WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Monecor (London) Limited v. Meijuan Zhang
Case No. D2021-1437
1. The Parties
Complainant is Monecor (London) Limited, United Kingdom (hereinafter referred to as “Complainant”), represented by Lane IP Limited, United Kingdom.
Respondent is Meijuan Zhang, China (“hereinafter referred to as “Respondent”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <etxcapitaltw.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (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 disputed domain name. On May 11, 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 Complainant on May 12, 2021, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on May 12, 2021, of receipt by Center.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 20, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 9, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 11, 2021.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on June 17, 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
Complainant is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and launched a trading arm named TradIndex, which was renamed as “ETX Capital” in 2007, and since that time has used the ETX CAPITAL trademark as its trading name. Complainant is internationally recognized as a leading provider of online trading services, especially for institutional and high net worth customers. By 2012, Complainant had dedicated national websites for Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, and South Africa. Complainant also registered the domain name <etxcapital.com> in 2007, which operates as the primary website for Complainant’s ETX Capital services. Complaint, Annex 4.
Complainant owns 14 domain names, which it uses in various countries around the world, including the domain name <etxcapital.cn>, which Complainant uses to address customers and potential customers in China. Complaint, Annex 5. All of the 14 domain names were registered prior to Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. Complaint, Annex 5.
Complainant has numerous trademark registrations, which date back to as early as November 13, 2008, when Complainant registered European Union Trade Mark registration no. 006806269. As early as April 21, 2016, Complainant’s registration of its ETX CAPITAL trademark issued in China with registration no. 16402334. Complaint, Annex 6.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on March 14, 2021. Complaint, Annex 1.
The disputed domain name resolves to a website offering financial services. The website is in the Chinese language and purports to be that of “ET Capital,” and offers financial services similar or identical to those offered by Complainant. Complaint, Annex 8. In a prior version, the website was headed with Chinese script translating to ETX Capital and featured ETX CAPITAL logo identical to that used formerly by Complainant. Complaint, Annex 9.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered trademark. Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Finally, Complainant alleges that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and,
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s registered trademark ETX CAPITAL and the English language lower case letters “tw” followed by the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. The lower case letters suggest the country code top-level domain (“ccTLD”) for Taiwan Province of China. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the almost impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.
In the present case, Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was registered and used long after Complainant’s ETX CAPITAL trademark was registered, including registration in China, where Respondent appears to reside. It resolves to a website in the Chinese language which purports to be that of ETX Capital and which featured pages from Complainant’s website and former website in the Chinese language. The extra letters following “etxcapital” in the disputed domain name, the lower case English language letters “tw,” correspond to the ccTLD for Taiwan Province of China, where the Chinese language is spoken. As the disputed domain name resolves to a website in the Chinese language which falsely purports to be connected with ETX Capital and which offers financial services strikingly similar to those offered by Complainant, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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, <etxcapitaltw.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: June 25, 2021