WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Invitation Homes L.P. v. Bizbort solution, bizbort

Case No. D2021-0827

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Invitation Homes L.P., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, United States.

The Respondent is Bizbort solution, bizbort, Nigeria.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name, <invitationhomess.com> (the “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 March 19, 2021. On March 22, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On March 22, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the 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 23, 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 March 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 30, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 19, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 20, 2021.

The Center appointed Tony Willoughby as the sole panelist in this matter on April 26, 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.

The invitation to the Complainant to file an amendment to the Complaint stemmed from the fact that the Domain Name was registered in the name of a privacy service. In response to the Center’s registrar verification request, the Registrar disclosed the name and address of the entity in whose name the Domain Name is currently registered. The amended Complaint names the underlying registrant as the Respondent.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a limited partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, United States, with its principal offices in the State of Texas, United States. It is engaged in the purchasing, leasing and maintenance of residential housing.

The Complainant operates a website connected to its <invitationhomes.com> domain name (registered on July 17, 2012) and is the registered proprietor of United States Trademark Registration No. 5,041,313 INVITATION HOMES (standard character mark) registered on September 13, 2016, for various real estate services in class 36.

The Domain Name was registered on September 1, 2020, and is connected to a website replicating the look and feel of the Complainant’s website and featuring text and images identical to those appearing on the Complainant’s website; even to the extent of replicating the Complainant’s copyright notice with the Complainant’s name correctly spelt.

On February 5, 2021, the Complainant wrote to the Registrar and the Respondent’s privacy service, notifying them of the Complainant’s trade mark rights and the fraudulent nature of the Respondent’s website. The letters sought disablement of the Respondent’s website and disclosure of the identity of the underlying registrant (i.e. the Respondent). Those letters were followed up by chaser letters sent on February 15, 2021, but failed to achieve confirmation that the Complainant’s requests would be complied with.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s INVITATION HOMES registered trade mark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. General

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:

(i) the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(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.

B. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Domain Name comprises the Complainant’s INVITATION HOMES registered trade mark (absent the space), an additional “s” and the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain identifier.

Section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition explains the test for identity or confusing similarity under the first element of the Policy and includes the following passage:

“While each case is judged on its own merits, in cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark, or where at least a dominant feature of the relevant mark is recognizable in the domain name, the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark for purposes of UDRP standing.”

The Complainant’s registered trade mark is readily recognizable in its entirety in the Domain Name. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trade mark in which the Complainant has rights.

C. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant states that it has no affiliation with the Respondent and has granted the Respondent no authorization to use its INVITATION HOMES trade mark. Nor has it granted the Respondent any authorization to use the numerous images and passages of text lifted from the Complainant’s website.

From the factual background set out in section 4 above it is plain that the Domain Name was selected for its close similarity to both the Complainant’s INVITATION HOMES trade mark and the Complainant’s <invitationhomes.com> domain name. The nature of the Respondent’s website, replicating as it does the look and feel of the Complainant’s website, assisted by the numerous images and passages of text lifted from the Complainant’s website, make it clear that the Respondent’s purpose in selecting the Domain Name was to use it to impersonate the Complainant and to divert traffic intended for the Complainant’s website for the Respondent’s commercial gain.

On no basis could such a use give rise to rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in the hands of the Respondent. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name

D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

By the same reasoning the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith within the meaning of paragraphs 4(a)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.

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 Domain Name, <invitationhomess.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Tony Willoughby
Sole Panelist
Date: April 27, 2021