WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Cintas Corporation v. Privacy Service Provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf / MD Nasir Bin

Case No. D2021-4067

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Cintas Corporation, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, United States.

The Respondent is Privacy Service Provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf, Iceland / MD Nasir Bin, Bangladesh.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <cintaspartnerconnect.net> (‘the Domain Name’) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 3, 2021. On December 6, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On December 6, 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 December 7, 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 December 9, 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 December 13, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 2, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 4, 2022.

The Center appointed Dawn Osborne as the sole panelist in this matter on January 10, 2022. 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 the owner of the mark CINTAS registered in the United States for uniforms and related products and services since at least 1974 including United States registration No. 0985550. It owns the domain name <cintas.com>. This domain name was registered by the Complainant on August 19, 1995. The Complainant created the “PartnerConnect” online portal to provide Cintas employees, referred to as “partners,” access to their internal information. Partners are able to log in to this portal through <digital.alight.com/cintas>, which prompts users to enter a user ID and password.

The Domain Name was registered on October 23, 2021 and resolves to an inactive webpage.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:

The Complainant is the owner of the mark CINTAS registered in the United States for uniforms and related products and services since at least 1974. It owns the domain name <cintas.com>. This domain name was registered by the Complainant on August 19, 1995 and it created the “PartnerConnect” online portal to provide Cintas employees, referred to as “partners,” access to their internal information. Partners are able to log in to this portal through <digital.alight.com/cintas>, which prompts users to enter a User ID and Password.

The Domain Name registered in 2021 is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CINTAS mark containing it in its entirety together with the words “partner” and “connect” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.net”, none of which distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s mark.

The Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name and has not been authorised by the Complainant to use its mark. The Domain Name has not been used so there has been no bona fide offering of goods and services or legitimate noncommercial fair use. The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.

Passive holding of a confusingly similar domain name containing a third party mark with prior rights is registration and use in bad faith when considering factors such as the distinctive nature and reputation of the trademark, the failure of a respondent to file a response, and implausibility of any good faith use to which the domain name may be put.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Domain Name in this Complaint combines the Complainant’s CINTAS mark (registered in the United States for uniform related products and services since 1974), the terms “partner” and “connect”, and the gTLD “.net”.

The addition of the words “partner” and “connect” and the gTLD “.net”, which is a necessary functional part of a domain name, does not prevent the Domain Name from being confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CINTAS mark.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights for the purpose of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has not authorised the use of its mark. The Respondent has not answered this Complaint and there is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Name.

There has been no use of the Domain Name and so no a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial fair use.

Further, the Respondent did not respond to this Complaint and does not explain why it has registered the Domain Name.

As such the Panelist finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Respondent has not answered this Complaint or explained why it should be allowed to register a domain name containing the Complainant’s mark and the term “partner connect” which mirrors the name of the Complainant’s Internet portal and proves that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant, its business and rights at the time of registration of the Domain Name.

The overriding objective of the Policy is to curb the abusive registration of domain names in circumstances where the registrant seeks to profit from or exploit the trade mark of another. Passive holding of a domain name containing a mark with a reputation can be bad faith registration and use. See Telstra Corporation Limited v Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. The Panel also finds so under the circumstances of this case.

As such, the Panel holds that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb 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 Domain Name <cintaspartnerconnect.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Dawn Osborne
Sole Panelist
Date: January 18, 2022