U.S. Green Building Council v. Jiahang Li / U.S. Green Business Council

Claim Number: FA2205001996828



Complainant is U.S. Green Building Council (“Complainant”), represented by Amanda L. DeFord of McGuireWoods LLP, Virginia, USA.  Respondent is Jiahang Li / U.S. Green Business Council (“Respondent”), Massachusetts, USA.



The domain name at issue is <>, (‘the Domain Name’) registered with IONOS SE.



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


Dawn Osborne as Panelist.



Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on May 18, 2022; the Forum received payment on May 18, 2022.


On May 20, 2022, IONOS SE confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <> Domain Name is registered with IONOS SE and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name.  IONOS SE has verified that Respondent is bound by the IONOS SE 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 May 23, 2022, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of June 13, 2022 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  Also on May 23, 2022, 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 June 21, 2022 pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Dawn Osborne 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.



A. Complainant

The Complainant’s contentions can be summarized as follows:


The Complainant is the owner of the mark registered USGBC registered, inter alia, in the USA for services relating to environmental building design with first use recorded as 1993.


The Domain Name registered in 2022 is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark adding only a hyphen and the gTLD “.org” which do not prevent said confusing similarity.


The Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interests in the Domain Name, is not commonly known by the Domain Name and is not authorized by the Complainant.


The Domain Name resolves to a web site purporting to provide information on the Complainant’s services and offering membership for a fee and formerly bore the name ‘US Green Business Council’ in full at the top of the web site. This is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a non commercial legitimate or fair use. It is registration and use in bad faith causing confusion on the Internet by using and taking advantage of the Complainant’s intellectual property for a phishing scam.


B. Respondent

Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.



The Complainant is the owner of the mark registered USGBC registered, inter alia, in the USA for services relating to environmental building design with first use recorded as 1993.


The Domain Name registered in 2022 has been used for a site that purports to be an official site of the Complainant and offers membership for a fee in an apparent phishing 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 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 set forth in a complaint; however, the Panel may deny relief where a complaint contains mere conclusory or unsubstantiated arguments. See WIPO Jurisprudential Overview 3.0 at ¶ 4.3; see also eGalaxy Multimedia Inc. v. ON HOLD By Owner Ready To Expire, FA 157287 (Forum June 26, 2003) (“Because Complainant did not produce clear evidence to support its subjective allegations [. . .] the Panel finds it appropriate to dismiss the Complaint”).


Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

The Domain Name in this Complaint combines the Complainant’s USGBC mark (registered in the USA for services related to environmental building design 1993) with a hyphen and the gTLD “.org”.


The gTLD “.org” does not serve to distinguish the Domain Name from the Complainant’s mark, which is the distinctive component of the Domain Name. See Red Hat Inc. v. Haecke, FA 726010 (Forum July 24, 2006) (concluding that the domain name is identical to the complainant's red hat mark because the mere addition of the gTLD was insufficient to differentiate the disputed domain name from the mark). Nor does the addition of hyphen(s). See Health Devices Corp. v. Aspen STC, FA 158254 (Forum July 1, 2003) (The addition of punctuation marks such as hyphens is irrelevant in the determination of confusing similarity pursuant to Policy 4(a)(i).).


Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant has rights for the purpose of the Policy.


As such the Panel holds that Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy has been satisfied.


Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has not authorized the use of its mark. There is no evidence or reason to suggest the Respondent is, in fact, commonly known by the Domain Name.  See Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiary, Alaska Airlines v. Song Bin, FA1408001574905 (Forum Sept. 17, 2014) (holding that the respondent was not commonly known by the disputed domain name as demonstrated by the WHOIS information and based on the fact that the complainant had not licensed or authorized the respondent to use its ALASKA AIRLINES mark). The Domain Name has been used for commercial purposes which is not legitimate noncommercial fair use. 


The Domain Name has been used in a fraudulent phishing scheme using the Complainant’s name and its trade mark.  This is deceptive and confusing and amounts to passing off. As such it cannot amount to the bona fide offering of goods and services. See DaVita Inc. v. Cynthia Rochelo, FA 1738034 (Forum July 20, 2017) (finding that ‘Passing off in furtherance of a phishing scheme is not considered a bona fide offering of goods or services or legitimate non commercial or fair use’). See Ripple Labs Inc. v. Jessie McKoy / Ripple Reserve Fund, FA 1790949 (Forum July 9, 2018) (finding the respondent did not use the domain name to make a bona fide offering of goods or services per Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use per Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii) where the website resolving from the disputed domain name featured the complainant’s mark). 


As such the Panelist finds that the Respondent does not have rights or a legitimate interest in the Domain Name and that the Complainant has satisfied the second limb of the Policy.


Registration and Use in Bad Faith

Diverting Internet users for commercial gain and impersonating a complainant by use of a complainant’s mark and name in a fraudulent phishing scheme is confusing and disruptive and evinces bad faith registration and use.  See Bittrex, Inc. v. Wuxi Yilian LLC, FA 1760517 (Forum Dec. 27, 2017) (finding bad faith per Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where “Respondent registered and uses the <> domain name in bad faith by directing Internet users to a website that mimics Complainant’s own website in order to confuse users into believing that Respondent is Complainant, or is otherwise affiliated or associated with Complainant.”); see also Klabzuba Oil & Gas, Inc. v. LAKHPAT SINGH BHANDARI, FA1506001625750 (Forum July 17, 2015) (“Respondent uses the <> domain to engage in phishing, which means Respondent registered and uses the domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).”).


As such, the Panelist believes that the Complainant has made out its case that the Domain Name was registered and used in bad faith and has satisfied the third limb of the Policy under para 4(b)(iii) and (iv).



Having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be GRANTED.


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



Dawn Osborne, Panelist

Dated:  June 22, 2022



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