WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Wastequip, LLC v. Cimpress Schweiz GmbH

Case No. DCO2019-0003

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Wastequip, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, United States.

The Respondent is Cimpress Schweiz GmbH of Zurich, Switzerland.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <wastequip.co> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 15, 2019. On January 16, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On the same date, 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 January 21, 2019, 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 January 21, 2019.

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 January 25, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 14, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 15, 2019.

The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on February 27, 2019. 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

Founded in 1989, the Complainant is a manufacturer of waste handling equipment, based in the United States. The Complainant owns the domain name <wastequip.com>, registered in 1997, from which it operates its corporate website. The Complainant’s domain name is also used as the domain for emails sent by employees of the Complainant from the address format “[name]@wastequip.com”.

The Complainant holds, amongst other marks, a United States trade mark for the word “wastequip” (the “WASTEQUIP Mark”) (registration no. 1866004), registered from December 6, 1994.

The Domain Name <wastequip.co> was registered on December 7, 2018. The Domain Name is presently inactive. The evidence in the Complaint is that the Respondent used the Domain Name <wastequip.co> as the return address for an email sent from the address format “[name]@wastequip.com”. This email was sent by the Respondent but purported to be an official email from representatives of the Complainant, giving directions regarding the payment of funds. Following a complaint from the Complainant that the Domain Name had been used for phishing, the Registrar suspended the Domain Name.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant makes the following contentions:

(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s WASTEQUIP Mark;

(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and

(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant is the owner of the WASTEQUIP Mark having registered the WASTEQUIP Mark in the United States and various other jurisdictions. The Domain Name is identical to the WASTEQUIP Mark, adding only the “.co” Top-Level Domain (“TLD”).

There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted any license or authorization for the Respondent to use the WASTEQUIP Mark. The Respondent does not use the Domain Name for a bona fide purpose or legitimate noncommercial purpose. Rather the Domain Name has been used for an email impersonating the Complainant which does not grant the Respondent rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name.

The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Domain Name has been used to create emails that impersonate the Complainant.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade or service mark.

The Complainant is the owner of the WASTEQUIP Mark, having registrations for the WASTEQUIP Mark as a trade mark in the United States.

The Domain Name is identical to the WASTEQUIP Mark as it reproduces the WASTEQUIP Mark in its entirety, adding the TLD “.co”, which can be discounted for the purposes of comparison. Consequently, the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:

“Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are making 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.” (Policy, paragraph 4(c)).

The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. It has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the WASTEQUIP Mark or a mark similar to the WASTEQUIP Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or for a legitimate noncommercial use. Rather it appears from the evidence submitted by the Complainant that the Respondent has used the Domain Name to send an email passing itself off as the Complainant. Such conduct is fraudulent and is not a bona fide offering of goods or services.

The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has had an opportunity to rebut the prima facie case that it lacks rights or legitimate interests but has chosen not to do so. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or has acquired the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name to the Complainant who is the owners of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name; or

(ii) The Respondent has registered the Domain Name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) The Respondent has registered the Domain Name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website 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 the Respondent’s website or location or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website or location. (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).

The Panel finds that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant at the time the Domain Name was registered. The Domain Name has been used to create an email account from which the Respondent has sent an email purporting to be from the Complainant. The Respondent does not provide, nor is it apparent to the Panel, any reason why the Domain Name was registered other than by reference to the Complainant. The registration of the Domain Name in awareness of the Complainant and its rights in the WASTEQUIP Mark and in the absence of rights or legitimate interests amounts to registration in bad faith.

The Respondent has used the Domain Name to send a spoof email seeking to mislead recipients as to the identity of the sender for its own commercial gain. Such conduct is deceptive, illegal and in previous UDRP decisions has been found to be evidence of registration and use in bad faith, see The Coca-Cola Company v. Marcus Steiner, WIPO Case No. D2012-1804. The Panel finds that the Respondent is using the Domain Name in bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <wastequip.co> be transferred to the Complainant.

Nicholas Smith
Sole Panelist
Date: March 1, 2019