National Arbitration Forum




The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc v. Debra J. Stromer

Claim Number: FA0803001169982



Complainant is The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (“Complainant”), represented by James A. Thomas, of Troutman Sanders LLP, North Carolina, USA.  Respondent is Debra J. Stromer (“Respondent”), Nebraska, USA.




The domain name at issue is <>, registered with Melbourne It, Ltd. d/b/a Internet Names Worldwide.



The undersigned certifies that he has acted independently and impartially and to the best of his knowledge has no known conflict in serving as Panelist in this proceeding.


Terry F. Peppard as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on March 27, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on March 27, 2008.


On March 28, 2008, Melbourne It, Ltd. d/b/a Internet Names Worldwide confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <> domain name is registered with Melbourne It, Ltd. d/b/a Internet Names Worldwide and that the Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Melbourne It, Ltd. d/b/a Internet Names Worldwide has verified that Respondent is bound by the Melbourne It, Ltd. d/b/a Internet Names Worldwide registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain-name disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).


On March 28, 2008, a Notification of Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the “Commencement Notification”), setting a deadline of April 17, 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 by e-mail.


A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on April 1, 2008.

On April 9, 2008, pursuant to Complainant’s request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Terry F. Peppard as sole Panelist in this proceeding.



Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.



A. Complainant alleges, among other things, that:


Complainant is one of the world’s leading financial services groups. 


Complainant is widely known by the trademark “RBS” which it uses in promoting and providing banking, financial planning, insurance and brokerage services worldwide.


Complainant holds numerous trademark registrations for its RBS mark, including one with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Reg. No. 3,185,538, registered December 19, 2006).


An important part of Complainant’s business is online banking services, by which it offers a secure online banking gateway accessed through its website.


In conjunction with these services, Complainant owns numerous domain name registrations that feature its well-known “RBS” mark, including <>, <> and <>.


Respondent registered the disputed domain name on December 5, 2007.


The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s RBS mark because it fully incorporates the mark, with only the additions of a geographically descriptive term (“UK”) and a term which describes part of Complainant’s business (“online”).


Respondent has used the disputed domain name to resolve to a website purporting to be Complainant’s official website, thus creating the strong likelihood of confusion among Internet users as between Complainant and Respondent.


Respondent has no right to or legitimate interest in the contested domain name, and   Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized Respondent to use the RBS mark, or any variation thereof, in the domain name or otherwise.   


Respondent’s website to which the domain name had resolved has been taken down, so that it currently does not resolve to an active website.  


Respondent is not and has not been commonly known by the name <>.


Complainant’s RBS mark is a registered trademark and well-known around the world, so that Respondent is deemed to have had constructive knowledge of this mark when it registered the contested domain name. 


Respondent has used its domain name to perpetrate a fraud on Internet users in order to acquire personal information from Complainant’s current and prospective customers.


 Respondent registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.


B. Respondent asserts, among other things, that:


Respondent did not register the disputed domain name, and had never heard of the domain name before the Complaint herein was served on it.


Respondent had likewise never heard of Complainant before the institution of these proceedings.


It is possible that Respondent has become the victim of a computer virus.


Respondent does not wish to be further involved in this proceeding.



Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires that, in the ordinary course, Complainant must prove each of the following to obtain from a Panel an order that a domain name be transferred:


i.         the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;

ii.       Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

iii.      the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.


Notwithstanding the foregoing, 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.”


Further, Policy ¶ 3(a) provides for the transfer of a domain name registration upon the written instructions of the parties to a UDRP proceeding without the need for otherwise required findings and conclusions.  See Malev Hungarian Airlines, Ltd. v. Vertical Axis Inc., FA 212653 (Nat. Arb. Forum Jan. 13, 2004; see also Disney Enters., Inc. v. Morales, FA 475191 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 24, 2005). 



Respondent’s Response does not contest the material allegations of the Complaint, and, in particular, it does not contest Complainant’s request that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant. Thus the parties have effectively agreed in writing to a transfer of the subject domain name from Respondent to Complainant without the need for further proceedings.


Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <> domain name be forthwith TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.





Terry F. Peppard, Panelist
Dated: April 14, 2008



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