Hill-Rom Inc. v. Jyoti Bansal
Claim Number: FA1703001724573
Complainant is Hill-Rom Inc. ("Complainant"), represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB, Sweden. Respondent is Jyoti Bansal ("Respondent"), Kansas, USA.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <hillrom.org>, registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com.
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.
David E. Sorkin as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on March 30, 2017; the Forum received payment on March 30, 2017.
On March 31, 2017, PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com confirmed by email to the Forum that the <hillrom.org> domain name is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com has verified that Respondent is bound by the PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy").
On April 3, 2017, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of April 24, 2017 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via email to all entities and persons listed on Respondent's registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on April 3, 2017, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the email addresses served and the deadline for a Response, was transmitted to Respondent via post and fax, to all entities and persons listed on Respondent's registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts.
Having received no response from Respondent, the Forum transmitted to the parties a Notification of Respondent Default.
On May 1, 2017, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed David E. Sorkin as Panelist.
Having reviewed the communications records, the Administrative Panel (the "Panel") finds that the 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" through submission of Electronic and Written Notices, as defined in Rule 1 and Rule 2. Therefore, the Panel may issue its decision based on the documents submitted and in accordance with the ICANN Policy, ICANN Rules, the 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.
Complainant is a global medical technology company with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. Complainant uses the HILL-ROM trademark in connection with its medical technology products for more than 40 years. Complainant holds various registrations for the HILL-ROM mark in the United States and other jurisdictions.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name <hillrom.org> in December 2016. The domain name does not resolve to a website. Complainant states that Respondent has sent email messages from the domain name to Complainant's distributors, fraudulently attempting to create the impression that the emails originate from Complainant and requesting payment from the recipients, in what Complainant describes as a "phishing attack." Complainant states further that Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant in any way, has not been given permission to use Complainant's mark in any manner, and is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
On these grounds, Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which Complainant has rights; that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a mark in which Complainant has rights; that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
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."
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.
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(f), 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 (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.").
The disputed domain name <hillrom.org> corresponds to Complainant's registered HILL-ROM mark, omitting the hyphen and adding the ".org" top-level domain. These additions do not substantially diminish the similarity between the domain name and Complainant's mark. See, e.g., Hill-Rom Services, Inc. v. Titan Net, D2006-0739 (WIPO July 28, 2006) (finding <hillrom.org> identical or confusingly similar to HILL-ROM); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Park Sung Hwa, D2005-0400 (WIPO June 2, 2005) (finding <walmart.org> identical or confusingly similar to WAL-MART). The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark.
Under the Policy, Complainant must first make a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and then the burden shifts to Respondent to come forward with concrete evidence of such rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm't Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006).
The disputed domain name is nearly identical to Complainant's mark. It was registered without Complainant's authorization, and it is being used in an apparent attempt to impersonate Complainant in connection with a fraudulent phishing scheme. See, e.g., Illumina, Inc. v. Robert Chave, FA 1717634 (Forum Mar. 20, 2017) (finding lack of rights or legitimate interests in similar circumstances). Complainant has made a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the domain name, and Respondent has failed to come forward with any evidence of such rights or interests. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has sustained its burden of proving that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
Finally, Complainant must show that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Under paragraph 4(b)(iii) of the Policy, bad faith may be shown by evidence that Respondent registered the disputed domain name "primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor." Under paragraph 4(b)(iv), bad faith may be shown by evidence that "by using the domain name, [Respondent] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [Respondent's] web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of [Respondent's] web site or location or of a product or service on [Respondent's] web site or location."
Respondent's registration of a domain name obviously intended to create confusion with Complainant, together with its use of that domain name in connection with a fraudulent scheme involving email messages attempting to defraud Complainant's distributors by exploiting that confusion, is indicative of bad faith under the Policy. See, e.g., Illumina, Inc. v. Robert Chave, supra. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
Having considered the three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <hillrom.org> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
David E. Sorkin, Panelist
Dated: May 3, 2017
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