WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Accenture Global Services Limited v. Whoisproxy.com Ltd.
Case No. DCO2015-0036
1. The Parties
Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, represented by DLA Piper US LLP, United States of America.
Respondent is Whoisproxy.com Ltd., Auckland, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <acenture.co> is registered with Key-Systems GmbH dba domaindiscount24.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 12, 2015. On November 13, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 16, 2015, 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 November 25, 2015 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint.1 Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 25, 2015.
The Center verified that 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 27, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 17, 2015. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 18, 2015.
The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on January 13, 2016. 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 international business that provides international management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing services under the mark ACCENTURE. Complainant is the owner of the mark and company name ACCENTURE, and has provided services under the mark since 2001. These include over 100 trademark registrations in 152 countries, including U.S. Registration No. 3,091,811 (registered 2006); U.S. Registration No. 2,665,873 (registered 2002); and U.S. Registration No. 3,340,780 (registered 2007) for ACCENTURE as a word mark or a word and design.
With offices in 200 cities and 56 countries, Complainant spent over USD 70 million advertising its brand globally in 2014, with almost USD 40 million of that in the United States. Interbrand ranked the ACCENTURE mark number 44 in its top 100 list in its 2014 Best Global Brands Report, and the same year it was listed among Fortune’s 100 World’s Most Admired Companies in 2014. Prior UDRP panels have found Complainant’s mark to be “renown” and “globally well-known.” See Accenture Global Services Limited v. WhoIs Privacy Protection Service, Inc./ Robert Green, WIPO Case No. D2013-2100 <transferring accenture-uk.com>); see also Accenture Global Services Limited v. ICS Inc./ PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-2098 (transferring <accenturepeople.com>). Complainant also owns the registration for the domain name <accenture.com> (registered in August 29, 2000), and it uses the website associated with the URL to inform consumers about its services.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name, <acenture.co>, on October 5, 2015. The website associated with the disputed domain name was not active as of the filing of the Complaint. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant, nor any license to use its trademarks.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that; (i) <acenture.co> is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademarks; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Specifically, Complainant contends that it is the owner of the ACCENTURE trademark for various international business services and that Respondent has incorporated its mark in the disputed domain name with a misspelling, which is referred to as “typo squatting.” Complainant contends that its ACCENTURE mark is well known, and that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and rather has registered and is using it in bad faith. Furthermore, Complaint contends that Respondent has provided false contact information, using the name of Complainant’s CEO, and has even sent an email from that account to members of Complainant’s executive team.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
This Panel must first determine whether <acenture.co> is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel finds that it is. The disputed domain name incorporates Complainant’s registered mark, ACCENTURE, with the common misspelling that deletes the second “c.” This is known as “typo squatting.”
Numerous UDRP panels have agreed that the deliberate and obvious misspelling of a mark constitutes “typo squatting,” and does not make a domain name any less “identical or confusingly similar” for purposes of satisfying this first prong of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. See, for example, Geocities and Yahoo! Inc. v. Data Art. Corp., et. al., WIPO Case No. D2000-0587 (transferring, inter alia, <ayhoo.com>, <chatyahoo.com>, <geocitie.com>); Dow Jones & Co., Inc. and Dow Jones LP v. Zuccarini, WIPO Case No. D2000-0578 (transferring <wallstreetjounal.com> and <wallstreetjournel.com>); Xerox Corp. v. Stonybrook Investments, Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2001-0380 (transferring <zerox.com>).
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph (4)(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel next considers whether Complainant has shown that Respondent has no “rights or legitimate interest” as must be proven to succeed in a UDRP dispute. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “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”.
No evidence has been presented to this Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and Respondent has no license from, or other affiliation with, Complainant.
Therefore, this Panel finds that Complainant has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of “rights or legitimate interests” in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the] web site or location.” Although, Respondent is not currently using the disputed domain name to resolve to an active website, passive holding does not as such prevent a finding of bad faith use. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition, (“WIPO Overview”) paragraph 3.2. Rather, the Panel must look at the totality of the circumstances. Complainant’s ACCENTURE mark is internationally well known. Furthermore, Respondent applied a privacy shield to mask its registration of the disputed domain name, and appears to have provided false contact information using the name of Complainant’s own CEO.
Considering all of the circumstances, this Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
For all 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 <acenture.co> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: January 26, 2016
1 The registrar disclosed that Respondent identified himself as “Pierre Nanterme” of Lafayette, Colorado. However, Complainant notes that this is the name of Complainant’s Chairman and CEO, and appears to be false contact information. For this reason, Complainant chose not to caption the complaint with that information.