WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Rightmove Group Limited v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Richard Shaw

Case No. D2021-3867

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Rightmove Group Limited, United Kingdom (“UK”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., UK.

The Respondent is Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org), United States of America / Richard Shaw, UK.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <rightmoveproperty.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 18, 2021. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 20, 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 November 25, 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 26, 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 29, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 19, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 20, 2021.

The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on December 28, 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 registered in the UK. It operates a real estate portal and property search function under the name and trademark RIGHTMOVE.

The Complainant is the owner of trademark registrations for the mark RIGHTMOVE, which include UK trademark registration number 2432055 for the word mark RIGHTMOVE, registered on July 27, 2007 for goods and services in International Classes 9, 35, 36, 38 and 42.

The disputed domain name was registered on September 24, 2012.

The Complainant has provided evidence that the disputed domain name has resolved to a website offering links to property-related services including properties for sale.

The Complainant has also provided evidence that the disputed domain name has been offered for sale on Sedo.com at a seller’s asking price of GBP 50,000.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant submits that it has traded under the name and mark RIGHTMOVE since 2000 and that it is the UK’s largest real estate and property portal, enabling Internet users to search for residential and commercial property both in the UK and overseas. It states that its website at “www.rightmove.co.uk” is the 12th most visited in the UK and that its website traffic exceeds 100 million visits per month. It also operates mobile and tablet apps. The Complainant states that it advertises around 900,000 residential properties on behalf of 19,000 advertisers and that more than 80% of UK estate agents use its services. The Complainant provides evidence of its brand promotion on television, in taxis and elsewhere, of its presence on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and of media recognition of its brand. The Complainant states that its RIGHTMOVE trademark has no meaning in commerce other than to refer to the Complainant and that it has obtained significant reputation and goodwill in that trademark as a result of the matters referred to above.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its RIGHTMOVE trademark, since it incorporates the whole of that trademark together with the dictionary term “property” which is descriptive of the Complainant’s own services.

The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. It states that it has never licensed or authorized the Respondent to use its RIGHTMOVE trademark, that the Respondent has not been known by that name and that the Respondent is making neither bona fide commercial use nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends, in particular, that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name for the purposes of a “pay-per-click” (“PPC”) website which contains links to services that appear to be competitive with the Complainant’s own property services and that the Respondent has offered the disputed domain name for sale for a sum which clearly exceeds its out-of-pocket costs of registration. It submits that both such uses unfairly target the Complainant’s RIGHTMOVE trademark and that neither can constitute bona fide commercial use of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith. It contends that its RIGHTMOVE trademark long predates the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name and that its trademark is so well known that the Respondent can only be guilty of “opportunistic bad faith”.

The Complainant submits that the Respondent clearly registered the disputed domain name in order to take unfair advantage of the Complainant’s goodwill in its RIGHTMOVE trademark and that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to divert Internet users to its PPC website by creating a likelihood of confusion with that trademark.

The Complainant points to the Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name for GBP 50,000, which it states to be far beyond the Respondent’s possible out-of-pocket costs related to the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that, while the Respondent has not directly offered to sell the disputed domain name to the Complainant, it must nevertheless be inferred that the Respondent registered it primarily for the purpose of selling it to the Complainant for an inflated sum.

The Complainant further submits that it sent a notice of infringement to the Respondent dated September 6, 2021 via the Respondent’s privacy service but the Respondent failed to reply to that notice. The Complainant contends that bad faith should be inferred from such failure to respond.

The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are that:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established that it is the owner of registered trademark rights in the name and trademark RIGHTMOVE. The disputed domain name wholly incorporates that trademark together with the dictionary word “property”, which does not prevent the Complainant’s trademark from being recognizable within the disputed domain name. The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions referred to above are sufficient to give rise to a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has failed to file any Response in this proceeding and has not therefore disputed the Complainant’s assertions. Nor has the Respondent submitted any explanation for its registration and use of the disputed domain name, or evidence of rights or legitimate interests on its part in the disputed domain name, whether in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise.

The Panel finds that the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name unfairly targets the Complainant’s goodwill in its RIGHTMOVE mark, as further discussed under “bad faith” below, both by attempting to divert Internet users to the Respondent’s PPC website and by offering the disputed domain name for sale for a sum in excess of its likely out-of-pocket costs. The Panel finds that neither such use can constitute a bona fide commercial use of the disputed domain name and finds therefore that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel accepts the Complainant’s evidence that its RIGHTMOVE trademark is widely known in the UK in connection with real estate services and has seen no evidence that the name has any meaning in commerce other than to refer to the Complainant and its business. Based on these findings and on the Respondent’s inclusion of the term “property” in the disputed domain name, which describes the Complainant’s business activity, the Panel infers that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s trademark in mind and with the intention of taking unfair advantage of the Complainant’s goodwill in that trademark.

The Complainant finds the disputed domain name to be inherently misleading, as inevitably suggesting to Internet users that it is owned or operated by or otherwise affiliated with the Complainant. The Respondent has used the misleading disputed domain name to divert Internet users to a website from which it must be assumed to derive PPC revenues and which contains links to property-related services which may be competitive with those of the Complainant. Even in the absence of such competitive content, the Panel would find that, by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or of a product or service on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).

The Panel also notes the Respondent’s offer to sell the disputed domain name for an asking price of GBP 50,000, which the Panel accepts in significantly in excess of any conceivable out-of-pocket costs associated with the disputed domain name. Based on the analysis above, and in the absence if any comment from the Respondent, it appears improbable to the Panel that any party other than the Complainant could make legitimate use of the disputed domain name. In those circumstances, the Panel infers that the Respondent is likely to have registered the disputed domain name with the objective of selling it to the Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name, as contemplated by paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy.

The Panel finds in the circumstances that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

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, <rightmoveproperty.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Steven A. Maier
Sole Panelist
Date: January 11, 2022