WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Everest Reinsurance Company v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico
Case No. D2021-1647
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Everest Reinsurance Company, Bermuda, United Kingdom, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services Group AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States of America (“United States”) / Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, Panama.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <everestinsuranceapplication.com> (“Disputed Domain Name”) 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 26, 2021. On May 27, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 1, 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 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 8, 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 June 11, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 1, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 2, 2021.
The Center appointed Peter Wild as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 leading, worldwide active reinsurance and insurance company, founded in 1973, with international activities. The Complainant has used its main domain name <everestre.com> since 1996 and has a strong list of trademark protection for EVEREST and EVEREST INSURANCE trademarks, such as:
- United States Registration No. 5064291 for EVEREST INSURANCE, registered on October 18, 2016;
- European Union Trademark Registration No. 018161473 for EVERST INSURANCE, registered on May 22, 2020;
- United States Registration No. 2092889 for EVEREST, registered on September 9, 1997.
The Complainant tried to find a solution with the Respondent, before filing this Complaint but the Respondent did not cooperate.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on February 18, 2021 and at the time of filing, the Disputed Domain Name was being used in connection with what seems to be a pay-per-click (“PPC”) site, providing links to services which are in or related to the Complainant’s business activities. It also appears to be offered for sale.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant asserts to be a well known provider of reinsurance and insurance services, actively promoting and using its EVEREST and EVEREST INSURANCE trademarks throughout the world.
The Disputed Domain Name is, according to the Complainant, confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, creating a likelihood of confusion given the exact reproduction of its trademark, just adding the term “application” which is a descriptive and non distinctive term.
Moreover, the Complainant claims that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent is not licensee of the Complainant, nor has she been otherwise allowed by the Complainant to make any use of the EVEREST trademark.
The Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name to redirect Internet users to a website featuring links to third-party websites, some of which directly compete with the Complainant's business. For instance, the website at which the Disputed Domain Name resolves shows links for services that compete with the Complainant, including “Claims”, “Home Insurance Quote” and “HomeInsurance Quote Comparison”. The Complainant assumes that Respondent receives PPC fees from the linked websites that are listed at the Disputed Domain Name’s website. Furthermore, there is evidence that the Disputed Domain Name is offered for sale at a price much higher than out of pocket cost.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent has not used the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services in accordance with paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy.
As to the registration of the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent knew or should have known of the Complainant’s trademark rights at the time of the registration of the Disputed Domain Name considering that it has acquired considerable goodwill and renown worldwide. The Complainant also alleges that Respondent is well known for a long history of domain name squatting.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established its rights in the EVEREST and EVEREST INSURANCE trademark.
The Panel sees that the Disputed Domain Name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety. The addition of the element “application” does not avoid a finding of confusing similarity under the Policy as the EVEREST and/or the EVEREST INSURANCE marks remain clearly recognizable in the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel concludes that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s established trademark.
The first element of the Policy has therefore been established.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455. Once such prima facie case is made, the Respondent carries the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. If the Respondent fails to do so, the Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
There is no reason to believe that the Respondent’s name somehow corresponds with the Disputed Domain Name and the Respondent does not appear to have any trademark rights associated with the term “Everestinsuranceapplication”. See VUR Village Trading No. 1 Limited t/a Village Hotels v. Carolina Rodrigues, Fundacion Comercio Electronico, WIPO Case No. D2019-1596.
The Respondent is not identified in the WhoIs database as “Everestinsuranceapplication”. Prior UDRP panels have held that a respondent was not commonly known by a Disputed Domain Name, for example, if not even the WhoIs information was similar to the Disputed Domain Name. There is no evidence in the case file showing that the Respondent may be commonly known as “Everestinsuranceapplication”. The Panel therefore finds under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name.
According to the Complainant, the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way to use the trademark and there is no other plausible reason for registration of the Disputed Domain Name than to take advantage of the goodwill and reputation associated with the Complainant’s trademarks EVEREST and EVEREST INSURANCE.
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name under a privacy shield and did not file any claims or evidence which would support its rights, both of which has been interpreted as an indication of lack of legitimate rights by earlier panels, see AREVA v. St. James Robyn Limoges, WIPO Case No. D2010-1017; Nordstrom, Inc. and NIHC, Inc. v. Inkyu Kim, WIPO Case No. D2003-0269. Much more, the Respondent who was revealed to be behind the privacy shield has a significant history as domain name squatter which is further, strong indication of bad faith.
Based on these facts, the Panel holds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.
Therefore the Panel decides that the second element of the Policy is met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Given the distinctiveness of the Complainant’s trademark and reputation at the time of the registration of the Disputed Domain Name, it is reasonable to infer that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name with full knowledge of the Complainant’s trademarks, constituting opportunistic bad faith. Also in light of the exact same use of the term “Everestinsurance”, the Panel finds it hard to see any other explanation than the Respondent knew the Complainant’s well-known trademark, especially as the website under the Disputed Domain Name shows links to a competitor of the Complainant and to other industry related offers. See PRL USA Holdings, Inc. v. LucasCobb, WIPO Case No. D2006-0162.
The fact that the Respondent used a privacy shield for registration of the Disputed Domain Name and did not file any explanation how it chose this Disputed Domain Name in good faith are further elements of bad faith as found by earlier panels, see BOUYGUES v. Chengzhang, Lu Ciagao, WIPO Case No. D2007-1325; Schering Corporation v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2012-0729 and TTT Moneycorp Limited. v. Diverse Communications, WIPO Case No. D2001-0725.
The Respondent has not shown to own any trademark or any similar marks or names. The Respondent’s lack of rights in the Disputed Domain Name is a further indication of bad faith in registering and using it. Where a domain name is so obviously connected to a particular product or service and the Respondent is found to have no connection to that product or service, opportunistic bad faith is established. See Molmed S.p.A. v. Prof. Asif Ahmed, WIPO Case No. D2001-0177.
Previous UDRP panels have decided that in the absence of any permission by a complainant to use a widely known trademark, no actual or contemplated bona fide or legitimate use of the domain name could reasonably be claimed, see Alstom, Bouygues v. Webmaster, WIPO Case No. D2008-0281; Guerlain S.A. v. Peikang, WIPO Case No. D2000-0055.
Finally, the Respondent is known to have a history of with a pattern of cyber squatting, being party in more than 300 UDRP procedures, which in itself is a further indication of bad faith, see BHP Billiton Innovation Pty Ltd v. Cameron David Jackson / PrivacyDotLink Customer 2415391 / PrivacyDotLink Customer 2463008, WIPO Case No. D2016-2020.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(b)(iv) 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 <everestinsuaranceapplication> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 19, 2021