WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Admiral Group Plc and EUI Limited v. Cimpress Schweiz, Cimpress Schweiz GmbH
Case No. DCO2017-0043
1. The Parties
The Complainants are Admiral Group Plc. and EUI Limited of Cardiff, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("United Kingdom" or "UK"), represented by A.A. Thornton & Co., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Cimpress Schweiz, Cimpress Schweiz GmbH of Zurich, Switzerland.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <admiralgruop.co> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 2, 2017. On November 2, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 2, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.
The Center verified that 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 November 7, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 27, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on November 30, 2017.
The Center appointed William Lobelson as the sole panelist in this matter on December 8, 2017. 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
Admiral Group Plc, ("Complainant A"), is one of the largest car-insurers in the UK with customers around the world. EUI Limited, ("Complainant B"), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Complainant A which owns and operates the ADMIRAL insurance trademarks, namely:
- European Union ("EU") Trade Mark No. 004077145 for the mark Admiral in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42 registered on March 24, 2009;
- EU Trade Mark No. 008573206 for the mark ADMIRAL in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42 registered on June 18, 2010;
- EU Trade Mark No. 008573214 for the mark ADMIRAL in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42 registered on June 18, 2010;
- EU Trade Mark No. 015757776 for the mark ADMIRAL LOANS in classes 9, 35 and 36 registered on December 22, 2016;
- EU Trade Mark No. 015857361 for the mark ADMIRAL CAR FINANCE in classes 9, 35 and 36 registered on March 21, 2017;
- UK Trade Mark No. UK00001510607 for the mark ADMIRAL in class 36 registered on August 24, 1992.
Complainant B also owns the domain names <admiralgroup.co.uk> registered on April 4, 2004, and <admiral.com> registered on April 16, 2011.
The disputed domain name is <admiralgruop.co> and was registered on September 12, 2017 by the Respondent. The disputed domain name appears to have been used in connection with a fraudulent email scheme. The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active webpage.
The Complainants therefore filed the present Complaint with the Center.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainants contend that the disputed domain name is identical or at least confusingly similar to its earlier trademarks and domain name formed with the word ADMIRAL; that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests therein; finally that the Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith for it could not ignore the Complainants' rights, in particular considering that the Respondent sent emails from the address "[…]@admiralgruop.co" to senior employees of Complainant A in the name of their CFO in order to mislead them.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainants' contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainants must establish each of the following elements:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainants 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 B owns numerous registrations EU-wide for the trademark ADMIRAL, used and registered in particular in relation with insurance services.
The trademark ADMIRAL is entirely reproduced within the disputed domain name <admiralgruop.co>, but is associated with the word "gruop" which is an unquestionably misspelling of the word "group". This is a blatant example of typosquatting where a domain name attracts Internet users who may make typing errors.
The disputed domain name is not therefore identical to the Complainant B trademarks, but clearly appears confusingly similar thereto.
The addition of the descriptive name "group", even if it is misspelled, to "admiral" does not deprive the latter of its distinctiveness and individuality, but further the association in the public's mind between the Complainants and the disputed domain name, especially when the main website of the Complainants is "www.admiralgroup.co.uk", i.e., the disputed domain name without any typing error.
The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainants' mark and finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy are satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainants state that they have not authorized the Respondent to register and use the contested domain name; That the Respondent has not been known and has not run any bona fide business under the name ADMIRAL, ADMIRAL GROUP Or ADMIRAL GRUOP.
It is a well-established view of WIPO UDRP panelists (see, e.g., WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition ("WIPO Overview 3.0") – and cases cited therein) that the overall burden of proof under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy rests with the complainant, which is required to establish that the respondent prima facie lacks any rights to, or legitimate interests in, the disputed domain name, and that if the respondent fails to answer such case, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied its burden of production (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110).
The Respondent has not denied any of the Complainants' assertions and has not brought any element showing that it has a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
The Panel observes that the disputed domain name does not resolve to any active webpage, but rather has been used to send emails in an attempt to impersonate the CFO of Complainant A, presumably for fraudulent purposes.
The Panel is therefore satisfied that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant B contends and justifies that its trademark ADMIRAL benefits from a worldwide reputation.
In this case, it makes no doubt in the Panel's mind that the Respondent was necessarily aware of the Complainant B trademarks when it sought to register the disputed domain name.
The Respondent has registered a domain name composed of the trademark owned by Complainant B and the word "group", which was deliberately misspelled, whilst one of the domain names registered and used by the Complainants is <admiralgroup.co.uk>. Obviously, the Respondent's goal was to create confusion in the Internet users' minds.
It is well settled that the practice of typosquatting constitutes an evidence of the bad faith registration of a domain name. See, Longs Drug Stores California, Inc. v. Shep Dog, WIPO Case No. D2004-1069 (finding typosquatting to be evidence of bad faith domain name registration); Lexar Media, Inc. v. Michael Huang, WIPO Case No. D2004-1039 ("Typosquatting has been held under the Policy to be evidence of bad faith registration of a domain name"); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Longo, WIPO Case No. D2004-0816 ("[typosquatting] is presumptive of registration in bad faith").
Moreover, the Complainants have established that the Respondent appears as a "serial cybersquatter" which has been implicated in four other UDRP decisions issued this year for the same conduct of typosquatting.
The documents supplied by the Complainants in support of the present Complaint (Annex 12) show besides that the Respondent has registered more than 100,000 domain names, which reveals a pattern of conduct reflecting a speculative approach to domain names.
The fact that the Respondent has an extensive history of typosquatting does strengthen the inference of bad faith. MouseSavers, Inc. v. Mr. Henry Tsung d/b/a www.wwwmousesavers.com, WIPO Case No. D2004-1034 (finding bad faith where the respondent was a "serial" typosquatter).
It is also established by the Complainants (Annex 11) that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name as a fake email address in order to impersonate the CFO of Complainant A and mislead some employees, recipients of the emails. The fraudulent intentions of the Respondent are hereby clearly unveiled, and enable the Panel to conclude that the disputed domain name is used in bad faith.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy are satisfied.
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, <admiralgruop.co> be transferred to Complainant B, EUI Limited.
Date: December 20, 2017