The Complainant is Madewell Inc., United States of America (U.S), represented by Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC, (U.S).
The Respondent is Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp, Bahamas.
The disputed domain name <madeewell.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Internet Domain Service BS Corp (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 20, 2021. On August 23, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On August 24, 2021, 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 August 26, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 15, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 20, 2021.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on September 24, 2021. 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 a subsidiary of J. Crew Group, LLC and an affiliate of J. Crew International, Inc., a manufacturer and retailer of apparel and fashion accessories. The Complainant’s MADEWELL brand was re-introduced in 2006 as a modern version of a clothing brand originally founded in 1937. In 2018, the value of the Complainant’s sales associated with the MADEWELL brand was over USD 529 million.
The Complainant owns several trademarks registrations of the MADEWELL mark in numerous countries around the world, such as U.S. trademark registration number 968,685 registered on September 18, 1973, and U.S. trademark registration number 3,878,162 registered on November 16, 2010.
The Complainant owns the domain name <madewell.com>. It was registered in 1997 and it has millions of visits each year.
The Domain Name was registered on April 19, 2021. At the time of drafting the Decision, the Domain Name redirected to different third-party websites.
The Complainant argues that it has registered trademark rights in MADEWELL, and the trademark has developed substantial public recognition and goodwill. The Domain Name comprises the entirety of the MADEWELL mark, and only adds an additional “e”. In the Complainant’s view, such deliberate misspelling is a classic example of typosquatting.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant in any way. The Complainant argues that the Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Name, as the Respondent has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name. On the contrary, the Complainant asserts that the Respondent has used the Domain Name in bad faith, inter alia redirecting to malicious and commercial websites.
Finally, the Complainant submits that it is evident that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its trademark when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Domain Name is a mistype of the Complainant’s trademark, and the Respondent has used the Domain Name to redirect to the Complainant’s website, but also to websites with content related to Complainant’s businesses and/or malicious websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Complainant has established rights in its trademark MADEWELL. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety, with the addition of “e” in the middle. The addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. For the purposes of assessing confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) as it is viewed as a standard registration requirement.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is not affiliated with nor authorized by the Complainant. There is no evidence suggesting that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name. On the contrary, the Complainant documents that the Respondent has redirected the Domain Name to the Complainant’s website, websites of the Complainant’s competitors and random third-party websites, some of which may contain malware.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, which has been unrebutted by the Respondent. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
Based on the Complainant’s submissions, the Complainant’s trademark was registered long before the registration of the Domain Name. The Domain Name is a mistype of the Complainant’s trademark, and the Respondent has used the Domain Name to redirect to the Complainant’s website, but also to websites with content related to Complainant’s businesses and/or malicious websites. Therefore, it is likely that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademark and its business when the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
The Domain Name has been used to try to attract Internet users for commercial gain by misleading them into believing that the website at the Domain Name is authorized by or somehow connected to the Complainant. The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions and not provided any evidence of good-faith use.
The Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the 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 Domain Name <madeewell.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 8, 2021
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