WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Zetland Capital Partners LLP v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Ram Ham
Case No. D2021-3478
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Zetland Capital Partners LLP, United Kingdom, represented by Soteria LLC, United States of America.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States of America / Ram Ham, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <zetllandcapital.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Wild West Domains, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 20, 2021. On October 21, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On October 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 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 27, 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 4, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 24, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 24, 2021.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on December 7, 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 private equity firm based in London, United Kingdom. The Complainant owns UK trademark registrations, such as reg. no. 00003485689 ZETLAND CAPITAL and reg. no. 00003485624 ZETLAND both registered on August 11, 2020. The Complainant has also registered the domain name <zetlandcapital.com>.
The Domain Name was registered on September 14, 2021. At the time of the Complaint and at the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name resolved to an error page.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registration, and argues the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The Domain Name is an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark, as the only difference is the additional letter “L”.
The Complainant asserts that it has no association with the Respondent and has never authorized or licensed the Respondent to use its trademark. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as it 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. The Complainant further argues that there is no evidence indicating that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Domain Name, as it is impossible to tell due to the anonymity of the WhoIs record.
Finally, the Complainant argues that the Respondent registered the Domain Name knowing of the existence of the Complainant. “Zetland Capital” is a unique term. The registration cannot have been a mistake. It is prima facie “typo-squatting”, an attempt to create a false impression and confusion that it is a legitimate domain owned by the Complainant. The Complainant points out that the Respondent may use the Domain Name in phishing attacks against the Complainant’s customers.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark ZETLAND CAPITAL. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. The Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety and it is different to the trademark by only the additional letter “L”. A domain name which consists of an obvious misspelling of a trademark is considered to be confusingly similar to the relevant mark, see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.9. This minor misspelling does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the trademark.
For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic Top-Level Domain, see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.
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
The Complainant has made unrebutted assertions that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register a domain name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of the Complainant’s mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights and the Panel finds no indication that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name. The Respondent has not offered any explanation as to the registration of the Domain Name. Therefore, there is no evidence of bona fide offering of goods or services nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
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 Panel finds it probable that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Complainant’s trademarks predate the registration of the Domain Name. The Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark and domain name except for the addition of the letter “L”.
There is no evidence of use of the Domain Name, but non-use of a domain name would not prevent a finding of bad faith under the doctrine of passive holding, see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 3.3. The Complainant’s trademark has a degree of distinctiveness, the Domain Name appears to be a misspelling of said trademark and the Respondent has not provided any evidence of actual or contemplated good-faith use. Furthermore, the Respondent has initially concealed its identity, and the Panel cannot see any possible good faith use to which the Domain Name may be put by the Respondent.
For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of 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 <zetllandcapital.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 10, 2021