Bank of America Corporation v. Ilia Rabinovich / Merrill Broker Ltd.

Claim Number: FA1910001865571



Complainant is Bank of America Corporation (“Complainant”), represented by Georges Nahitchevansky of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, New York, USA.  Respondent is Ilia Rabinovich / Merrill Broker Ltd. (“Respondent”), represented by Ilia Rabinovich, Singapore.



The domain name at issue in this proceeding is <>, registered with Beget LLC.



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


Terry F. Peppard as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on October 7, 2019; the Forum received payment on October 7, 2019.


On October 9, 2019, Beget LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <> domain name is registered with Beget LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  Beget LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the Beget LLC 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 October 10, 2019, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of October 30, 2019, by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail message addressed to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative and billing contacts, and to the attention of  Also, on October 10, 2019, the Written Notice of the Complaint, notifying Respondent of the e-mail 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 October 31, 2019, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Terry F. Peppard as sole Panelist in this proceeding.


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 a response from Respondent.



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



A. Complainant

Complainant is one of the world’s largest providers of banking, investment brokerage and wealth management services.


Complainant holds a registration for the MERRILL LYNCH trademark, which is on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) as Registry No. 5,685,791, based upon an application filed July 11, 2018, and registered as of February 26, 2019.


Respondent registered the domain name <> on or about July 9, 2019.


The domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s MERRILL LYNCH trademark.


Respondent is not licensed or otherwise permitted to use Complainant’s MERRILL LYNCH mark.


Respondent fails to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.


Rather, Respondent employs the domain name online to purport to be a leading brokerage company that provides financial products and services in competition with the business of Complainant.


Respondent attempts to attract Internet users to the domain name, for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the possibility of Complainant’s sponsorship of, affiliation with or endorsement of it and its resolving website.


Respondent has no rights to or legitimate interests in the domain name.


Respondent attempted to conceal its true identify when it registered the domain name.


Respondent registered and uses the domain name in bad faith.


B. Respondent

Respondent has failed to submit a Response in this proceeding which is compliant with the requirements of the Policy and its attendant Rules.  However, in an e-mail message addressed to the Forum, Respondent has declared that it has “decided to transfer the domain name to” Complainant.



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


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 to or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

iii.   the same domain name has been registered and is being used by Respondent 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, for example, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Ltd. v. Vertical Axis Inc., FA 212653 (Forum January 13, 2004:


In this case, the parties have both asked for the domain name to be transferred to the Complainant ....  Since the requests of the parties in this case are identical, the Panel has no scope to do anything other than to recognize the common request, and it has no mandate to make findings of fact or of compliance (or not) with the Policy. 


See also Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. Morales, FA 475191 (Forum June 24, 2005):


[U]nder such circumstances, where Respondent has agreed to comply with Complainant’s request, the Panel felt it to be expedient and judicial [sic] to forego the traditional UDRP analysis and order the transfer of the domain names.



Respondent does not contest the allegations of the Complaint, and, in particular, it does not contest Complainant’s request that the challenged domain name be transferred to Complainant.  Rather, in reaction to Complainant’s demand that the domain name be transferred to it, Respondent has expressed in writing its willingness to surrender the domain name.  The parties have therefore effectively agreed in writing to a transfer of the domain name from Respondent to Complainant without the need for further proceedings.


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



Terry F. Peppard, Panelist

Dated:  November 6, 2019



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