The Complainant is ZipRecruiter Inc., United States of America (“United States” or “U.S.”) (“Complainant”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom (“U.K.”).
The Respondent is Grace Phillips, United States (“Respondent”).
The disputed domain names <ziprecruiter.host>, <ziprecruiter.ink>, <ziprecruiter.press>, <ziprecruiter.pro>, <ziprecruiter.pw>, <ziprecruiter.store>, and <ziprecruiter.top> are registered with Nicenic International Group Co., Limited and 1API GmbH (the “Registrars”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 22, 2019. On November 22, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On November 24 and 26, 2019, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center their verification responses 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 November 26, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrars, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on December 3, 2019.
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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 4, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 24, 2019. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on December 26, 2019.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on December 30, 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 is an online recruitment company based in the United States. Every month it attracts more than seven million job seekers, over 40 million job alert email subscribers, and more than 10,000 new companies. Founded in 2010, Complainant serves both individuals and companies, and it conducts its marketing operations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Complainant is the registrant of trademarks for ZIPRECRUITER in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the earliest of which was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 22, 2011 (Reg. No. 3934310). Complaint, Annex 4. Complainant has also registered a number of domain names, including <ziprecruiter.com> (Complaint, Annex 5) which it uses for business purposes, allowing employers to post job openings and to manage the application process, and allowing prospective employees to search and/or receive alerts regarding the latest job postings in their field of interest.
On September 26, 2019, Complainant sent Respondent a cease and desist letter to which Respondent never replied. Complaint, Annex 8.
Respondent has registered the disputed domain names <ziprecruiter.press>, <ziprecruiter.pro>, <ziprecruiter.pw>, <ziprecruiter.store>, <zipreruiter.host>, <ziprecruiter.host>, <ziprecruiter.ink>, and <ziprecruiter.top>, the earliest registrations having been made on February 28, 2019, and the most recent registrations having been made on September 23, 2019. None of the registered disputed domain names are currently being used to resolve to a web site.
Complainant contends that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s ZIPRECRUITER trademark, that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names, and that the disputed domain names have each been registered and are being used 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.
Each of the disputed domain names consists of the Complainant’s registered ZIPRECRUITER trademark followed by the various generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLDs”) in which Respondent affected the registration. When a registered domain name consists solely of a registered trademark and the gTLD suffix, panels have long held that the disputed domain name is identical to the registered trademark. Accordingly, the Panel finds that each of the disputed domain names is identical to Complainant’s registered ZIPRECRUITER 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.
Respondent is not using any of the seven disputed domain names to resolve to a web site. One of the earliest decisions made at the outset of disputes being determined under the UDRP involved just such a situation. Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. In that case the panelist held that where a trademark had a strong reputation and was widely known, and where respondent had provided no evidence of any actual or contemplated good faith use of the disputed domain name, and where it was impossible to conceive of any good faith use to which the disputed domain name could be put, then the disputed domain name had been registered and was being used in bad faith.
In the present matter, all of the above facts are also present. In addition, Complainant has sent Respondent a cease and desist letter to which Respondent failed to reply. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used 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 the disputed domain names <ziprecruiter.host>, <ziprecruiter.ink>, <ziprecruiter.press>, <ziprecruiter.pro>, <ziprecruiter.pw>, <ziprecruiter.store>, and <ziprecruiter.top> be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: January 7, 2020
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