UnitedHealth Group Incorporated v. My Uniform Code of Health LLC
Claim Number: FA0806001204955
Complainant is UnitedHealth
Group Incorporated (“Complainant”), represented by Timothy M. Kenny, of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.,
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <myuch.com>, registered with Moniker Online Services, Inc.
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.
Louis E. Condon as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the National Arbitration Forum electronically on June 12, 2008; the National Arbitration Forum received a hard copy of the Complaint on June 13, 2008.
On June 23, 2008, Moniker Online Services, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the <myuch.com> domain name is registered with Moniker Online Services, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Moniker Online Services, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Moniker Online Services, Inc. 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 July 3, 2008, a Notification of
Complaint and Commencement of Administrative Proceeding (the "Commencement
Notification"), setting a deadline of July 23, 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.
On August 19, 2008, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the National Arbitration Forum appointed Louis E. Condon as Panelist.
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 <myuch.com> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s MYUHC.COM mark.
2. Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the <myuch.com> domain name.
3. Respondent registered and used the <myuch.com> domain name in bad faith.
B. Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, is comprised of numerous companies in the health and well-being industry, serving over 70 million Americans and garnering revenues exceeding $71.5 billion annually. Complainant owns numerous trademarks, registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Among these marks, Complainant owns the MYUHC.COM mark (Reg. No. 2,645,558 issued November 5, 2002), which corresponds to Complainant’s <myuhc.com> domain name.
Respondent registered the <myuch.com> domain name on July 24, 2005, and is currently using the disputed domain name to resolve to a website that features links to Complainant’s direct competitors.
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 sufficient rights in
the MYUHC.COM mark through its registration with the USPTO under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i).
Respondent’s <myuch.com> domain name contains
Complainant’s entire MYUHC.COM mark, while transposing the letters “c” and “h”
in the mark, presumably to capitalize on the common typographical errors of
Internet users. The Panel finds that the
<myuch.com> domain name is confusingly similar to
Complainant’s mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). See
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co. v. Try Harder &
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(i) has been satisfied.
Complainant asserts that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once Complainant has established a prima facie case supporting its allegations, as it has in this case, the burden shifts to Respondent to prove that it does have rights or legitimate interests pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). Complainant has met its burden in this case. See Do The Hustle, LLC v. Tropic Web, D2000-0624 (WIPO Aug. 21, 2000) (holding that once the complainant asserts that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain, the burden shifts to the respondent to provide “concrete evidence that it has rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue”); see also Clerical Med. Inv. Group Ltd. v. Clericalmedical.com, D2000-1228 (WIPO Nov. 28, 2000) (finding that, under certain circumstances, the mere assertion by the complainant that the respondent has no right or legitimate interest is sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the respondent to demonstrate that such a right or legitimate interest does exist).
There is no evidence within the record to suggest that Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name. While the WHOIS information lists Respondent as “My Uniform Code of Health LLC,” which would conceivably lead to the acronym “myuch,” Respondent has not submitted any corroborating evidence indicating that Respondent is indeed known by this registrant name or acronym thereof. Moreover, Complainant has not licensed or authorized Respondent to use Complainant’s mark in any fashion. Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See M. Shanken Commc’ns v. WORLDTRAVELERSONLINE.COM, FA 740335 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 3, 2006) (finding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <cigaraficionada.com> domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) based on the WHOIS information and other evidence in the record); see also Reese v. Morgan, FA 917029 (Nat. Arb. Forum Apr. 5, 2007) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <lilpunk.com> domain name as there was no evidence in the record showing that the respondent was commonly known by that domain name, including the WHOIS information as well as the complainant’s assertion that it did not authorize or license the respondent’s use of its mark in a domain name).
Respondent’s disputed domain name resolves to a website that features third-party advertisements for Complainant’s direct competitors. Respondent presumably receives commercial benefit through “click-through” referral fees for placing these links. The Panel finds this activity does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See ALPITOUR S.p.A. v. balata inc, FA 888649 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 27, 2007) (finding that “using the confusingly similar <viaggidea.com> domain name to operate a website that features links to various commercial websites from which Respondent presumably receives referral fees….is neither a bona fide offering of goods or services pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) nor a legitimate non-commercial or fair use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).”); see also Vance Int’l, Inc. v. Abend, FA 970871 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 8, 2007) (concluding that the operation of a pay-per-click website at a confusingly similar domain name does not represent a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, regardless of whether or not the links resolve to competing or unrelated websites or if the respondent is itself commercially profiting from the click-through fees).
Respondent’s disputed domain name merely transposes two letters in Complainant’s mark. This transposition bears the hallmarks of “typosquatting,” which refers to the practice of registering a domain name that seeks to maximize the potential of common typographical errors committed by Internet users—commonly seen in misspellings. The Panel finds that this engagement in typosquatting constitutes evidence that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See IndyMac Bank F.S.B. v. Ebeyer, FA 175292 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 19, 2003) (finding that the respondent lacked rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain names because it “engaged in the practice of typosquatting by taking advantage of Internet users who attempt to access Complainant's <indymac.com> website but mistakenly misspell Complainant's mark by typing the letter ‘x’ instead of the letter ‘c’”); see also LTD Commodities LLC v. Party Night, Inc., FA 165155 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 14, 2003) (finding that the <ltdcommadities.com>, <ltdcommmodities.com>, and <ltdcommodaties.com> domain names were intentional misspellings of Complainant's LTD COMMODITIES mark and this “‘typosquatting’ is evidence that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) has been satisfied.
Respondent’s corresponding website features advertisements and links for Complainant’s direct competitors. The Panel finds that this activity would likely disrupt Complainant’s business, and that therefore Respondent has engaged in bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii). See Red Hat, Inc. v. Haecke, FA 726010 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 24, 2006) (finding that the respondent engaged in bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii) by using the disputed domain names to operate a commercial search engine with links to the products of the complainant and to complainant’s competitors, as well as by diverting Internet users to several other domain names); see also S. Exposure v. S. Exposure, Inc., FA 94864 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 18, 2000) (finding that the respondent registered the domain name in question to disrupt the business of the complainant, a competitor of the respondent).
registration and use of the confusingly similar disputed domain name, combined
with the resolving website’s third-party advertisements, creates a likelihood
of confusion for commercial gain as to Complainant’s endorsement of the
disputed domain name and corresponding website.
The Panel therefore finds that Respondent has engaged in bad
faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv). See
The Panel also finds that Respondent’s use of typosquatting constitutes bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii). See Dermalogica, Inc. v. Domains to Develop, FA 175201 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 22, 2003) (finding that the <dermatalogica.com> domain name was a “simple misspelling” of the complainant's DERMALOGICA mark which indicated typosquatting and bad faith pursuant to Policy 4 ¶ (a)(iii)); see also Zone Labs, Inc. v. Zuccarini, FA 190613 (Nat. Arb. Forum Oct. 15, 2003) (“Respondent’s registration and use of [the <zonelarm.com> domain name] that capitalizes on the typographical error of an Internet user is considered typosquatting. Typosquatting, itself is evidence of bad faith registration and use pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).”).
The Panel finds that Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) has been satisfied.
Complainant having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief should be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <myuch.com> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Louis E. Condon, Panelist
Dated: September 2, 2008
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