WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
FXDirectDealer, LLC v. 黄丽珍 (Huang Li Zhen)
Case No. D2021-3263
1. The Parties
The Complainant is FXDirectDealer, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Kolitch Romano LLP, United States.
The Respondent is 黄丽珍 (Huang Li Zhen), China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <hkfxdd.com> is registered with eName Technology Co., Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint in English was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 1, 2021. On October 4, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 8, 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 October 11, 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 in English on October 11, 2021.
On October 11, 2021, the Center transmitted an email communication to the Parties in English and Chinese regarding the language of the proceeding. On October 11, 2021, the Complainant confirmed its request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.
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 proceeding commenced on October 18, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 7, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 8, 2021.
The Center appointed Sebastian M.W. Hughes as the sole panelist in this matter on November 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 is a company incorporated in the State of Delaware in the United States, and a provider under the word and logo trade mark FXDD (the “Trade Mark”) of (1) since March 2002, downloadable software for use by finance professionals; and (2) since March 2010, online foreign exchange trading services and related educational services.
The Complainant is the owner of several registrations for the Trade Mark, including United States registration No. 3,991,011, with a registration date of July 5, 2011; and United States registration No. 4,418,706, with a registration date of October 15, 2013; and International registration No. 1125315, with a registration date of May 21, 2012; and International registration No. 1175697, with a registration date of August 7, 2013 (both International registrations designating China).
The Complainant provides its software and services under the Trade Mark to customers worldwide via its “www.fxdd.com” website, which is available in several languages, including English and Chinese.
The Respondent is apparently a resident of China.
C. The Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain name was registered on April 21, 2021.
D. Use of the Disputed Domain Name
The disputed domain is resolved to a website (“Website”) which is described as “[t]he world’s leading digital asset trading platform” and apparently offering online currency exchange and cryptocurrency related services.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and 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
6.1. Language of the Proceeding
The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. Pursuant to the Rules, paragraph 11, in the absence of an agreement between the Parties, or unless specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement.
Paragraph 11(a) of the Rules allows the Panel to determine the language of the proceeding having regard to all the circumstances. In particular, it is established practice to take paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules into consideration for the purpose of determining the language of the proceeding, in order to ensure fairness to the Parties and the maintenance of an inexpensive and expeditious avenue for resolving domain name disputes. Language requirements should not lead to undue burdens being placed on the Parties and undue delay to the proceeding.
The Complainant has requested that the language of the proceeding be English, for several reasons, including the fact the Website has an English language version, the Website’s target customers include digital currency traders in the United States, and the Website offers USD linked trading services.
The Respondent did not file a response and did not file any submissions with respect to the language of the proceeding.
In exercising its discretion to use a language other than that of the Registration Agreement, the Panel has to exercise such discretion judicially in the spirit of fairness and justice to both Parties, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case, including matters such as the Parties’ ability to understand and use the proposed language, time and costs.
The Panel finds there is sufficient evidence to suggest the likely possibility that the Respondent is conversant in the English language. The Panel is also mindful of the need to ensure the proceeding is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner.
In all the circumstances, the Panel therefore finds it is not foreseeable that the Respondent would be prejudiced, should English be adopted as the language of the proceeding.
Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that the language of the proceeding shall be English.
6.2. Substantive Elements of the Policy
The Complainant must prove each of the three elements in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy in order to prevail.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has rights in the Trade Mark acquired through use and registration.
The disputed domain name incorporates the entirety of the Trade Mark (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7), prefaced by the letters “hk”, the common abbreviation of “Hong Kong”.
Where a relevant trade mark is recognisable within a disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless, or otherwise) does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.8).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s Trade Mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of non-exhaustive circumstances any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that a respondent has rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name:
(i) before any notice to the respondent of the dispute, the respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if the respondent has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.
The Complainant has not authorised, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the disputed domain name or to use the Trade Mark. The Panel finds on the record that there is therefore a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the burden is thus on the Respondent to produce evidence to rebut this presumption.
The Respondent has failed to show that he has acquired any trade mark rights in respect of the disputed domain name or that the disputed domain name has been used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. To the contrary, the Respondent has made use of the disputed domain name, for commercial gain, in order to pass off the Website as a website of or affiliated with the Complainant, including by using prominently on the website a logo “HK-FXDD”, confusingly similar to the Complainant’s logo Trade Mark.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name.
There has been no evidence adduced to show that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.
Moreover, the disputed domain name carries a risk of implied affiliation (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5).
In all the circumstances, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
In light of the manner of the use of the disputed domain name highlighted in section 6.2 B above, the Panel finds that the requisite element of bad faith has been made out.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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 <hkfxdd.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Sebastian M.W. Hughes
Dated: December 2, 2021