Flex Boom Headset”. This was followed by a list of professional accounting, word processing and other business software and supplies that would also be provided. Significantly, a later paragraph gave various reasons why provision of the hardware and software directly by the company could be delayed, and why it had instituted a new procedure whereby the “employees purchase directly from the retailer to enable the materials to be shipped directly to their home addresses”, with a promise of reimbursement.
In a further exchange of emails, on March 1, 2021 the applicant was asked to arrange an interview time, and on March 5, 2021, was informed they were appointed to the position. The letter of appointment stated that a form W4 (income tax withholding form) was attached and asked for it to be completed and returned to the Respondent, which would have disclosed certain of the applicant’s personal and financial details.
On the uncontested evidence, the Complainant was not in any way involved in, and did not authorise these LinkedIn job advertisements, which the Complainant alleges were entirely fraudulent and part of a device, known as phishing, devised to obtain the confidential personal and financial details of applicants.
The Complainant has also stated in an email to the Center dated March 22, 2021, copied to the Respondent through the Registrar, that the name of the signatory of the Respondent’s emails to the applicant was the same as an employee of the Complainant in accounting, as discussed above.
On the totality of the evidence, and on the balance of probabilities, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to have been used as an email address in bad faith to impersonate the Complainant and an employee of the Complainant with intent to deceive Internet users, who had responded to the LinkedIn false job advertisements, into believing they were in communication with the Complainant, when in fact they were in communication with the Respondent. The Respondent’s purpose can only reasonably have been for ultimate commercial gain in the terms of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Panel also finds on the evidence and on the balance of probabilities that the disputed domain name was registered for the bad faith purpose for which it has been used.
Registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith are found therefore in the terms of 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 <teva-career.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dr. Clive N.A. Trotman
Date: May 12, 2021
1 The Respondent appears to have used the name of a third party when registering the disputed domain name. In light of the potential identity theft, the Panel has redacted the Respondent’s name from this decision. However, the Panel has attached as Annex 1 to this decision an instruction to the Registrar regarding transfer of the disputed domain name, which includes the name of the Respondent. The Panel has authorized the Center to transmit Annex 1 to the Registrar as part of the order in this proceeding, and has indicated Annex 1 to this decision shall not be published due to the exceptional circumstances of this case. See Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788.