WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Government Employees Insurance Company v. Above_Privacy / Host Master, Transure Enterprise Ltd

Case No. D2021-3554

1. The Parties

Complainant is Government Employees Insurance Company, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Burns & Levinson LLP, United States.

Respondent is Above_Privacy, United States / Host Master, Transure Enterprise Ltd, United States.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <geicologin.com> is registered with Above.com, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 25, 2021. On October 26, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 29, 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 Complainant on October 29, 2021 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on October 31, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 16, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 6, 2021. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 7, 2021.

The Center appointed Michael A. Albert as the sole panelist in this matter on December 17, 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

Complainant is an internationally-known insurance provider who has provided its insurance services – including insurance brokerage and underwriting for automobiles, motorcycles, homeowners, renters, condominiums, mobile homes, commercial properties, overseas travel, floods, and boats – throughout the United States under the trademark GEICO since at least 1948.

Complainant holds trademark registrations for its trademark GEICO, including trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, e.g., Registration No. 0763274, registered on January 14, 1964, and Registration No. 2601179, registered on July 30, 2002, as well as a trademark registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, Registration No. 1178718, registered on September 4, 2013, and an International registration, No. 1178718, registered on September 4, 2013.

Through extensive use and promotional activities, the trademark GEICO has become uniquely associated with Complainant and its services. Complainant has over 17 million policies and insures more than 28 million vehicles. Complainant also has over 40,000 employees, and is one of the fastest-growing auto insurers in the United States.

Complainant maintains various social media accounts under its GEICO mark, including on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn, each of which garner tens of thousands, and in some cases millions, of followers.

In connection with its insurance products and services, Complainant has established a website located at “www.geico.com”, which Complainant uses to promote and sell its insurance services under its GEICO trademark. The “www.geico.com” website enables computer users to access information regarding Complainant’s insurance services, manage their policies and claims, learn more about Complainant, and obtain insurance quotes.

The disputed domain name <geicologin.com> was registered on January 4, 2012. The disputed domain name dynamically redirects to various websites including a pay-per-click (“PPC”) website offering services in the Complainant’s area of business.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The disputed domain name incorporates the distinctive GEICO trademark and is therefore identical or confusingly similar to the GEICO trademark, notwithstanding the inclusion of the generic or descriptive term “login”.

Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name because there is no evidence that: (i) Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name relates to a bona fide offering of goods or services; (ii) Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name; or; (iii) Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name.

Complainant has not given Respondent authorization for the use of its GEICO trademark in any form, nor does Respondent offer any legitimate GEICO services on the website to which the disputed domain name resolves.

Respondent’s incorporation of Complainant’s famous, widely-known GEICO trademark into the disputed domain name creates a presumption of bad faith.

This is not the first time Respondent has targeted Complainant’s GEICO trademark for unauthorized use in a domain name. Respondent’s use of this disputed domain name is part of a pattern of bad faith behavior consisting of registering domain names confusingly similar to established trademarks, using the domains for commercial gain through redirecting to PPC sites and/or offering the domains for sale to the trademark holders. See, e.g., Government Employees Insurance Company v. Above.com Domain Privacy / Transure Enterprise Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2018-1698.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s well-known GEICO mark because it contains the entirety of Complainant’s mark with the addition of “login”, and the generic Top‑Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”. Numerous UDRP panels deciding cases under the Policy have held that the incorporation of a complainant’s well-known mark in full in a disputed domain name is a compelling factor in favor of a finding of confusing similarity, and that the addition of other terms does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. See National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. v. Racing Connection / The Racin’ Connection, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2007-1524. See also, WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.7 and 1.8.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Respondent is not known by Complainant’s mark. Complainant confirms that it has not authorized Respondent’s use of the GEICO trademark or the registration of the disputed domain name. After becoming aware of the disputed domain name, counsel for GEICO contacted Respondent to request that Respondent cease its infringing use of the GEICO trademark and transfer the disputed domain name to GEICO. Respondent did not respond to the Complaint or Complainant’s cease-and-desist letter. Complainant satisfied its burden to make a prima facie case, which Respondent failed to rebut. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Complainant’s trademark registrations predate the registrations of the disputed domain name. Given the long use and fame of Complainant’s GEICO marks, Respondent clearly knew or should have known of the GEICO mark at the time Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name. Such knowledge is sufficient to establish that the disputed domain name was registered by Respondent in bad faith.

Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a webpage displaying PPC links which are likely intended to generate revenue. Intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a competing website, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Respondent’s website or other location, constitutes bad faith.

The Panel finds that Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <geicologin.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Michael A. Albert
Sole Panelist
Date: December 30, 2021