The Complainant is Rightmove Group Limited, United Kingdom (“UK”), represented by SafeNames Ltd., UK.
The Respondent is Domain Protection Services, Inc., United States of America / David Lester, UK.
The disputed domain name <rightmove.trade> is registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 12, 2020. On August 13, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 17, 2020, 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 August 20, 2020 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 amended Complaint on August 20, 2020.
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 August 28, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 17, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 18, 2020.
The Center appointed Clive Duncan Thorne as the sole panelist in this matter on September 30, 2020. 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, Rightmove Group Limited, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK, operates the UK’s largest real estate portal and property search function under the trading name RIGHTMOVE. It was founded in 2000 by four prominent corporate agencies. Its customers include estate agents, letting agents and new home developers. The RIGHTMOVE portal is available to the public via its website “www.rightmove.co.uk” which enables users to search for residential and commercial property, new homes, rentals and overseas property. An extract from the website is exhibited as Annex 4 to the Complaint. It is ranked within the top 50 most popular digital services in the UK.
Third party Internet traffic statistics exhibited at Annex 5 of the Complaint show that the website regularly attracts over 60 million visits per month, the majority from within the UK and is the 22nd most visited UK website. Its market share is around 76% of the top four property portals and is a market leader in its provision of services. The services are also accessible through the RIGHTMOVE app with over 1 million installations.
The Complainant floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 and is part of the FTSE100. As can be seen from Annex 6 of the Complaint it had a revenue in 2019 of GBP 289.3 million. Around 900,000 residential properties are advertised and more than 80% of estate, letting agents and developers are members.
The mark RIGHTMOVE has been extensively promoted through nationwide advertising campaigns including; “Find your happy” featured on TV, public transport and taxis and at Stansted airport and “Life’s Steps “ designed to inspire people to make fresh start in a home as life moves on. Details are set out at Annex 7 of the Complaint. The trademark is also known for its House Price Index which is the largest monthly sample of asking prices for residential property.
The trademark RIGHTMOVE is featured on numerous reputable third party websites such as BBC News, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Yahoo Finance. Examples are set out at Annex 8 of the Complaint. As such the trademark RIGHTMOVE enjoys considerable exposure to the general public.
The Complainant owns actively used trade mark registrations for the mark RIGHTMOVE, including UK mark 00002432055 dated July 27, 2007 and European Union registration 015568561 dated April 13, 2017, for the mark RIGHTMOVE (in lower case plus device). A copy of the Complainant’s marks are exhibited as Annex 9.
As can be seen from Annex 10 the Complainant uses on its website and on advertisements the distinctive RIGHTMOVE logo and “turquoise” colour scheme to distinguish its services.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <rightmove.trade> on March 19, 2020 which is after the dates of registration of the marks relied upon by the Complainant.
In the absence of a Response this Panel finds the evidence adduced by the Complainant and set out above to be true and proceeds to determine the Complaint on the basis of that evidence.
The Complainant submits;
i. It has trade mark rights in the mark RIGHTMOVE and that the disputed domain name <rightmove.trade> is identical and or confusingly similar to that mark.
ii. On the evidence, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
iii. On the evidence, the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith by the Respondent.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel is satisfied, on the evidence set out in Section 4 above, that the Complainant has registered rights in the mark RIGHTMOVE. It is also satisfied from the evidence that the Complainant has acquired a trading goodwill in the mark RIGHTMOVE giving unregistered rights in the mark.
In the Panel’s view it is clear that the dominant part of the disputed domain name, <rightmove.trade>, consists of the trademark RIGHTMOVE. This is followed by the word “.trade” which is used as a generic top-level domain (gTLD).
The Complainant submits that the use of “.trade” as a gTLD enables the Panel to make a finding that the disputed domain name is identical to the mark RIGHTMOVE. It relies upon a previous panel decision Bitrise Limited v Dalton Kline, Bitrise Trade Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2020-0835 also turning on the use of “.trade” to support the view that the gTLD can be disregarded for this purpose. This Panel is prepared to and does make a finding that the disputed domain name is identical to the mark RIGHTMOVE in which the Complainant has rights within paragraph 4 (a)(i) of the Policy. In any event the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the mark RIGHTMOVE in which the Complainant has rights.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
It points out that on the evidence it owns no registered or unregistered marks for the mark RIGHTMOVE nor has it been licensed by the Complainant to use RIGHTMOVE.
On the evidence set out in Annex 12 of the Complaint, the Respondent is currently using the disputed domain name to redirect users to the domain name <righttrade.uk> which coincidentally was registered on the same day the Respondent received a cease and desist letter in respect of the disputed domain name. It can also be seen from Annex 13 of the Complaint, that the website “mimics” the complainant’s brand and makes multiple references to RIGHTMOVE. This does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services in using the disputed domain name. Rather the Respondent is attempting to confuse online users and potential consumers by passing off its brand as endorsed by or associated with the Complainant.
There is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name even if it had acquired no trade mark rights. Instead the evidence shows that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name to take advantage of the Complainant’s goodwill in the mark RIGHTMOVE.
The evidence is clear that the Respondent has attempted to use the Complainant’s mark RIGHTMOVE for its own commercial gain. In the Panel’s view upon the evidence there is therefore no legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. This is well-established by earlier UDRP decisions such as Self-Portrait IP Limited v Franklin Kelly,WIPO Case No. D2019-0283; which was also cited by the Complainant.
On the evidence and in the absence of a Response setting out that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name the Panel finds that the Complainant has established that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name within paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
The Complainant relies upon the definition of bad faith as where there is evidence that the Respondent “takes unfair advantage or otherwise abuses a complainant’s mark” as set out in the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 3.1.
The Complainant submits that on the evidence set out in Annexes 12 and 18, the Respondent’s website to which the disputed domain name redirects is an attempt to “mimic” the Complainant’s well-known brand and the Respondent’s intention “to ride on the coattails of the Complainant’s commercial success for its own gain”.
The Complainant refers in Annex 12(ii) to “blog posts” supposedly authored by the Complainant and in Annex 12(iii) to many links to official RIGHTMOVE websites, to identical colour schemes at Annex12 (iv), links to estate agents at Annex 12(v) and evidence of actual consumer confusion at Annex 19.
The Complainant points out that the website previously hosted on the disputed domain name is largely the same as the current content although the Respondent changed the domain name and website to “Right Trade” and use the domain name <righttrade.uk> which is the subject of a separate complaint.
Further evidence adduced at Annex 17 shows widespread use of the mark RIGHTMOVE by the Respondent including using it in the titles for pages of the domain name to which the Disputed Domain Name redirects so that any online consumer who searched for the Respondent’s website via Google will see the term RIGHTMOVE displayed multiple times furthering evidence of an apparent affiliation with the Complainant.
On the abundant evidence adduced by the Complainant and in the absence of a Response and contrary evidence the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has sufficiently established that the Respondent has “intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to their website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of their website or location or of a product or service on their website or location”.
In addition the Panel takes into account the correspondence (set out at Annexes 15 and 16) between the parties commencing with a cease and desist letter dated May 20, 2020, the failure of the Respondent to arrange a transfer of the disputed domain name as soon as possible, as agreed, and to take down the website as indicated. In the Panel’s view this response to the cease and desist letter also constitutes evidence of bad faith.
It follows that the Complainant has established evidence of registration and use in bad faith within paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 <rightmove.trade> be transferred to the Complainant.
Clive Duncan Thorne
Date: October 12, 2020
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