WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Withheld for Privacy Purposes / Fredrick Feeg, Cryptoeasymining
Case No. D2021-1560
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is Withheld for Privacy Purposes, Iceland / Fredrick Feeg, Cryptoeasymining, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianzwealth.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 19, 2021. On May 19, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 20, 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 June 3, 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 June 4, 2021.
The Center verified that the Complaint, together with 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 June 4, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 24, 2021. The Respondent sent an email communication on June 6, 2021. Pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Rules, on June 29, 2021, the Center informed the Parties that it would proceed with panel appointment.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on July 15, 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 the parent company of one of the largest insurance and financial services groups in the world. The Complainant has used and uses the ALLIANZ mark in connection with its insurance, healthcare, and financial services. The Allianz Group serves to approximately 100 million customers in more than 70 countries and it has approximately 147,000 employees worldwide.
The Complainant has registered and protected the Allianz mark worldwide. The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations, for example, International Registration no. 447004, registered on September 12, 1979, and European Union trademark registration no. 000013656, registered on July 22, 2002. Through its German IT affiliate company, or the local subsidiary, the Complainant has registered numerous domain names including the trademark ALLIANZ, such as <allianz.de> and <allianz.com>.
According to the Registrar, the Respondent registered the Domain Name on April 24, 2021. At the time of the Complaint and the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name resolves to a website that apparently offers financial services through a login possibility for Internet users.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registrations and goodwill in its trademark. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, because Internet users will recognize the famous trademark of the Complainant in the Domain Name. Customers expect to reach one of the websites belonging to Allianz SE or one of its subsidiaries. The same applies if a customer receives email correspondence under this Domain Name.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as it has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. On the contrary, the Complainant argues that the Respondent is exploiting the fact that Internet users are hoping to access a website that or to communicate with someone who belongs to the Complainant’s Group of companies.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement. The Complainant’s trademark is well known in many countries all over the world, especially with regard to insurance and financial affairs. The Respondent could not have been unaware of the trademark when registering the Domain Name. The bad faith is supported by the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name to set up a website, and the email account “[...]@www.allianzwealth.com”.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions but sent an email communication on June 6, 2021, asking for information. On June 7, 2021, the Center informed the Respondent of the Response due date, providing the Respondent with the Response filing guidelines. No further communications were received from the Respondent.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark ALLIANZ. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark with the addition of “wealth”. The addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”; see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to trademarks in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has asserted that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of its trademarks. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name on the basis of use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering as the Domain Name resolves to a webpage offering information on financial services and requiring users to enter login credentials and may be used to send emails targeting the Complainant’s customers. Considering the confusingly similar construction of the Domain Name, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name and email address illustrates an intent to benefit from the implied affiliation caused by the Domain Name, possibly phishing for personally identifiable information and/or commercial gain. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name is not bona fide, but rather evidence of bad faith.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the Complainant’s fame and the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name registration, the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that it is likely that the Respondent has used the Domain Name to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement. Indeed, given the composition of the Domain Name coupled with the Complainant’s repute, a good faith purpose is difficult to imagine. The Respondent’s use of a privacy service to hide its identity is in this context further evidence of bad faith.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of 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 <allianzwealth.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 26, 2021