WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Pet Plan Ltd v. Mohammed Nahhas
Case No. D2021-1964
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Pet Plan Ltd, United Kingdom, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services Group AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Mohammed Nahhas, Morocco.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <petplan.top> is registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 22, 2021. On June 22, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 22, 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 July 7, 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 July 12, 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 July 14, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 3, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 11, 2021.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on August 18, 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 provides pet insurance for domestic and exotic pets both in the United Kingdom and around the globe through various licensees. It owns a number of trademark registrations in jurisdictions around the world for forms of the mark PETPLAN, including United States Reg. No. 3161569, registered on October 24, 2006. The disputed domain name was registered on February 8, 2021. The Respondent has used the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a website that resolves to a blank page and lacks content.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and (iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
This element requires the Panel to consider two issues: first, whether the Complainant has rights in a relevant mark; and, second, whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that mark.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant owns registrations for the PETPLAN mark. The disputed domain name incorporates the PETPLAN mark in its entirety – this makes it identical to the mark in which the Complainant has rights. The applicable Top Level Domain (“TLD”) “top” is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test.
Accordingly, the Complainant has succeeded under this first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of production of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent, with the burden of proof always remaining on the Complainant.
The Complainant has established, prima facie, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. On this point, the Complainant asserts that:
- The Respondent is not sponsored by or affiliated with the Complainant in any way.
- The Complainant has not given the Respondent permission to use the Complainant’s trademarks in any manner, including in domain names.
- The Complainant has not licensed, authorized, or permitted the Respondent to register domain names incorporating the Complainant’s trademark.
- The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
- The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a website that resolves to a blank page and lacks content. In this way, according to the Complainant, the Respondent has failed to make use of this disputed domain name’s website and has not demonstrated any attempt to make legitimate use of the domain name and website.
These facts establish the Complainant’s prima facie showing. The Respondent has not provided any evidence or argument to rebut this prima facie showing.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has established this second element under the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Because the Complainant’s PETPLAN mark is well-known, and is registered in jurisdictions around the world, the Panel finds it likely that the Respondent was aware of the mark when it registered the disputed domain name. In the circumstances of this case, without the benefit of any explanation whatsoever from the Respondent as to a possible good faith use of the disputed domain name, such a showing is sufficient to establish bad faith registration of the disputed domain name. The circumstances also demonstrate bad faith use of the disputed domain name in terms of the Policy. Where a disputed domain name is “so obviously connected with such a well-known name and products…its very use by someone with no connection with the products suggests opportunistic bad faith.” See, Parfums Christian Dior v. Javier Garcia Quintas, WIPO Case No. D2000-0226. Furthermore, from the inception of the UDRP, panelists have found that the non-use of a domain name (including a blank page) would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding (see section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”). The Respondent’s bad faith is also evidenced by its use of a privacy service to obscure its identity, and the lack of response to correspondence sent by the Complainant concerning the dispute.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established this third element under 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 <petplan.top> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: September 1, 2021