WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Anda, Inc v. Yabani Eze
Case No. DCO2021-0014
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Anda, Inc, United States of America (“United States”), represented by SILKA AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Yabani Eze, Nigeria.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <andameds.co> is registered with Sav.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 4, 2021. On February 4, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 12, 2021, 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 the Complainant on February 15, 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 February 15, 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 February 19, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 11, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 12, 2021.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on March 17, 2021. 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 a corporation located in Florida, United States. It is distributor of pharmaceutical products to pharmacies, hospitals and physicians.
The Complainant has operated a division named “Andameds” since 1995. Andameds provides a niche distribution service with next-day delivery to independent physician practices.
The Complainant is the owner of registrations for the trademark ANDAMEDS, including United States trademark number 3050411 for the word mark ANDAMEDS, registered on January 24, 2006, in International Class 35.
The Complainant has operated a website at “www.andameds.com” since at least August 2003.
The disputed domain name was registered on July 25, 2020.
The disputed domain name has resolved to a “parking page” website located at “www.andameds.co”, offering pay-per-click links to goods and services including credit cards, insurance and flowers.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it is one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors within the United States. It states that it had 377 employees in 2018 and generated sales of just under USD 367 million in that year. The Complainant exhibits information concerning its business and profile of its Andameds business.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is identical to its trademark ANDAMEDS. It contends that the disputed domain name incorporates that trademark in full and that the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) “.co” should be ignored for the purposes of comparison.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant states that it has never authorized the Respondent to use its ANDAMEDS trademark, that the Respondent has not commonly been known by that name, and that the Respondent is making neither bona fide commercial use nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Instead, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name deceptively to drive traffic to its website offering sponsored links.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. It states that it is obvious from the decades-long history of the Complainant’s ANDAMEDS trademark and website at “www.andameds.com”, that the Respondent can only have registered the disputed domain name with that trademark and website in mind and with the intention of taking advantage of typing errors on the part of Internet users. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is taking unfair commercial advantage of the confusion caused by the disputed domain name by using it to divert Internet users to a website offering sponsored links.
The Complainant further submits that the Respondent has been involved in at least 12 previous proceedings under the UDRP and has a history of targeting well-known trademarks using, in particular, the “.co” TLD.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established that it is the owner of trademark registrations for the mark ANDAMEDS. The disputed domain name is identical to that trademark, ignoring the TLD “.co” which is to be disregarded for the purposes of comparison.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions set out above give rise to a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not filed a Response in this proceeding and has not submitted any explanation for its registration and use of the disputed domain name, or evidence of rights or legitimate interests on its part in the disputed domain name, whether in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. There being no other evidence before the Panel of any such rights or legitimate interests, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s distinctive trademark ANDAMEDS. Further, the Respondent’s website location at “www.andameds.co” differs from the Complainant’s at “www.andameds.com” only by the omission of the final letter “m” in the TLD. In these circumstances, it is clearly to be inferred that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with the Complainant’s trademark in mind and with the intention of impersonating the Complainant and its URL. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is inherently misleading and falsely implies a connection with the Complainant. The Panel further accepts the Complainant’s submissions, which the Respondent has not disputed, that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to divert Internet users to its website, in the mistaken belief it is owned or operated by the Complainant, for the purpose of generating pay-per-click revenues. The Panel finds, therefore, that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or of a product or service on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).
The Panel finds in the circumstances that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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, <andameds.co>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: March 25, 2021