National Westminster Bank plc v. willll sieom c/o street boyz
Claim Number: FA0803001164285
Complainant is National Westminster Bank plc (“Complainant”), represented by James
A. Thomas, of Troutman Sanders LLP,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <uk-natwest.com>, registered with Estdomains, 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.
Sandra J. Franklin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to
the National Arbitration Forum electronically on
On March 26, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement Notification"), setting a deadline of April 15, 2008 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 email@example.com by e-mail.
Having received no response from Respondent, the National Arbitration Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the National Arbitration Forum has discharged its responsibility under Paragraph 2(a) of the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules") "to employ reasonably available means calculated to achieve actual notice to Respondent." Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the National Arbitration Forum's Supplemental Rules and any rules and principles of law that the Panel deems applicable, without the benefit of any response from Respondent.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
A. Complainant makes the following assertions:
1. Respondent’s <uk-natwest.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s NATWEST mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <uk-natwest.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <uk-natwest.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant is a financial institution based in the
Respondent registered the <uk-natwest.com> domain
Paragraph 15(a) of 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."
In view of Respondent's failure to submit a response, the Panel shall decide this administrative proceeding on the basis of Complainant's undisputed representations pursuant to paragraphs 5(e), 14(a) and 15(a) of the Rules and draw such inferences it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules. The Panel is entitled to accept all reasonable allegations and inferences set forth in the Complaint as true unless the evidence is clearly contradictory. See Vertical Solutions Mgmt., Inc. v. webnet-marketing, inc., FA 95095 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 31, 2000) (holding that the respondent’s failure to respond allows all reasonable inferences of fact in the allegations of the complaint to be deemed true); see also Talk City, Inc. v. Robertson, D2000-0009 (WIPO Feb. 29, 2000) (“In the absence of a response, it is appropriate to accept as true all allegations of the Complaint.”).
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that 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 Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(2) 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.
The Panel finds that Complainant has established rights in
the NATWEST mark for purposes of Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See Innomed Techs., Inc. v. DRP Servs.,
FA 221171 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Complainant contends that
Respondent’s <uk-natwest.com> domain name is confusingly similar to its NATWEST mark. The <uk-natwest.com>
domain name differs from Complainant’s mark in two
ways: (1) the geographically descriptive letters “UK” and a hyphen have been
added to the beginning of the mark; and (2) the generic top-level domain
(“gTLD”) “.com” has been added. The
Panel finds that these changes do not minimize or eliminate the likelihood of
confusion, and so Respondent’s disputed domain name is not sufficiently
distinguished from Complainant’s mark pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See MFI UK Ltd. v. Jones,
D2003-0102 (WIPO May 8, 2003) (finding the <mfiuk.com> domain name
confusingly similar to the complainant’s MFI mark because the addition of the
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant contends that Respondent lacks all rights and
legitimate interests in the <uk-natwest.com> domain
name. Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), after the complainant makes a prima facie case against the respondent, the respondent then has
the burden of showing evidence that it does have rights and legitimate interests
in the disputed domain name. Complainant
has made a prima facie case under
Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See G.D.
Searle v. Martin Mktg., FA 118277 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Complainant contends that Respondent is not commonly known
by the disputed domain name, <uk-natwest.com>,
nor have they ever been the owner or licensee of the NATWEST mark. The WHOIS record for the disputed domain name
lists the Respondent as “willll sieom c/o street
boyz.” This evidence, along with
the fact that Respondent has failed to show any evidence contrary to
Complainant’s contentions, compels the Panel to find that Respondent is not
commonly known as <uk-natwest.com>
pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Am. W. Airlines, Inc. v. Paik, FA 206396 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Respondent maintains a website at <uk-natwest.com> that passes itself off as Complainant’s legitimate website and solicits confidential personal information. The Panel finds that this use of the domain name <uk-natwest.com> is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Vivendi Universal Games v. Ballard, FA 146621 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 13, 2002) (stating that where the respondent copied the complainant’s website in order to steal account information from the complainant’s customers, that the respondent’s “exploitation of the goodwill and consumer trust surrounding the BLIZZARD NORTH mark to aid in its illegal activities is prima facie evidence of a lack of rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name”); see also Am. Int’l Group, Inc. v. Busby, FA 156251 (Nat. Arb. Forum May 30, 2003) (finding that the respondent attempts to pass itself off as the complainant online, which is blatant unauthorized use of the complainant’s mark and is evidence that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name); see also Capital One Fin. Corp. v. Howel, FA 289304 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 11, 2004) (finding that using a domain name to redirect Internet users to a website that imitated the complainant’s credit application website and attempted to fraudulently acquire personal information from the complainant’s clients was not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent is using the disputed domain name to divert
Internet customers from Complainant’s website to Respondent’s website, through
the confusion caused by the similarity between the NATWEST mark and the <uk-natwest.com> domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent’s use of the
disputed domain name disrupts Complainant’s business, and is evidence of
registration and use in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii).
See EthnicGrocer.com, Inc. v.
Unlimited Latin Flavors, Inc., FA 94385 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Respondent is gaining commercially through this diversion, by
passing off the website that resolves from the <uk-natwest.com>
domain name as Complainant’s legitimate website and attempting to acquire
personal information from Internet users.
The Panel finds that this is an intentional use of the disputed domain
name for commercial gain through a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s
mark, and so, pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv), this use
is also evidence of registration and use in bad faith. See Am. Int’l Group, Inc. v. Busby, FA 156251 (Nat. Arb.
Forum May 30, 2003) (finding that the disputed domain name was registered and
used in bad faith where the respondent hosted a website that “duplicated
Complainant’s mark and logo, giving every appearance of being associated or
affiliated with Complainant’s business . . . to
perpetrate a fraud upon individual shareholders who respected the goodwill
surrounding the AIG mark”); see also Monsanto
Co. v. Decepticons, FA 101536 (Nat. Arb. Forum
Respondent is also “phishing” by using the NATWEST mark to
trick Internet users into giving Respondent their confidential personal
information. The Panel finds that
Respondent’s use of the NATWEST mark to engage in phishing is evidence of
registration and use in bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See
HOPE worldwide, Ltd. v. Jin, FA 320379 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 11, 2004)
(defining “phishing” as fooling “Internet users into sharing personal financial
data so that identities can be stolen, fraudulent bills are run up, and spam
e-mail is sent”); see also Capital
One Fin. Corp. v. Howel, FA 289304 (Nat. Arb. Forum
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <uk-natwest.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Sandra J. Franklin, Panelist
Dated: May 5, 2008
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