The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc v. Ramzi Takch
Claim Number: FA0711001106036
Complainant is The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (“Complainant”), represented by James
A. Thomas, of Troutman Sander LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <rbsg-online.com>, registered with Godaddy.com, Inc.
The undersigned certifies that he or she has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his or her knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.
Hon. Sir Ian Barker as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum
On November 16, 2007, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of December 6, 2007 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, was transmitted to Respondent via e-mail, post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail.
A Response was received
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
The Complainant, which was founded in 1727, is one of the world’s leading financial services groups, with offices in numerous countries in four continents. It has more than 140,000 employees. Its worldwide income was ₤28m in 2006.
The Complainant holds numerous trademarks and registrations for the
mark RBS registered in the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office since
1996 and the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market since
1998. It also owns a
The Complainant has a trademark registration in the
The Complainant offers online banking services and owns numerous domain name registrations featuring the RBS and RBSG marks.
The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to both the Complainant’s RBS and RBSG marks. The descriptive word “online” added to a registered mark does not diminish the confusing similarity with that mark (see The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc v. Teddy Jackson (FA992134) where the Panel found the addition of the word “online” to “rbs” was insufficient to differentiate the domain name from the registered mark. Similarly, the addition of a single letter to the registered mark does not dispel the confusing similarity (See National Westminster Bank Plc v. Unused Domains (FA1040053).
The disputed domain name was registered on
The website was fraudulent. It
deceived internet users into thinking they were dealing with the Complainant. Moreover, it solicited personal financial
information from them, probably with fraudulent intent. As of
The Complainant gave no rights to the Respondent to use its trademark.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The registered trademark is well known around the world because of the service provided around the world to millions of customers by the Complainant. When the disputed domain name resolved to a website purporting to be the Complainant’s official homepage, internet users could be confused into thinking that the Respondent was in some way connected with the Complainant. The reversion to an inactive website reinforces the inference of bad faith.
The Respondent emailed the National Arbitration Forum on
He sent a further email on
The Panel finds that the Complainant has proved all the requirements of Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy and that the disputed domain name should be transferred to the Complainant.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”) instructs this Panel to “decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order that a domain name should be cancelled or transferred:
(1) the domain name registered by the Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;
(2) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Clearly, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks RBS and RBSG. The addition of the word “online” does not detract from the confusing similarity. The similar case cited above, involving the Complainant, reinforces this view.
Rights or Legitimate Intents
The Complainant gave the Respondent no rights in respect of its trademarks. The Respondent has not alleged any of the matters under Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, which might have provided him with a defense.
The disputed domain name must have been registered in bad faith shortly before a website was created which deceitfully purported to be the Complainant’s. The Complainant has a worldwide banking reputation. Many banks now do much business with customers online. The disputed domain name constituted an invitation to do banking business with the Complainant online and misleadingly diverted potential users of the website to thinking that this website has some connection with the Complainant. The later resolution to an inactive website confirms the bad faith inference.
The Panel considers that the Respondent’s failure to submit a formal Response, combined with his agreement to cancel the disputed domain name, satisfies all the requirements of the Policy (See Desotec N.V. v. Jacobi Carbons AB (WIPO D2000-1398) and Macor Int. v. Langevin (NAF FA96317)
The Respondent claims his credit card was stolen; it seems that somebody may have been using his credit card to register the disputed domain name. His willingness to transfer the disputed domain name under the circumstances is understandable.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <rbsg-online.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Hon. Sir Ian Barker, Panelist
Dated: December 27, 2007