WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
dnata v. Roneo Chithran
Case No. DME2015-0008
1. The Parties
The Complainant is dnata of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, represented by DLA Piper UK LLP, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Respondent is Roneo Chithran of Trivandrum, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dnata.me> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 13, 2015. On August 13, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 15, 2015, 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") as adopted by doMEn, d.o.o. (doMEn), the registry operator of the .ME TLD on April 30, 2008, the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") approved by doMEn on October 1, 2012, and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceeding commenced on August 26, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 15, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 16, 2015.
The Center appointed Philippe Gilliéron as the sole panelist in this matter on September 29, 2015. 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 offers a full range of handling activities and serves over 60 air lines from around the world.
The Complainant holds numerous trademarks consisting in whole or in part of the term "dnata" on a worldwide basis, including a national United Arab Emirates trademark registration no. 164853 registered under class 39 with a priority date as of May 4, 2011 as well as a Community trademark registration no. 9941634 registered under the same class on November 16, 2011.
The Complainant also owns numerous domain names including <dnata.co.uk> since May 26, 2010 and <dnata.com> since June 6, 1995.
For the financial year 2014 to 2015, the revenues generated by the Complainant exceeded AED 10 millions.
The disputed domain name <dnata.me> was registered on August 27, 2014. As of the time of the filing of the Complaint, the disputed domain name was not resolving to any website.
However, the Respondent has been using the disputed domain name to fraudulently pass itself off as the Complainant, creating email addresses that incorporate the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark, to seek out applicants for jobs at the Complainant, encouraging such people to provide personal information and money as part of a fake dnata job application process.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant first asserts that the disputed domain name is identical to the trademark DNATA in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant then affirms that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It never licensed nor authorized the Respondent to use the DNATA trademark. The Respondent's attempt to pass itself off as the Complainant and deceive people cannot be considered a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name pursuant to the Policy.
The Complainant finally contends that the Respondent was obviously aware of the Complainant's trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. The use of a domain name as a phishing scheme amounts to bad faith registration and use.
The Respondent did not respond to the Complaint.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to "[…] decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable".
Pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that the disputed domain name should be cancelled or transferred.
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service mark in which the Complainant 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
According to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i), the Complainant has to prove that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant holds numerous word trademarks throughout the world consisting DNATA, and the disputed domain name is <dnata.me>.
UDRP panels widely agree that incorporating a trademark into a domain name can be sufficient to establish that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trademark for purpose of the Policy (see, e.g., Uniroyal Engineered Products, Inc. v. Nauga Network Services, WIPO Case No. D2000-0503; Thaigem Global Marketing Limited v. Sanchai Aree, WIPO Case No. D2002-0358; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Relish Entreprises, WIPO Case No. D2007-1629). Such happens to be the case here, as the applicable country codeTop-Level Domain, in the present case ".me", is usually disregarded under the confusing similarity test.
As a result, the Panel considers paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy to be satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
According to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii), the Complainant has to demonstrate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
As the panel stated in Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-0624, demonstrating that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name "would require complainant to prove a negative, a difficult, if not impossible, task". Thus, in that decision, the panel opined that "[w]here a complainant has asserted that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name, it is incumbent upon the respondent to come forward with concrete evidence rebutting this assertion". Following that decision, subsequent UDRP panels developed a consensual view that it is deemed sufficient for a complainant to make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. Once a prima facie case has been made, it is the respondent's burden to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests. If it fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy (see, e.g., paragraph 2.1 of WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0")).
In the present case, the Complainant is the owner of numerous DNATA trademarks. The Complainant has no business or other relationship with the Respondent. The Complainant thus has made a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
On his side, the Respondent has not answered to the Complaint.
Considering the absence of a Response and the fact that the Respondent, based on the available record, is neither commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor has made a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name as shall be demonstrated below under the section "registered and used in bad faith", the Panel finds that the Respondent has failed to demonstrate any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
Consequently, in light of the above, the Panel considers paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy to be fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For a complaint to succeed, a panel must be satisfied that a domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii)).
Bad faith requires the Respondent to be aware of the Complainant's trademark. In the present case, there is no doubt that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant's trademark when he registered the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has demonstrated on balance that the Respondent developed a fraudulent job fraud scam using email addresses using the Complainant's trademark in order to confuse prospective job applicants so that they believe the job offer and subsequent request for the applicant's personal information would be legitimate. As ruled by several UDRP panels, such a use obviously amounts to a registration and use in bad faith (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. The Sheraton LLC, and Sheraton International, Inc. v. PrivacyProtect.org v. PrivacyProtect.org / power mark consult, mark pd, WIPO Case No. D2012-1125; Société des Hôtels Meridien v. WhoIs Guard / / Jim Thiam, WIPO Case No. D2011-1030; Travellers Exchange Corporation Ltd. v. Sandy Dreben, WIPO Case No. D2009-1333; Endemol Netherland B.V. v. David Williams, WIPO Case No. D2010-1728).
The fact that the website is inactive does not have any impact on such an assessment, as rightfully considered by the panel in ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. v. Imran Hayat / Domains By Proxy, LLC / DomainsByProxy.com, WIPO Case No. D2014-2088: "The web site is currently inactive, but it is still "in the hands" of the Respondent […]. Such passive holding, following fraudulent activities, still constitutes an act of bad faith and any future use of the Domain Name by the Respondent would have to be assumed to constitute "passing off" and/or trademark infringement".
Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <dnata.me> was registered and is being used in bad faith under the paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <dnata.me> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 3, 2015