WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
ZipRecruiter Inc. v. Privacy Services
Case No. D2021-1133
1. The Parties
The Complainant is ZipRecruiter Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom (“UK”).
The Respondent is Privacy Services, United States.
2. The Domain Name(s) and Registrar(s)
The disputed domain name <ziprecruitrr.com> is registered with Painted Pony Names, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 13, 2021. On April 14, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 19, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
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 April 21, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 11, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 12, 2021.
The Center appointed Anne Gundelfinger as the sole panelist in this matter on May 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
Founded in 2010, the Complainant is a well-known online employment recruiting company providing services for both individuals seeking jobs and companies seeking to hire. The Complainant attracts approximately 25 million active job seekers and 10,000 new companies each month and has over 40 million job-alert email subscribers. Since its founding, the Complainant has served more that 120 million job seekers and over one million employers. The Complainant has been recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America and was ranked 350 in Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500. It has also been named on Fast Company’s 2019 list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies”.
The Complainant has registered its ZIPRECRUITER mark (the “Mark”) widely in the markets it operates in, and owns (among many others) the following trademark registrations:
- ZIPRECRUITER, United States Registration No. 3934310, registered March 22, 2011, in International Class 42;
- ZIPRECRUITER, EUIPO Registration No. 015070873, registered June 13, 2016, in International Classes 9, 36, 41, and 42; and
- ZIPRECRUITER, Canadian Registration No. TMA979480 registered August 28, 2017, in International Classes 9, 41, and 42.
The Complainant owns and uses the domain name <ziprecruiter.com> for its job-posting/job-seeking web-based platform. The Complainant has also registered ZIPRECRUITER-based domain names in multiple ccTLDs, allowing users to access tailored services across multiple markets. The Complainant’s portfolio of ccTLD domain names includes the following:
Finally, the Complainant maintains a substantial social media presence promoting its services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 31, 2020. The Complainant has submitted evidence that the disputed domain name resolves to a website featuring apparent pay-per-click links relating to employment and recruiting services directly competitive with the Complainant’s services. The Panel has confirmed that the Respondent’s webpage is made up entirely of links relating to services of the Complainant’s competitors.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its well-known ZIPRECRUITER Mark because the disputed domain name wholly incorporates the Mark with the exception that the disputed domain name replaces the second “e” with an “r”.
The Complainant further contends, and has presented substantial evidence in support, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Specifically, the Complainant asserts inter alia that (a) the Complainant’s Mark is well known in the United States and elsewhere, such that the Respondent must have known of and targeted the Complainant’s Mark in registering the disputed domain name, (b) the Complainant has given no authorization or license for use of the disputed domain name, (c) the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, and (d) the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name for a website containing employment and recruiting-related links fails to establish rights or legitimate interests and also demonstrates the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use.
The Complainant has submitted evidence that it sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Respondent on November 10, 2020 asserting its trademark rights in the ZIPRECRUITER Mark and demanding that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant, and sent a follow-up notice on November 18, 2020. The Complainant asserts that no response to either missive was received from the Respondent, which is further evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant prove the following three elements to be successful in this action: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to trademarks or service marks 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 has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s well-known ZIPRECRUITER Mark, as well as its corporate domain name <ziprecruiter.com>, with the exception that the disputed domain name replaces the second “e” with an “r”. Such a minor alteration is insignificant, doing little to obviate the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the ZIPRECRUITER Mark. Indeed, this appears to be a clear case of “typosquatting”, given that the “r” and “e” sit next to one another on most standard keyboards. Panels have consistently found slightly misspelled domain names to be confusingly similar to the mark in question for purposes of the first element under the Policy. See, section 1.9 of WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”) and cases cited therein.
Moreover, the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is generally disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Mark under the requirements of the Policy, and that the first element of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
It is well-established that a complainant must present a prima facie case in relation to the second element of the Policy, not mere allegations. Once a prima facie showing is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with evidence of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. This burden‑shifting is appropriate given that the respondent is often the only party with access to evidence of its own rights or legitimate interests. Accordingly, where a respondent fails to file a response, a UDRP panel may draw inferences from the failure to respond as appropriate under the circumstances of the case and while still weighing all available evidence irrespective of whether a response is filed. See, section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 and cases cited therein. See also, Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455.
Here, the Complainant has asserted that it has given no license for the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has submitted evidence that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for a website featuring apparent pay-per-click employment and recruiting-related links. It is the consensus view that such a pay-per-click use is neither a fair use nor a bona fide offering of goods or services under the Policy where such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of the complainant’s mark or otherwise mislead Internet users and therefore does not establish rights or legitimate interests. See e.g., Virgin Enterprises Limited v. LINYANXIAO aka lin yanxiao, WIPO Case No. D2016‑2302. See also, section 2.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0 and cases cited therein.
In the absence of countervailing evidence from the Respondent, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and that the second element of the Policy is satisfied.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The third element of the Policy requires a showing that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant has submitted substantial evidence establishing that its ZIPRECRUITER Mark is well known in the United States and other countries, and this has been recognized by other UDRP Panels in cases involving the Complainant’s Mark. See e.g., ZipRecruiter Inc. v. 杨智超 (Zhi Chao Yang), WIPO Case No. D2020-2004.
As previously concluded, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s well-known ZIPRECRUITER Mark. Moreover, given the distinctive nature of the Complainant’s Mark, given how well‑known the Mark is in the United States and elsewhere, and given that the Respondent’s website links to multiple other recruiting and employment-related websites that compete with the Complainant, there can be no doubt that the Respondent knew of and was targeting the Complainant’s Mark, and doing so for commercial gain. Such targeting of the Complainant’s well-known Mark establishes bad faith. See, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the UDRP; sections 3.1, 3.1.4, and 3.5 of the WIPO Overview 3.0; Dr. Martens International Trading GmbH, Dr. Maertens Marketing GmbH v. Private Whois Service, WIPO Case No. D2011-1753.
Moreover, while not necessary to the finding, the Respondent’s failure to respond to the Complainant’s two cease-and-desist letters further supports an inference of bad faith. See e.g., Sanofi v. Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org / online store, William Johnson. WIPO Case No. D2019-2846.
Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith, and that the third element of the Policy is satisfied.
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 <ziprecruitrr.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 8, 2021