WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
HDR Global Trading Limited v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Name Redacted
Case No. DCC2019-0006
1. The Parties
The Complainant is HDR Global Trading Limited, Seychelles, represented by RiskIQ, Inc., United States of America (“USA”).
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc., Panama / Name Redacted
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bitmex-login.cc> (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 July 10, 2019, naming the Respondent as WhoisGuard, Inc., of Panama.
The Center transmitted its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on July 10, 2019. The Registrar replied the same day, confirming that it has received a copy of the Complaint, that the Domain Name is registered with it, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”) applies, that the Domain Name will expire on March 19, 2020, that a lock of the Domain Name has been applied and will remain in place during this proceeding, that the language of the registration agreement is English, and that the current registrant registered or acquired the Domain Name on March 19, 2019. The Registrar identified the registrant and provided the full contact details held for the Domain Name on its WhoIs database.
By email of July 17, 2019, the Center informed the Complainant of the information received from the Registrar as to the identity and contact details of the registrant and invited the Complainant to amend the Complaint to reflect this information. The Complainant replied by email on July 22, 2019, submitting an amendment to the Complaint, naming the Respondent as WhoisGuard, Inc. a/k/a / name redacted.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the 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 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Rules, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 25, 2019. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the Rules, the due date for Response was August 14, 2019.
The Center received emails on July 30, August 1 and August 5, 2019 from a third party who claimed to know a recipient of the notification of the Complaint from the Center, but said that they did not know to what it was related. By email of August 9, 2019 the Center informed this person as to the Domain Name, the nature of this proceeding, and the location of further guidance on the Internet. The third party replied on August 9, 2019, stating that the recipient is her cousin and had no connection with or knowledge of the Complainant and must be the wrong person. The Center replied on August 16, 2019, noting the third party’s claim that the Domain Name was registered using the identity of her cousin without her knowledge or authorization, that it is for the Panel to address the matters raised, and that the listed registrant of a domain name must be named as a Respondent to a Complaint under the UDRP.
Apart from the emails mentioned above, the Center did not receive any Response. The Center notified the parties that it would proceed to appoint the Panel by email on August 19, 2019.
The Center appointed Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on August 26, 2019. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with paragraph 7 of the Rules. Having reviewed the file, the Panel is satisfied that the Complaint as amended complied with applicable formal requirements, was duly notified to the Respondent and has been submitted to a properly constituted Panel in accordance with the UDRP, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant operates a bitcoin based peer-to-peer crypto-products trading platform through its website at “www.bitmex.com”, offering leveraged contracts bought and sold in bitcoin. It owns registered trademarks for the word mark BITMEX in a number of countries around the world. The Complainant’s business was presented to the Rotary Club of Hong Kong in 2014 and has been mentioned in a number of articles in international media relating to crypto-currency businesses since 2015.
The Domain Name does not locate any web page on the Internet, but steps have been taken to enable it to be used for emails.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the mark BITMEX in which it has registered rights. The Complainant points out that the Domain Name consists of its entire mark followed by a hyphen, the descriptive word “login” and the country code suffix “.cc”.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant notes that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name, has not been authorized by the Complainant to use it, and is not making a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of it.
The Complainant alleges that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant argues that the Respondent is likely to have known of the Complainant’s established rights in the mark BITMEX and that the Domain Name lends itself to misuse for phishing, since it consists of the Complainant’s mark followed by the word “login”. The Complainant further points out that such use is consistent with the steps taken to configure the Domain Name for email use.
The Complainant requests a decision that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
The Respondent did not provide any substantive response apart from the emails described above.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. General remarks
In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, to succeed in this Complaint, the Complainant must prove: (i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which it has rights: (ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and (iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. It is convenient to consider each of these requirements in turn.
In accordance with paragraph 14(b) of the Rules, the Panel shall draw such inferences as it considers appropriate from the Respondent’s failure to file a Response. This includes the acceptance of plausible evidence of the Complainant which has not been disputed. In line with the consensus view of panels appointed under UDRP, the Panel will apply the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof required: see the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (WIPO Overview 3.0), section 4.2.
The Panel will use the word “Respondent” to refer to the person who actually registered the Domain Name, since it appears that a false identity was used.
B. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has registered rights in the mark BITMEX.
The Panel further finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to this mark. As the Complainant observes, the Domain Name consists of the mark in its entirety followed by descriptive elements, namely a hyphen followed by the word “login” and the country code suffix. These added elements do not avert the probability of confusion.
The first requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel is satisfied by the undisputed evidence that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
It appears from the evidence that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name or any corresponding name, has not been authorized by the Complainant to use the Domain Name, and has not made any bona fide offering of goods or services or any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name. While it appears that the Respondent has taken preparatory steps to use the Domain Name for emails, these do not appear to amount to demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name for a bona fide offering of goods or services.
The second requirement of the UDRP is satisfied.
D. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds on the balance of probabilities that the Respondent registered and is retaining the Domain Name for the purpose of phishing or some other violation of the security of the Complainant’s platform.
The Complainant’s allegations in this regard are plausible and have not been disputed. The existence of bad faith is also supported by the Respondent’s use of a false identity in the registration of the Domain Name. In all the circumstances the Panel accepts the Complainant’s evidence and finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
All three requirements of the UDRP are therefore satisfied and it is appropriate to direct that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant.
It appears that the registrant of the Domain Name falsely used the name and email address of an unconnected individual in registering the Domain Name. The inclusion of this name in published copies of the decision or information about it may unfairly suggest that this individual registered the Domain Name in bad faith. The Panel will therefore direct that this name be redacted in published copies of the decision or information about it, in line with the previous decisions in Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788 and Accenture Global Services Limited v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2019-1601.
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 <bitmex-login.cc> be transferred to the Complainant.
The Panel further directs that the Respondent’s name (as presented to the Registrar) be redacted from all published copies of this decision and published information relating to it.
Date: September 9, 2019