The Complainant is Admiral Markets Group AS of Tallinn, Estonia, represented by Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ, Estonia.
The Respondents' names have been redacted.
The disputed domain name <admiralmarketsltd.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on September 22, 2017. On September 25, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 26, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the First 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 Respondents of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on October 12, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 1, 2017. The Respondents did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondents' default on November 2, 2017.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on November 16, 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.
There is some doubt as to the true identity of the registrant of the disputed domain name. The WhoIs information indicates that the disputed domain name was registered using a privacy service, which has disclosed the contact details of an underlying registrant. That company has indicated that the actual registrant is another company (called here the "Second Respondent"). However, the Second Respondent has stated that it is not the registrant of the disputed domain name. Both the privacy service and the alleged underlying registrant have been notified of the Complaint. However, it is possible that a third party who has declined to supply the Registrar with accurate contact details is the real registrant of the disputed domain name. For this reason, the Panel has decided to redact the Respondents' names in this case from the published decision. Throughout this decision, references to the Respondents must be read as the registrant of the disputed domain name whoever that may actually be.
The Complainant provides online trading of contracts for differences and other associated products. It owns a European Union trade mark for ADMIRAL MARKETS, registered on September 21, 2013. The disputed domain name was registered on September 20, 2016. The Complainant owns the domain name <admiralmarkets.com> through which it carries on its business.
The disputed domain name includes the Complainant's trademark with the letters "ltd" which is not distinguishable from the Complainant's trademark because "ltd" is just a short form of the term "limited company" and is only noticeable upon closer examination. The Complainant has received complaints from people who have entered into transactions using the disputed domain name, thinking that its owner was the Complainant.
Neither the Complainant nor its associates have ever had any relationship with the Respondents. The Respondents are not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The website, to which the disputed domain name resolved, has been used for fraudulent activities by the Respondents. Complaints received by the Complainant indicate that members of the public have entered into monetary transactions with the Respondents thinking that they were dealing with the Complainant without receiving any service in return. The registrant of the disputed domain name has used false contact details to hide its identity. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("UK") Financial Conduct Authority has also had to warn the public through its website that the Respondents' has been fraudulently "cloning" the business of the Complainant.
The Respondents have not replied to the Complainant's contentions except to deny that they were the registrants of the disputed domain name.
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(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.
The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant's trademark, the three letters "ltd" and the generic Top-Level Domain ("gTLD") ".com". The letters "ltd" indicate in English that the business is a limited company. They do not remove the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant's trademark. The gTLD is irrelevant here because it does not affect the meaning of the disputed domain name, the predominant feature of which is the Complainant's trademark. For all these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark.
The Respondents are not called "Admiral Markets" or anything similar. There is no evidence that the Complainant has ever authorized either of the Respondents to use its trademark. For these reasons and, in the absence of any response on this point, notably one contradicting the Complainant's claim that the Respondents have never been connected to it in any way, the Panel concludes that the Respondents have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The evidence supplied with the Complaint indicates that the Respondents have used the disputed domain name to offer to the public similar services to the Complainant's using the Complainant's name and then taken customers' money without supplying those services. The website to which the disputed domain has resolved in the past presented the Respondents' offering to the public using the Complainant's name, contact information and trademark. This led the UK Financial Conduct Authority to issue a warning to the public about the Respondents' fraudulent activities as a "clone firm" of the Complainant. The evidence of the Respondents' behaviour since the registration of the disputed domain name suggests, in the absence of a response to the Complaint, that the Respondents registered the disputed domain name in order to carry on the fraudulent activities described here.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith for the purposes 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, <admiralmarketsltd.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: December 3, 2017
Stay updated! Get new cases and decisions by daily email.