The Complainant is Admiral Markets Group AS of Tallinn, Estonia, represented internally.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, Perfect Privacy LLC of Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America (“United States”) / Rachida Bassy Sanchez of Marseille, France.
The disputed domain name <admiral-crypto.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with Network Solutions, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 14, 2018. On September 14, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On September 14, 2018, 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 September 17, 2018 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 September 21, 2018.
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 September 25, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 15, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 16, 2018.
The Center appointed John Swinson as the sole panelist in this matter on November 5, 2018. 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 Admiral Markets Group AS, an investment firm based in Estonia. According to the Complaint, the Complainant’s group of companies offer online investment services relating to indices, metals, energies, stocks, bonds and cryptocurrencies. Each entity in the group operates under a name which incorporates the term “Admiral Markets”.
The Complainant owns European Union registered trade mark number 011680824 for ADMIRAL MARKETS (figurative), filed on March 22, 2013 and registered on September 21, 2013 (the “Trade Mark”).
The Respondent is Rachida Bassy Sanchez, an individual of France. The Respondent did not file a Response, and consequently little information is known about the Respondent.
The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name on February 7, 2018. The Disputed Domain Name resolves to a website for a business which appears to offer cryptocurrency trading and investment services.
The footer of each page of the website at the Disputed Domain Name contains the following notice:
“© Copyright 2016 admiral-crypto.com is an entity of Admiral Markets UK Ltd 74594”
The “FAQ” page of the website at the Disputed Domain Name contains the following question and answer:
“Who are you ?
Admiral Crypto is a service of ADMIRAL MARKETS LTD”
The Complainant makes the following submissions.
The Disputed Domain Name is similar to the Trade Mark. The combination of the terms “admiral” and “crypto” in the Disputed Domain Name refers directly to the Complainant’s business activities.
The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, nor has it acquired any relevant trade mark rights in the Disputed Domain Name.
Neither the Complainant nor its affiliates have granted the Respondent any license or other permission to use the Trade Mark. The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name to mislead the public into believing that the Respondent is offering a legal product, by referring to a company operating under a similar name. The website at the Disputed Domain Name appears to be fraudulent. As such, there is no fair use of the Disputed Domain Name.
The Complainant registered the Trade Mark in 2013, and has used the Trade Mark extensively ever since that time. The Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name long after the Complainant registered the Trade Mark.
The Respondent is acting knowingly and intentionally. It is unlawfully using the name of the Complainant on the website at the Disputed Domain Name, suggesting the Respondent is affiliated with the Complainant’s business. This use tarnishes the Trade Mark, and is evidence of the Respondent’s bad faith.
The fact that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name using a privacy service is further evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied, namely:
(i) the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or 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.
The onus of proving these elements remains on the Complainant even though the Respondent has not filed a Response.
The Respondent’s failure to file a Response does not automatically result in a decision in favor of the Complainant (see, e.g., Airbus SAS, Airbus Operations GmbH v. Alesini Pablo Hernan / PrivacyProtect.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-2059). However, the Panel may draw appropriate inferences from the Respondent’s default.
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Trade Mark.
Generally, the test for identity or confusing similarity involves a side-by-side comparison of the domain name and the trade mark to assess whether the trade mark is recognizable within the domain name (see section 1.7 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition “WIPO Overview 3.0”).
In this case, the Respondent has combined the term “admiral”, which could be considered to be the dominant part of the Trade Mark, with the term “crypto”, which is descriptive of one of the markets in which the Complainant trades.
The Panel considers that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Trade Mark. The Complainant succeeds on the first element of the Policy.
Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name. The Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests.
The Panel considers that the Complainant has made out a prima face case. This finding is based on the following:
- The Respondent has not used, or made demonstrable preparations to use, the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The website at the Disputed Domain Name appears to offer investment services. However, the website falsely claims an association with the Complainant, or with the Complainant’s affiliated entities. The Complainant submits that the website at the Disputed Domain Name is fraudulent, but has provided no evidence to substantiate this allegation. Despite this, the Panel considers that, in the circumstances, the Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Name is not bona fide.
- There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, or has registered or common law trade mark rights in relation to this name. The Respondent is an individual, and there is no evidence that shows any association between the Respondent and a company known as “Admiral Crypto”.
- The Respondent has not been making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name. The website at the Disputed Domain Name has clearly been established for commercial purposes (whether fraudulent or not).
The Respondent had the opportunity to provide evidence of their rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name but did not do so. As such, the prima facie case established by the Complainant has not been rebutted and the Complainant succeeds on the second element of the Policy.
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent registered and subsequently used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
As submitted by the Complainant, the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in February 2018, approximately five years after the Trade Mark was registered. It is clear that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name with the Complainant in mind, given the references to the Complainant, or its affiliated entities, on the website at the Disputed Domain Name.
The Panel considers that, by registering and using the Disputed Domain Name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the website at the Disputed Domain Name by creating a likelihood of confusion as its source, affiliation or endorsement. It is likely the Respondent was attempting to add to its appearance of legitimacy by taking advantage of the reputation of the Complainant as an established online trading company. This is evidence of bad faith registration and use under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In these circumstances, the Respondent’s use of a privacy service also supports a finding of bad faith (see e.g. The Uder Company Pty Ltd and Stay In Bed Milk & Bread Pty Ltd (trading as Aussie Farmers Direct) v. PrivacyProtect.org, Domain Admin, ID # 10760, WIPO Case No. D2012-0924 and cases cited therein).
In light of the above, and in the absence of a Response and any evidence rebutting bad faith registration and use, the Panel finds that the Complainant has succeeded on the third element 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 <admiral-crypto.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 13, 2018
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