WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Urban Outfitters Inc. v. Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot / Domain Administrator, Domain Name Corporation
Case No. D2021-3651
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Urban Outfitters Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot, United States / Domain Administrator, Domain Name Corporation, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <urbanoutfitterses.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 2, 2021. On November 2, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On November 3, 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 November 4, 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 November 4, 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 November 23, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 13, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 14, 2021.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on December 29, 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 United States company, founded in 1970, that specializes in the retail of apparel under the word mark URBAN OUTFITTERS (the “URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark”). The Complainant offers apparel and related goods under the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark across over 200 retail locations in jurisdictions including North America, Europe, and the Middle East. The Complainant’s revenue in the 2018 financial year was USD 3.9 billion. Since 2000, the Complainant has operated a website at “www.urbanoutfitters.com” (the “Complainant’s Website”) that sells a variety of goods, including apparel, under the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark.
The Complainant holds a trademark registration for the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark in various jurisdictions including the European Union (registration no. 010182061 with a registration date of January 10, 2012, for services in class 35) and the United States (registration no. 1323901 with a registration date of March 5, 1985, for services in class 42).
The Domain Name was registered on July 7, 2021. The Domain Name resolves to a website (the “Respondent’s Website”) that offers clothing, footwear, and accessory products in direct competition with the Complainant. The Respondent’s Website reproduces copyrighted images owned by the Complainant and displayed on the Complainant’s Website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark, having registered the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark in the United States and the European Union. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark as it consists of a minor misspelling of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark – simply adding an additional “es” at the end of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark.
There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name nor does the Respondent have any authorization from the Complainant to register the Domain Name. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. Rather the Respondent is using the Domain Name to resolve to a website that, without permission of the Complainant, offers products in direct competition with the Complainant as well as reproducing the photos from the Complainant’s Website. The Respondent may also be engaging in phishing by using personal information received illicitly from consumers who think they are dealing with the Complainant. These activities do not amount to a bona fide offering of goods and services.
The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. By using the Domain Name to resolve to a website that offers competing goods, the Respondent is using the Domain Name to divert Internet users searching for the Complainant to the Respondent’s Website for commercial gain. Such conduct amounts to registration and use of the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark, having a registration for the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark as a trademark in various jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union.
Disregarding the “.com” generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) as a necessary technical requirement of the Domain Name, the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark since it wholly incorporates the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark, adding only the letters “es”, the effect of which is to create a minor misspelling that would be easy for an Internet user to overlook.
Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:
“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):
(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark or a mark similar to the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
The Respondent has used the Domain Name to operate a website that purports to offer clothing and related products under the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark. Given the lack of any connection between the Complainant and the Respondent and the manner in which the Respondent’s Website impersonates the Complainant’s Website, it is highly likely that the products sold by the Respondent are not genuine Complainant products. If this is the case, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name does not grant it rights or legitimate interests since it is using the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark for a site selling counterfeit products.
Even if the Respondent is offering genuine Complainant products from the Respondent’s Website, such use does not automatically grant it rights and legitimate interests. The principles that govern whether a reseller of genuine goods has rights or legitimate interests have been set out in a variety of UDRP decisions, starting with the case of Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0903.
The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.8, summarizes the consensus views of UDRP panels in assessing claims of nominative (fair) use by resellers or distributors in the following manner:
“[…] Panels have recognized that resellers, distributors, or service providers using a domain name containing the complainant’s trademark to undertake sales or repairs related to the complainant’s goods or services may be making a bona fide offering of goods and services and thus have a legitimate interest in such domain name. Outlined in the ‘Oki Data test’, the following cumulative requirements will be applied in the specific conditions of a UDRP case:
(i) the respondent must actually be offering the goods or services at issue;
(ii) the respondent must use the site to sell only the trademarked goods or services;
(iii) the site must accurately and prominently disclose the registrant’s relationship with the trademark holder; and
(iv) the respondent must not try to ‘corner the market’ in domain names that reflect the trademark.
The Oki Data test does not apply where any prior agreement, express or otherwise, between the parties expressly prohibits (or allows) the registration or use of domain names incorporating the complainant’s trademark.”
In this case, the Respondent’s Website does not accurately or prominently disclose the Respondent’s relationship with the Complainant, in particular that it is not an authorized dealer or has any particular connection with the Complainant. Rather the Respondent, through its use of the Domain Name and the Complainant’s copyrighted material, is actively impersonating the Complainant online. Moreover, the construction of the disputed domain name is such to carry a risk of implied affiliation, noting that the additional “es” combined with the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS mark could be interpreted as a geographic acronym indicating the Complainant’s authorization of a site dedicated to the Spain market, contrary to the fact. Even in the event that the Respondent is reselling genuine Complainant products, its use of the Domain Name for the Respondent’s Website does not grant it rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has had the opportunity to put on evidence of its rights or legitimate interests, including submissions as to why its conduct amounts to a right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name under the Policy. In the absence of such a Response, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade mark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the respondent’s website or location (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).
The Panel finds that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its reputation in the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark at the time the Domain Name was registered. The Respondent’s Website offers goods in direct competition with the Complainant and impersonates the Complainant, including through copying copyrighted photos of the Complainant’s products from the Complainant’s Website. The registration of the Domain Name in awareness of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark and in the absence of rights or legitimate interests amounts under these circumstances to registration in bad faith.
The Respondent has used the Domain Name, which consists of a misspelling of the URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark, to offer clothing products, be they genuine or otherwise, in competition with the Complainant under the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark. Consequently the Panel finds that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and the Complainant’s URBAN OUTFITTERS Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s Website (Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv)).
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and used the Domain Name in bad faith under 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, <urbanoutfitterses.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 10, 2022