The Complainant is TTT Moneycorp Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom” or “UK”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Services, Corp, New Ventures of Drums, Pennsylvania, United States of America (“United States” or “US”).
The disputed domain name <moneycorp.net> is registered with Network Solutions, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 31, 2017. On August 1, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 1, 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 August 7, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 27, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 28, 2017.
The Center appointed Anna Carabelli as the sole panelist in this matter on September 1, 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.
The Complainant is a UK based company incorporated in 1962.
Since 1993, it operates under the name TTT Moneycorp Limited in the field of financial services, offering foreign exchange services to individual and corporate customers.
The Complainant operates in the UK and in other territories, including the US where the Complainant has recently expanded its activity through the acquisition of the US based company Commonwealth Foreign Exchange Inc, as well as through a commercial partnership with CNN.
In 2013 the Complainant’s international payments business had a revenue of GBP 31.3 million, with a significant growth in online channel sales. In 2014, the Complainant carried out 7.2 million transactions dealing with over 90 different currencies.
The Complainant owns trademark rights in MONEYCORP and TTT MONEYCORP based on the following trademark registrations:
Country or Jurisdiction of Registration
36, 39, 41
March 14, 2000
March 14, 2000
February 3, 2011
December 14, 1999
36, 39, 41
October 31, 2000
April 8, 2008
March 26, 1999
January 2, 2000
October 24, 2000
January 2, 2000
January 15, 1999
September 12, 2005
In addition, the Complainant owns the domain name <moneycorp.com>, registered in 1998, which hosts the Complainant’s official website.
Previous UDRP panels have recognized the value of the trademark MONEYCORP and its association with the Complainant’s services (see TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Gerry Enterprises Inc., WIPO Case No. D2016-2011; TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Guiying Huang, WIPO Case No. D2016-2030; TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Privacy Gods / Privacy Gods Limited, WIPO Case No. D2016-1973).
The disputed domain name, initially registered on April 15, 1999, appears to have been transferred to the Respondent during May 2014. It resolves to a pay-per-click page (“PPC”) site providing PPC links to competitors to the Complainant.
The Complainant contends that:
The Complainant has obtained several trademark registrations for the term “MONEYCORP”, many of which were registered before the disputed domain name was initially registered in April 1999;
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark since it entirely reproduces the mark with the exception of the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) “.net” which is a standard registration requirement;
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent is using the disputed domain name to attract Internet users to PPC links offering other currency exchange services, which compete with the service offered by the Complainant. The Respondent is not known as MONEYCORP and has not been authorized by the Complainant to use the MONEYCORP trademark;
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith since. In this connection the Complainant submits that:
The term “MONEYCORP” received statutory protection before the disputed domain name was registered in April 1999 and obtained more registered trademarks, which predate the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Respondent. Relying on the principle that the transfer of a domain name to a third party does amount to a new registration, the Complainant concludes that given the Complaint’s widespread reputation, it is highly likely that the Respondent had knowledge of the MONEYCORP brand when the disputed domain name passed to the Respondent; and
the disputed domain name is being used to redirect Internet users to PPC links offering services which compete with the service offered by the Complainant. Moreover, the fact that the Respondent owns a huge number of domain names and has been involved in other domain name disputes which have resulted in the domain names being transferred over the respective complainants, shows a pattern of bad faith conduct.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel to decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark or service mark; 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.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four illustrative circumstances which for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) shall be evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out three illustrative circumstances any one of which, if proved by the Respondent, shall be evidence of the Respondent’s rights to or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for the purpose of paragraph 4(a)(ii) above.
Under the Rules, paragraph 5(b)(i), the Respondent is expected to respond specifically to the statements and allegations contained in the complaint and set out any and all basis for the Respondent to retain registration and use of the disputed domain name.
In the event of default, the Panel is instructed to proceed to a decision based on the complaint (paragraphs 5(e) and 14(a) of the Rules) and is empowered to draw such inferences from the Respondent’s default as it considers appropriate (paragraph 14(b) of the Rules].
In this case, the Center has employed the required means to achieve actual notice of the Complaint to the Respondent in compliance with the Rules, paragraph 2(a), and the Respondent was given the opportunity to present its case. However, the Respondent failed to rebut the factual assertions and supporting evidence submitted by the Complainant. In particular, the Respondent failed to submit arguments or evidence from which the Panel might conclude that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name or has not acted in bad faith. This leads the Panel to conclude that the Respondent has no arguments or evidence to rebut the contentions of the Complainant, and to accept the submitted evidence and the contended factual and legal conclusions as proven by such evidence.
The Complainant has proved that it owns numerous trademark registrations for the trademark MONEYCORP in several countries, including the United States (see Annex 6 to the Complaint).
The disputed domain name reproduces the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety: according to several UDRP panel decisions the fact that a domain name wholly incorporates a complainant’s registered trademark is sufficient to establish identity or confusing similarity (see Stripe, Inc. v. Edward Benincase, WIPO Case No. D2016-0016; Virgin Enterprises Limited v. Guard Whois, WIPO Case No. D2015-2348; F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. Whois Privacy Protection Service by onamae.com / Fukutaro Kojima, WIPO Case No. D2015-1281; Six Continent Hotels, Inc. v. The Omnicorp, WIPO Case No. D2005-1249).
In light of the above and of the fact that the addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.net” has no significance when comparing the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark (see Coutts & Co. v. Sande Skalnik, Patrick Harding, WIPO Case No. D2015-1590; Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Sakaria Mohamoud mussafah, WIPO Case No. D2014-1667; AGUAS DE CABREIROA, S.A.U. v. Hello Domain, WIPO Case No. D2014-2087; Microsoft Corporation v. Microsof.com aka Tarek Ahmed, WIPO Case No. D2000-0548), the Panel finds that the Complainant has established element 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
It is well established that, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production of this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition, section 2.1).
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and cannot demonstrate any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, particularly because the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a PPC site providing PPC links to competitors to the Complainant.
Considering the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established prima facie evidence that none of the three circumstances establishing rights or legitimate interests mentioned above applies. By not submitting a Response, the Respondent has failed to invoke any circumstance, which could have demonstrated any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established element 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Complainant has provided evidence that its MONEYCORP mark is known to a substantial part of consumers in connection with financial and foreign exchange services. The reputation of the MONEYCORP mark has been established in previous UDRP decisions (see TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Gerry Enterprises Inc., supra; TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Guiying Huang, supra; TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Privacy Gods / Privacy Gods Limited, supra).
In addition, the Complainant has brought forward evidence that MONEYCORP has been consistently used since 1993 and that the relevant trademark registrations largely predate the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Respondent. It is therefore highly likely that the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant’s mark when the domain name passed to it. The Panel notes that the Respondent has not come forward with any evidence regarding the circumstances of the Respondent’s acquisition of the disputed domain name in 2014. The circumstances indicate that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name comprising the Center’s trademark without authorization from the Complainant, with the intent to capitalize on the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s mark. Therefore, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith.
The evidence shows that the disputed domain name is being used by the Respondent in connection with a PPC site providing PPC links to competitors to the Complainant. In similar circumstances, UDRP panels have found that the use of a domain name to operate a PPC site may be considered evidence of bad faith (see TTT Moneycorp Limited v. Guiying Huang, supra; Credit Industriel et Commercial S.A. v. Richard J., WIPO Case No. D2005-0569; Société Air France v. Bing G Glu, WIPO Case No. D2006-0834).
The Panel finds that the Respondent is not making a bona fide use of the disputed domain name and that the evidence submitted supports a finding of bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Panel concludes in these circumstances that the Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain name constitute bad faith, and that the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy is also satisfied in this case.
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 <moneycorp.net> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: September 7, 2017
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