Leidos, Inc. v. Chris Moore / JCI Group
Claim Number: FA2108001959988
Complainant is Leidos, Inc. (“Complainant”), represented by Kandis M. Koustenis, Virginia, USA. Respondent is Chris Moore / JCI Group (“Respondent”), Wisconsin, USA.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <leidosglobal.us>, registered with NameCheap, 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.
Paul M. DeCicco, as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on August 17, 2021; the Forum received payment on August 17, 2021.
On August 17, 2021, NameCheap, Inc. confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <leidosglobal.us> domain name is registered with NameCheap, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the names. NameCheap, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the NameCheap, Inc. registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).
On August 20, 2021, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of September 9, 2021 by which Respondent could file a Response to the Complaint, via e-mail to all entities and persons listed on Respondent’s registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to email@example.com. Also on August 20, 2021, 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 September 13, 2021, pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Paul M. DeCicco
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 usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy ("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 usTLD Policy, usTLD 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 contends as follows:
Complainant has offered the goods and services under the LEIDOS mark since September 27, 2013 and now offers such services and related goods and services under the mark LEIDOS across a variety of industry sectors.
Complainant has rights in the LEIDOS mark through Complainant’s registration of the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Respondent’s <leidosglobal.us> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LEIDOS mark as it incorporates the entire mark, adding only the generic term “global.”
Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the <leidosglobal.us> domain name. Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant. Respondent is not authorized to use Complainant’s LEIDOS mark for any purpose, nor is Respondent commonly known as “LEIDOS.” Additionally, Respondent does not use the disputed domain name for any bona fide offering of goods or services, nor for any legitimate noncommercial or fair use because Respondent passes off as Complainant’s employee via an email scam. Respondent also fails to make active use of the disputed domain name.
Respondent registered and uses the <leidosglobal.us> domain name in bad faith. Respondent uses the at-issue domain name to pass off as Complainant’s employee via an email scam. Moreover, Respondent had actual knowledge of Complainant’s rights in the LEIDOS mark prior to registering the disputed domain name based on Complainant’s trademark registration and Respondent’s attempts to pass off as Complainant.
Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.
Complainant has trademark rights in its LEIDOS mark.
Respondent has not been authorized to use Complainant’s trademark.
Respondent registered the at-issue domain name after Complainant acquired rights in LEIDOS.
Respondent uses the domain name to facilitate an email scam.
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 or is being used in bad faith.
Given the similarity between the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) and the usTLD Policy, the Panel will draw upon UDRP precedent as applicable in rendering its decision.
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 at-issue domain is confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights.
Complainant’s USPTO registration of its LEIDOS mark establishes Complainant’s rights in such mark for the purposes of Policy 4(a)(i). See Haas Automation, Inc. v. Jim Fraser, FA 1627211 (Forum Aug. 4, 2015) (finding that Complainant’s USPTO registrations for the HAAS mark sufficiently demonstrate its rights in the mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i)).
The at-issue domain name contains Complainant’s LEIDOS trademark followed by the term “global,” with all followed by the “.us” top-level domain name. The differences between the <leidosglobal.us> domain name and Complainant’s trademark are insufficient to distinguish the domain name from Complainant’s trademark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i). Therefore, the Panel finds that the <leidosglobal.us> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s LEIDOS mark. See Dansko, LLC v. zhang wu, FA 1757745 (Forum Dec. 12, 2017) (finding the <danskoshoes.us.com> domain name to be confusingly similar to the DANSKO mark under Policy ¶ 4(a)(i), despite the addition of the “.us” ccTLD and the “.com” gTLD); see also MTD Products Inc v. J Randall Shank, FA 1783050 (Forum June 27, 2018) (“The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark as it wholly incorporates the CUB CADET mark before appending the generic terms ‘genuine’ and ‘parts’ as well as the ‘.com’ gTLD.”).
Under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), Complainant must first make out a prima facie case showing that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in respect of an at-issue domain name and then the burden, in effect, shifts to Respondent to come forward with evidence of its rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm’t Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006). Since Respondent failed to respond, absent evidence of Policy ¶ 4(c) circumstances Complainant’s prima facie showing acts conclusively.
Respondent lacks both rights and legitimate interests in respect of the at-issue domain name. Respondent is not authorized to use Complainant’s trademark in any capacity and, as discussed below, there are no Policy ¶ 4(c) circumstances from which the Panel might find that Respondent has rights or interests in respect of the at-issue domain name. See Emerson Electric Co. v. golden humble / golden globals, FA 1787128 (Forum June 11, 2018) (“lack of evidence in the record to indicate a respondent is authorized to use [the] complainant’s mark may support a finding that [the] respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name per Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii)”).
The WHOIS information for <leidosglobal.us> indicates that “Chris Moore / JCI Group” is the domain name’s registrant. Further, there is nothing in the record before the Panel that indicates that Respondent is otherwise known by the <leidosglobal.us> domain name. Given the foregoing, the Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the at-issue domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii). See Coppertown Drive-Thru Sys., LLC v. Snowden, FA 715089 (Forum July 17, 2006) (concluding that the respondent was not commonly known by the <coppertown.com> domain name where there was no evidence in the record, including the WHOIS information, suggesting that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain name).
Respondent uses its <leidosglobal.us> to pass itself off as Complainant’s employee in furtherance of an email phishing scam. Respondent used the at-issue confusingly similar domain name to establish e-mail addresses containing Complainant’s LEIDOS trademark in order to “phish” for information and defraud Complainant, its business partners, and the general public. Using the confusingly similar domain name in this manner is not indicative of a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(ii), nor of a non-commercial or fair use under Policy ¶¶ 4(c)(iv). See Emerson Electric Co. v. Adilcon Rocha, FA 1735949 (Forum July 11, 2017) (finding that respondent’s attempt to pass off as complainant through emails does not constitute a bona fide offering of goods or services and, as such, respondent lacked rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name).
Given the forgoing, Complainant satisfies its initial burden under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii) and conclusively demonstrates Respondent’s lack of rights and lack of interests in respect of the at-issue domain name.
Respondent’s <leidosglobal.us> domain name was registered and used in bad faith. As discussed below without limitation, bad faith circumstances are present that allow the Panel to conclude that Respondent acted in bad faith pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
As mentioned elsewhere herein, Respondent used the confusingly similar domain name to host email designed to facilitate fraud. Doing shows Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the domain name pursuant to Policy ¶¶ 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv). See Abbvie, Inc. v. James Bulow, FA 1701075 (Forum Nov. 30, 2016) (“Respondent uses the <abbuie.com> domain name to impersonate Complainant’s CEO. Such use is undeniably disruptive to Complainant’s business and demonstrates bad faith pursuant to Policy ¶ 4(b)(iii), and/or Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv)”); see also, CoorsTek, Inc. v. Gwendolyn K Bohn / CoorsTek Inc, FA 1764186 (Forum Feb. 2, 2018) (“Respondent sent email to users seeking employment at Complainant’s business and asked for personal information such as a photo ID. Therefore, the Panel finds Respondent’s emails constitute a phishing scheme and this indicates bad faith registration and use per Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).”).
Additionally, Respondent registered the <leidosglobal.us> domain name knowing that Complainant had trademark rights in LEIDOS. Respondent’s prior knowledge is evident from Complainant’s trademark’s unique and arbitrary construct and from Respondent’s use of <leidosglobal.us> to facilitate an email phishing scheme rooted in email hosted at the confusingly similar at-issue domain name, as discussed elsewhere herein. Respondent’s prior knowledge of Complainant's LEIDOS trademark further indicates Respondent bad faith under the Policy. See Minicards Vennootschap Onder FIrma Amsterdam v. Moscow Studios, FA 1031703 (Forum Sept. 5, 2007) (holding that respondent registered a domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) after concluding that respondent had "actual knowledge of Complainant's mark when registering the disputed the disputed domain name”).
Having established all three elements required under the usTLD Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <leidosglobal.us> domain name be TRANSFERRED from Respondent to Complainant.
Paul M. DeCicco, Panelist
Dated: September 14, 2021
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