WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Numis Securities Limited v. Domain Privacy, Above.com Domain Privacy
Case No. D2021-1947
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Numis Securities Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Domain Privacy, Above.com Domain Privacy, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <numls.com> (the “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 June 21, 2021. On June 22, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 23, 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 25, 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 25, 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 9, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 29, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 4, 2021.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on August 10, 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 stockbroker registered in both the United Kingdom (“UK”) and the United States of America (“US”). It is one of the leading providers of capital for UK listed companies, and it has offices in London and New York.
The Complainant owns several trademarks for the word NUMIS in the UK and the US, for example US registration No. 6082830. The Complainant also owns an European Union trademark for NUMIS, registration No. 017926202.
The Complainant owns several domain names in relation to NUMIS, such as <numis.com>, <numiscorp.biz> and <numiscorp.co.uk>.
The Domain Name was registered on April 19, 2021. The Registrar has informed that it expires on April 19, 2022. At the time of drafting the decision, the Domain Name redirects to a pay-per-click website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues that it has registered trademark rights and common law rights in NUMIS, and that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, as the letter “l” is put in place of the letter “i”, which could easily be misread as the word NUMIS.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way. The Complainant argues that the Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as the Respondent 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 Domain Name is likely to be used to fraudulently represent that the Respondent is the Complainant in order to lend legitimacy to criminal activity.
Finally, the Complainant implies that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its trademark when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Domain Name is a confusingly similar mistype of the Complainant’s trademark. The Domain Name has active mail exchange (“MX”) records that may indicate use of the Domain Name for malicious email. Moreover, the IP address of the Domain Name is associated with malicious documents uploaded to VirusTotal. The Respondent’s bad faith is further supported by it utilizing a privacy service to hide its identity.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established rights in its trademark NUMIS. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name replaces the letter “i” with the letter “I”. The typo does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity, as could indeed be misread, in particular in lower cases. For the purposes of assessing confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence suggesting that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name. On the contrary, the Complainant documents that the IP address of the Domain Name seems to be associated with malicious virus content.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, which has been unrebutted by the Respondent. 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
The Complainant’s trademark was registered before the registration of the Domain Name. The Complainant is recognized in the financial industry and related industries. Moreover, the Domain Name redirects to a pay-per-click website. Based on the case file, it is likely that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark and its business when the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
UDRP panels have consistently found that the mere registration of a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar (particularly domain names comprising typos) to a known trademark by an unaffiliated entity can by itself create a presumption of bad faith. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 3.1.4.
Additionally, the Panel notes that the Domain Name has active MX records. It indicates the Domain Name has been connected to email servers, which creates a risk that the Domain Name may be used for phishing or fraudulent email communications. The Respondent’s bad faith is also supported by the fact that IP address of the Domain Name seems to be associated with malicious virus content.
The Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the 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 <numls.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: August 17, 2021