WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Skyscanner Limited v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Werner Mann
Case No. D2021-3447
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Skyscanner Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Lewis Silkin LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States of America (“United States”) / Werner Mann, Germany.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <skyscannersales.com> and <skyscannerspecialoffer.com> are registered with Dynadot, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 18, 2021. On October 19, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On October 20, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on October 22, 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 October 22, 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 November 1, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 21, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 22, 2021.
The Center appointed Nayiri Boghossian as the sole panelist in this matter on December 15, 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 travel search site providing its services around the world. The Complainant owns many trademark registrations for SKYSCANNER such as:
- International trademark registration No. 0900393, registered on March 3, 2006;
- International trademark registration No. 1030086 registered on December 1, 2009;
- Indian trademark registration No. 1890840, filed and registered on December 2, 2009; and
- United Kingdom trademark registration No. 2313916, registered on April 30, 2004.
The disputed domain names were registered on October 4, 2021. The disputed domain names resolve to parked websites displaying pay-per-click (“PPC”) links.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain names are virtually identical to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights. The terms “sales” and “special offer” would cause confusion among Internet users. The generic Top-Level-Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” can be ignored.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. The Respondent is not authorized by the Complainant to use its trademark. The disputed domain names resolve to pages with PPC links. This cannot be considered a noncommercial use or constitute a legitimate interest. The Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark as it is famous. An email exchange is set up on the disputed domain names, which aims at communicating with consumers to mislead them.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark and its business as it is known globally and dates back to 2002 and was subject to a lot of advertising upon its acquisition by Ctrip. The disputed domain names were registered with the intent to confuse consumers as to affiliation or connection with the Complainant in order to generate PPC revenue. The Respondent may use an email address linked to the disputed domain names, which poses a risk of fraud. The absence of response from the Respondent makes it likely that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant owns trademark registrations for SKYSCANNER. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established its ownership of the trademark SKYSCANNER.
The disputed domain names incorporate the Complainant’s trademark SKYSCANNER in its entirety. SKYSCANNER is a trademark that is known internationally. It is established that the incorporation of a well-known trademark is sufficient to establish confusing similarity. The use of the additional terms “sales” and “special offer” does not eliminate confusing similarity because the Complainant’s trademark SKYSCANNER remains recognizable in the disputed domain names. The gTLD “.com” should typically be ignored when assessing confusing similarity as established by prior UDRP decisions.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to the trademark of the Complainant and that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, a complainant must make at least a prima facie showing that a respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such showing is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent.
In the instant case, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant to use its trademark. The Complainant further asserts that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain names for a legitimate noncommercial use. Therefore, the Complainant has established a prima facie case and the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to show that it has rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent has not provided any evidence to show that it has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
Furthermore, past UDRP panels have found that the use of a domain name to host a parked page comprising PPC links does not represent a bona fide offering where such links capitalize on the reputation and good will of the complainant’s mark. Here, the PPC links resolve to travel related links, which then resolve to websites providing travel-related services directly competing with the Complainant. The Panel is of the view that the Respondent is trying to capitalize on the reputation and good will of the Complainant’s mark in order to generate revenue from PPC links. In Legacy Health System v. Nijat Hassanov, WIPO Case No. D2008-1708, it was found that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests as “the sole purpose of the disputed domain name is to resolve to pay-per-click advertising websites and collect click-through revenue from advertising links. Such use demonstrates that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to derive a commercial benefit. There is no indication on the website that the Respondent has made a bona fide use of the disputed domain name”. Furthermore, the nature of the disputed domain names, incorporating the Complainant’s well-known trademark and related terms, carries a risk of implied affiliation and cannot constitute fair use as it effectively impersonates or suggests sponsorship or endorsement by the Complainant. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.5.1.
Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s trademark as SKYSCANNER is well known internationally. The use of the terms “sales” and “special offer” reinforces the impression that the disputed domain names are affiliated with the Complainant. Registration of the disputed domain names with knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark, and without rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names, amounts to registration in bad faith.
The disputed domain names resolve to parked pages with sponsored links. Such use constitutes bad faith noting such links compete with or capitalize on the reputation and good will of the Complainant’s trademark.
Such conduct of using a domain name, to attract Internet users for commercial gain, would fall squarely within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The use of a privacy shield service is, under the present circumstances, a further indication of bad faith. Additionally, an email service seems to be attached to the disputed domain names, which indicates that the Respondent might have plans for phishing or for scams. Given the above, the Panel believes that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain names in order to trade off the reputation of the Complainant’s trademark.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied 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 disputed domain names, <skyscannersales.com> and <skyscannerspecialoffer.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 22, 2021