WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Allianz SE v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Michel Manzanera
Case No. D2021-1944
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Allianz SE, Germany, internally represented.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America / Michel Manzanera, Belgium.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <allianzcreditunion.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 21, 2021. On June 21, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 22, 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 23, 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 amendment to the Complaint on June 24, 2021.
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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 2, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 22, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 26, 2021.
The Center appointed Gregor Vos as the sole panelist in this matter on August 6, 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 well-known German company and is one of the oldest and largest international insurance and financial services groups in the world. The Complainant’s company was founded in 1890 in Germany and currently has approximately 147,000 employees worldwide.
The Complainant is the owner of inter alia the following German, European Union (“EU”) and international trademark registrations (hereinafter jointly referred to as: the “Trademarks”):
- German registration No. 987481 for ALLIANZ registered on July 11, 1979;
- International registration No. 447004 for ALLIANZ registered on September 12, 1979;
- International registration No. 713841 for registered on May 3, 1999;
- International registration No. 714618 for registered on May 4, 1999;
- German registration No. 39927827 for registered on July 16, 1999;
- EU registration No. 000013656 for ALLIANZ registered on July 22, 2002; and
- EU registration No. 002981298 for registered on April 5, 2004.
Further, it is undisputed that the Complainant’s affiliates or local subsidiaries are the holders of inter alia the following domain names:
- <allianzgi.com>; and
The Domain Name was registered on May 3, 2021 and currently resolves to a website on which different types of loans are offered.
5. Parties’ Contentions
With the Complaint, the Complainant seeks that the Domain Name is transferred to the Complainant. The Complaint is based on the following factual and legal grounds: the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trademarks of the Complainant, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name and the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Firstly, according to the Complainant, the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to its well-known Trademarks. Internet users will recognize the famous Trademarks in the Domain Name. By using the Trademarks, the clear impression is made that the Domain Name refers to the well-known Trademarks of the Complainant.
Secondly, according to the Complainant, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent holds no relevant trademark registrations and has never received a license or any other form of authorization from the Complainant to use the Trademarks. Also, the Respondent did not use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services before having been notified of the current dispute, the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, and the Respondent does not make a legitimate noncommercial of fair use of the Domain Name. Further, the Respondent is taking unfair advantage of the well-known Trademarks of the Complainant, because it is obvious that the Respondent is exploiting the fact that Internet users expect to access a website that belongs to the Complainant.
Finally, according to the Complainant, the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. The Respondent intentionally attempts, by using the Domain Name, to convince Internet users to act as being instructed by the Complainant, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s Trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the Domain Name. In light of the well-known character of the Complainant’s Trademarks, it is inconceivable that the Respondent selected the Domain Name for any other reason than to mislead Internet users, create a likelihood of confusion with the Trademarks and capitalize on the Complainant’s Trademarks.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of the lack of a response filed by the Respondent as required under paragraph 5 of the Rules, this proceeding has proceeded by way of default. Hence, under paragraphs 5(f), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel is directed to decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of the Complainant’s undisputed factual presentations.
For the Complainant to succeed, it must prove, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy and on the balance of probabilities that:
i. the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
ii. the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
iii. the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Only if all three elements have been fulfilled, the Panel is able to grant the remedies requested by the Complainant. The Panel will deal with each of the requirements in turn.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires the Complainant to show that the Domain Name is (i) identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark, (ii) in which the Complainant has rights.
With respect to having rights pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is noted that the Complainant is registered as the owner of the Trademarks ALLIANZ. Consequently, the Panel finds that the Complainant has proven that it has rights in the Trademarks.
With regard to the assessment of identity or confusing similarity of the Domain Name with the Trademarks, it is generally accepted that this test involves a reasoned but relatively straightforward comparison between the Complainant’s Trademarks and the Domain Name (see section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”)). In cases where a domain name incorporates the entirety of a trademark the domain name will normally be considered confusingly similar to that mark (see section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview 3.0).
In the present case, the Trademarks are incorporated in their entirety in the Domain Name. The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain “.com” and the term “creditunion”, which is descriptive of the Complainant’s business, does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity with the Trademarks (see sections 1.8 and 1.11 of the WIPO Overview 3.0). Consequently, the Panel finds that the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The second requirement the Complainant must prove is that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The onus of proving this requirement, like each element, falls on the Complainant. Given the difficulty in proving a negative, however, it is usually sufficient for a complainant to make out a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. If a complainant does establish a prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to the respondent (see, e.g. WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1; Sanofi v. Cimpress Schweiz GmbH, WIPO Case No. D2017-0522).
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy lists three nonlimitative examples of instances in which a respondent may establish rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has substantiated that none of these circumstances apply in this case. By defaulting, the Respondent has failed to rebut the prima facie case established by the Complainant. Furthermore, based on the record before it, the Panel does not see an indication that any of the circumstances of paragraph 4(c) of the Policy is present.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Paragraph 4(a)(ii) is thereby fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, a complainant must show that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four nonlimitative circumstances which may be considered as evidence of registration and use in bad faith of a domain name.
In the present case, the Trademarks are registered by the Complainant and have been used for many years. The Complainant’s rights to the Trademarks predate the registration date of the Domain Name. In light of the well-known character of the Trademarks, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that it is not conceivable that the Respondent chose the Domain Name without knowledge of the Complainant’s activities and its Trademarks under which the Complainant is doing business. The well-known character of the Trademarks of the Complainant has been confirmed by earlier UDRP panels (see e.g. Allianz SE v. WhoisGuard Protected / Kaiser Sandra, WIPO Case No. D2019-1988; Allianz SE v. Stephen Baptiste/ Domains by Proxy, LLC, WIPO Case No. D2012-1368).
Further, in light of the lack of any rights to or legitimate interest in the Domain Name by the Respondent and in the absence of any conceivable good faith use of the Domain Name, the Panel finds from the present circumstances 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’s Trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith and that the third element of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is fulfilled.
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 <allianzcreditunion.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 24, 2021