WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
DPDgroup International Services GmbH & Co. KG v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Ezikanyi Valentine
Case No. D2021-0872
1. The Parties
The Complainant is DPDgroup International Services GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, represented by Fidal, France.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Ezikanyi Valentine, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dpdcourierexpress.com> 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 23, 2021. On March 24, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 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 March 29, 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 amendment to the Complaint on March 29, 2021. On March 30, the Respondent sent an informal email asking the reasons for the Complaint.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 April 1, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 21, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Rules, the Center sent an email communication to the Parties on April 23, 2021 indicating that it would proceed to Panel Appointment. On the same day, the Respondent sent an email to Center saying that the disputed domain name should be canceled or transferred. The Center informed the parties that they could request a suspension of the proceeding to explore the possibility of a settlement agreement between the Parties. The Respondent sent an email communication on April 24, 2021, reiterating that the disputed domain name should be canceled or transferred. No suspension was requested, and the Center proceed to Panel Appointment.
The Center appointed William F. Hamilton as the sole panelist in this matter on May 5, 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 one of the largest parcel delivery network in Europe. The Complainant has a direct presence in in Asia, South Africa, India, Brazil, and several other countries and regions in the world. The Complainant operates a network of 58,000 parcel and package pickup locations and delivers 7.5 million parcels every day. In calendar year 2020, the Complainant delivered a total of 1.9 billion parcels.
The Complainant owns an international portfolio of trademark registrations for the mark “DPD” (the “Mark”) in over 400 countries around the world obtained as early as 2001, such as the DPD mark registered in the European Union Intellectual Property Office in July 2, 2002 for classes 36 and 39.
The Complainant is the owner of an expansive international portfolio of domain names, including but not limited to: <dpd.asia>, <dpd.iz>, <dpd.ch>, <dpd.com>, <dpd.net>, <dpd.in>, <dpd.lu>, <dpd.fr>, <dpd.eu>, <dpd.ru>, <dpdgroup>, and <dpd-group>. For instance, the Complainant registered the domain name <dpd.com> on March 20, 1991.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 15, 2021. By the time of the filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolved to a website reproducing Complaint’s Mark, logo and its website look and feel.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Mark because the disputed domain name is composed by appending the descriptive dictionary terms “courier” and “express” – which also describe the Complainant’s services – to the Complainant’s distinctive Mark. The Complainant asserts that the Complainant never authorized the Respondent to use the Mark, that the Respondent is not known by the Mark, and that the Respondent has never engaged in any bona fide commercial activity in connection with the Mark. The Complainant also asserts the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith as part of a phishing scheme to obtain information from unsuspecting internet users.
The Respondent did not formally respond to the Complaint. The Respondent’s informal communications with the Center are noted above.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed the Complainant must satisfy the Panel that:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Mark.
The disputed domain name is composed by the addition of the dictionary words “courier” and “express” to the Complainant’s Mark. A domain name which wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered mark is sufficient to establish confusing similarity for the purposes of the Policy. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7. The generic Top-Level Domain, in this case “.com”, may be disregarded for the purposes of assessment under the first element, as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.1.
The Complainant has met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has specifically disavowed providing the Respondent with permission to use the disputed domain name or the Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has conducted any bona fide business under the disputed domain name or is commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Complainant has established a prima facie case in its favor which shifts the burden of production on this point to the Respondent. The Respondent, however, has failed to come forth with any evidence showing any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent did not formally respond to the Complaint, and the Complainant’s emails to the Center did not establish or suggests any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Indeed, the Respondent effectively disclaimed any rights of legitimate interests in the dispute domain name by asserting that the disputed domain name “should be canceled or transferred”.
The Complainant has met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
The confusingly similar disputed domain name resolves to a website apparently offering services similar to Complainant’s services. The Annexes to the Complaint submitted by the Complainant demonstrate that the Respondent’s website prominently displays the Complainant’s Mark and distinctive logo. Internet users visiting the Respondent’s website are urged to email the Respondent for additional information thereby presumably revealing personally identifying information. The registration and use of a disputed domain name as part of a phishing scheme constitutes bad faith. Comerica Bank v. Will Rote, WIPO Case No. D2016-0419. The Panel finds that the Respondent intentionally attempted to falsely lure and attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website for illicit purposes.
Moreover, it is difficult to conceive of any use that the Respondent might make of the disputed domain name without the Complainant’s consent that would not involve bad faith. Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmellows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. Verner Panton Design v. Fontana di Luce Corp, WIPO Case No. D2012-1909 (where the reputation of a complainant in a given mark is significant and the mark bears strong similarities to the disputed domain name, the likelihood of confusion is such that bad faith may be inferred); DPDgroup International Services GmbH & Co. KG v. Wise One, Wilson TECH, WIPO Case No. D2021-0109 (transferring <dpdcouriercompany.com>).
The Complainant has met its burden under 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 <dpdcourierexpress.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
William F. Hamilton
Date: May 12, 2021