WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Deutsche Telekom AG v. walteru walterur / asdasd
Case No. D2021-1432
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany, represented by NOTOS Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwalten mbB, Germany.
The Respondent is walteru walterur / asdasd, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <t-mobileip.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 May 7, 2021. On May 10, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 10, 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 May 12, 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 May 17, 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 May 18, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 7, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 9, 2021.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on June 14, 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 German company that operates in the telecommunications industry. It supplies 242 million mobile customers and operates 27 million fixed-network lines and 22 million broadband lines. The Complainant operates in 50 countries and generated 101 billion Euros in revenue in the 2020 financial year. The Complainant offers a number of its services, including its mobile network services, under the trademark T-Mobile (the “T-MOBILE Mark”).
The Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations for the T-MOBILE Mark in various jurisdictions including an International Registration designating countries including the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Russian Federation with a registration date of February 26, 1997 (registration number 680034) for various goods and services in classes 9, 14, 16, 18, 25, 28, 36, 37, 38, 41 and 42.
The Domain Name <t-mobileip.com> was registered on May 30, 2020. The Domain Name presently resolves to an inactive website but prior to the commencement of the proceeding resolved to a website (the “Respondent’s Website”) that stated that it was the webpage of “T-Mobile USA” (the subsidiary of the Complainant) and reproduced the Complainant’s pink “T” device. The Respondent’s Website contained a page that purportedly allowed visitors to log in to their existing T-Mobile accounts, through which the Respondent could obtain T-Mobile log in details from visitors to the Respondent’s Website who provided their username and password under the mistaken impression they were visiting a website operated by the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s T-MOBILE Mark;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the T-MOBILE Mark, having registered the T-MOBILE Mark in the United States and other jurisdictions. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the T-MOBILE Mark, the only differences being the addition of the additional letters “ip” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name nor does the Respondent have any authorization from the Complainant to register the Domain Name. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. Rather the Respondent is using the Domain Name to resolve to a website designed to phish for user details which is an illegal activity and hence not a legitimate use.
The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent is using the Domain Name to divert Internet users searching for the Complainant to the Respondent’s Website for commercial gain through fraudulent means such as phishing. Such conduct amounts to registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the T-MOBILE Mark, having registrations for the T-MOBILE Mark as a trademark in various jurisdictions around the world including the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Domain Name incorporates the T-MOBILE Mark in its entirety with the minor addition “ip”. The addition of the abbreviation ‘ip” to a complainant’s mark does not prevent the confusing similarity, see Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Henry Chan, WIPO Case No. D2004-0056. The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s T-MOBILE Mark. Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:
“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(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.”
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the T-MOBILE Mark or a mark similar to the T-MOBILE Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
The Respondent has used the Domain Name to operate a website that clearly impersonates a website operated by the Complainant (including by using the Complainant’s “T” logo) which, absent any explanation of its conduct by the Respondent, appears most likely to be a front in order to defraud the Complainant’s customers by persuading them to provide the Respondent with their usernames and passwords. Such conduct does not, on its face, amount to the use of the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has had the opportunity to put on evidence of its rights or legitimate interests, including submissions as to why its conduct amounts to a right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name under the Policy. In the absence of such a Response, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has 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 the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has 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 the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the respondent’s website or location (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).
The Panel finds that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its reputation in T-MOBILE Mark at the time the Domain Name was registered. The Respondent’s Website reproduces the Complainant’s “T” device and refers to the Complainant’s United States subsidiary. The registration of the Domain Name in awareness of the T-MOBILE Mark and in the absence of rights or legitimate interests amounts under these circumstances to registration in bad faith.
The Panel finds, on the balance of probability, that the Respondent has used the Domain Name, which wholly incorporates the T-MOBILE Mark, to take advantage of user confusion in order to obtain the usernames and passwords of visitors who attempt to log into the Respondent’s Website under the impression that they are logging in to or signing up to a website operated by the Complainant, undoubtedly for commercial gain from some form of fraud. Consequently the Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and the Complainant’s T-MOBILE Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s Website (Policy, paragraph 4(b)(vi)). The fact that the Domain Name presently resolves to an inactive website does not change the Panel’s findings.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith 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 Domain Name, <t-mobileip.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 15, 2021