The Complainant is Accenture Global Services Limited, Ireland, represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP, United States of America.
The Respondent is Mark Gregory, Canada.
The disputed domain name <accienture.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 7, 2019. On June 11, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On June 11, 2019, 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 June 19, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 9, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 11, 2019.
The Center appointed Linda Chang as the sole panelist in this matter on July 17, 2019. 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 engaged in providing management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing services on an international basis, and has been extensively using the mark ACCENTURE in connection with its services and specialties since 2001. The Complainant is well recognized for its business services and has been listed in the Fortune Global 500 for the past 16 years, and Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Report since 2002.
The Complainant owns numerous registrations for the mark ACCENTURE in more than 140 countries, with the earliest trademark registered on December 24, 2002 in the United States of America.
The Respondent registered the Domain Name on May 8, 2019. The Domain Name does not resolve to an active website currently.
The Complainant contends as follows:
(1) The Domain Name is nearly identical to the mark ACCENTURE, with the mere addition of the letter “ï” before the first letter “e” in the ACCENTURE mark. The Domain Name creates a typographical misspelling when compared to the Complainant’s ACCENTURE trademark.
(2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent is neither affiliated with nor has been licensed or permitted to use the ACCENTURE mark or any domain names incorporating the ACCENTURE mark. Besides, the Respondent is not commonly known by the Domain Name. The Respondent’s inactive holding of the Domain Name is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
(3) The Respondent registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith. Given the Complainant’s worldwide reputation, the Respondent was or should have been aware of the ACCENTURE mark prior to registering the Domain Name. The Respondent’s passive holding of the Domain Name is an indication of using the Domain Name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has registered trademark rights in the ACCENTURE mark.
The Domain Name contains a variation of the ACCENTURE trademark and slightly differs by adding an extra letter “i” before the first letter “e” in the ACCENTURE mark. The Panel holds that the Respondent’s conduct constitutes “typosquatting”, which creates a virtually and phonetically confusingly similar mark to the Complainant’s trademark and consequently could not avoid a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Name and the ACCENTURE mark. See Wachovia Corporation v. Peter Carrington, WIPO Case No. D2002-0775; Oxygen Media, LLC v. Primary Source, WIPO Case No. D2000-0362; and AltaVista Company v. Saeid Yomtobian, WIPO Case No. D2000-0937.
As an addition of the suffixes such as “.com” being the generic Top-Level Domain (the “gTLD”) is generally disregarded under the first element, the Panel accordingly holds the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark ACCENTURE. The Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Complainant has demonstrated rights in the ACCENTURE trademark, and confirms that the Respondent has not been granted a license or any other rights to use the ACCENTURE trademark as part of any domain name or for any other purpose.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has established prima facie evidence that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, and the burden of production thus shifts to the Respondent. See International Hospitality Management – IHM S.p.A. v. Enrico Callegari Ecostudio, WIPO Case No. D2002-0683.
The Respondent, however, has failed to file a response to prove its rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy. Based on the evidence presented on the record, there is no indication that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Domain Name.
For all of the above reasons, the Panel therefore finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
The Complainant has been extensively using and promoting the ACCENTURE mark throughout the world since 2001 including in Canada where the Respondent resides. Considering that the ACCENTURE mark has been vested with significant goodwill and is well-known, the Panel finds it unlikely that the Respondent registered the Domain Name without knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark. The Panel is convinced that such awareness amounts to opportunistic bad faith registration. See Deutsche Bank AG v. Diego-Arturo Bruckner, WIPO Case No. D2000-0277.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has held the Domain Name for approximately one month but has not used it for any legitimate purpose, which constitutes passive holding of the Domain Name. Although the Panel holds that the passive holding doctrine might not satisfactorily apply to the current dispute, the Panel agrees that use in bad faith could be demonstrated after taking all circumstances into consideration, including the misspelling of the distinctive ACCENTURE trademark and the Respondent’s failure to rebut the contentions of the Complainant. The Panel finds it reasonable to infer that the Respondent intends to appear affiliated with the Complainant and trade off the reputation of the ACCENTURE trademark when registering and using the Domain Name.
In light of the above facts and reasons, the Panel therefore determines that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith pursuant to 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 Domain Name, <accienture.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: July 31, 2019
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