The Complainant is Pet Plan Ltd, United Kingdom (“Complainant”), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Domain Administrator, See PrivacyGuardian.org, United States of America (“United States”) / shi lei, China / cunshuo zhang, China (“Respondent”).
The disputed domain names <gopetplanreward.com>, <petplanreward.com>, <wwwpetplanrewards.com> are registered with NameSilo, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 3, 2019. On September 3, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On September 3, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on September 9, 2019 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on September 12, 2019. The Center sent the Consolidation email to the Parties on September 19, 2019.
The Center verified that the amended Complaint (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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 19, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 9, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on October 10, 2019.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on October 16, 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.
Complainant provides insurance for domestic and exotic pets in the United Kingdom and various other countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. Complainant began using the trademark in commerce in 1976 and has registered the trademarks PETPLAN and PET PLAN for use in its business in various countries and in the European Union, the earliest of which trademarks issued on January 7, 1997, and all of which issued prior to Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain names. Complaint, Annex 1.
Complainant has a web site to which the domain names <petplan.co.uk> and <petplan.com> resolve and on which Complainant markets its insurance programs for pets. Complaint, Annexes 4 and 5. Complainant’s web site to which the domain name <petplan.co.uk> resolves receives almost 400,000 hits each month, and the web site to which Complainant’s domain name <petplan.com> receives an additional 21,000 hits.
Complainant has received numerous awards including World Brandings Awards-Brand of the Year for 2017-2018.
The disputed domain names registered under the names shi lei and cunshuo zhang were all registered with the same registrar on the same date, May 1, 2019. They were all registered with the same registrar at the same time, 07:00:00. The disputed domain names all incorporate “petplan” in their name, as well as the term “reward.” All three disputed domain names resolve to websites featuring pay-per-click links in the English language concerning similar terms. Complaint, Annexes 2,4, and 10.
Complainant has never authorized or in any way permitted Respondent to use its trademarks in any fashion, nor is Complainant affiliated in any with Respondent.
Complainant contends that the disputed domain names are under common control. Complainant alleges that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s PETPLAN and PET PLAN trademarks, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain names in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
All three of the disputed domain names were registered on the same date at exactly the same time with the same registrar using the same privacy service. All three contain Complainant’s PETPLAN trademark, and all resolve to pay-per-click websites containing links in English using similar terms. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are under Common Control.
Each of the three disputed domain names contain Complainant’s PETPLAN trademark. One also contains the letters “www” preceding the trademark and the English word “rewards” following the trademark. A second appends the English word “reward” after the trademark. The third uses the English word “go” before the trademark and the English word “reward” following the trademark. The Panel finds the disputed domain names are each confusingly similar to Complainant’s well-known trademark.
While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.
In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names.
The Panel can conceive of no legitimate use to which the disputed domain names can be put, as all incorporate Complainant’s well-known trademark. Moreover, the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve each contain links to other web sites, none of which are operated by Complainant and each of which no doubt compensates Respondent for bringing the user to the site. Accordingly, the Panel finds that that Respondent has registered and is using each of the disputed domain names 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 each of the disputed domain names, <gopetplanreward.com>, <petplanreward.com>, and <wwwpetplanrewards.com> be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: October 30, 2019
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