The Complainant is Lloyds Bank Plc of London, the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Crowell & Moring, LLP, Belgium.
The Respondent is Privacy Department - OrangeWebsite.com of Reykjavik, Iceland.
The disputed domain name <lloydsprivatecommercialfinance.com> is registered with TLD Registrar Solutions Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 18, 2015. On August 18, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 20, 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” 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 August 26, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, 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 Gunnar Karnell 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.
The disputed domain name <lloydsprivatecommercialfinance.com> was registered on May 12, 2015.
The Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Complainant is in the business of financial services as a subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group. It is the registered owner and user since October 1, 1986 of the trademark LLOYDS BANK, UK registration No. 1286876, of the trademark LLOYDS BANK, UK registration No. 2548791 registered on May 28, 2010, of the International trademark LLOYDS BANK No. 1199904 registered on October 30, 2013 and of the US trademark LLOYDS BANK No. 4362685, registered on July 9, 2013, among others.
The Complainant uses the trademark LLOYDS BANK in its external communication and branding, e. g., on its company websites accessible through <lloydsbank.com>. LLOYDS is its dominant, most distinctive trademark element, whereas the word “bank” is descriptive of the Complainant’s services as a banking institution.
The disputed domain name incorporates the most distinctive trademark element LLOYDS in its entirety, merely adding the generic, non-distinctive words “private”, “commercial” and “finance”. The disputed domain name is used to host a website offering financial services. It causes confusion by its similarity to trademarks mentioned here above in which the Complainant has rights. The terms “commercial” and “finance” can easily be linked to the Complainant’s financial business. The substitution in the disputed domain name of the trademark element “bank” by the generic and related elements “private”, “commercial” and “finance” does not avoid a likelihood of confusion, more so because the Complainant’s activities and its domain names <lloydsbankcommercialfinance.com> and <lloydsbankfinance.co.uk>, registered on January 27, 2012 and April 21, 2010 respectively, also incorporate such terms.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, not being commonly known by it. Absent any authorization by license or else from the Complainant to use its widely known trademark, no actual or contemplated bona fide or legitimate use of the disputed domain name can reasonably be claimed. The disputed domain name is used to host a website appearing to offer financial services, but there is no proof there of any delivery of such services, nor any mention of any official authorization, as would be mandatory. The Respondent appears intent on making unjustified profits or defrauding consumers to reveal personal or proprietary information.
The disputed domain name was registered in bad faith. The Complainant’s trademarks are well known all over the world and the Respondent’s website offers the same services as the Complainant. Any simple trademark search at registration time would have revealed the Complainant’s trademark registrations.
The disputed domain name is used in bad faith. The similarity to the Complainant’s trademarks indicates an endorsement of or an affiliation by the Respondent’s services with those of the Complainant. The Respondent aims at being contacted by Internet users looking for trade with the Complainant. The Respondent creates a high likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website and emails originating from the Respondent. Also, in view of the regulated sector in which the Complainant operates, there is a high likelihood of fraudulent use of the disputed domain name, further supported by the fact that the Respondent has taken active steps to conceal its true identity, choosing to operate under a privacy shield, which in itself can indicate bad faith registration and use. There is no conceivable non-infringing use by the Respondent. Furthermore, by registering the disputed domain name the Respondent prevents the Complainant from reflecting its trademarks in a corresponding domain name and the registration affects the business of the Complainant by attracting visitors looking for information about the Complainant or its marks and creates difficulties for visitors to the Internet.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The factual foundation of the Complainant’s contentions, as presented in great detail by the Complainant, while supporting its uncontradicted claim by written evidence and ample reference to earlier UDRP case decisions, allows the Panel to deal summarily with the case.
The Panel finds that notwithstanding minor differences between the Complainant’s trademarks and the disputed domain name, the latter is confusingly similar to the registered and well known trademarks LLOYDS BANK in which the Complainant has rights. All registrations referred to by the Complainant took effect well before the registration of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out the first limb of the Policy.
The Complainant has, based on its contentions as summarized at 5.A. above, established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and there has been no rebuttal by the Respondent. Nothing in the record gives reason to believe that the Respondent has or had any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out the second limb of the Policy in that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds no indication on the record that might refute the Complainant’s uncontested assertions regarding the facts leading up to its conclusions that the disputed domain name <lloydsprivatecommercialfinance.com> has been registered and used in bad faith.
The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has made out the third limb of the Policy and that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name 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 <lloydsprivatecommercialfinance.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 5, 2015
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