DECISION

 

Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. plum Bruce / Nasdaq

Claim Number: FA2205001997290

 

PARTIES

Complainant is Cboe Exchange, Inc. ("Complainant"), represented by Kevin M. Bovard of Baker & Hostetler LLP, Pennsylvania, USA. Respondent is plum Bruce / Nasdaq ("Respondent"), China.

 

REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME

The domain name at issue is <cboechange.com>, registered with Name.com, Inc.

 

PANEL

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.

 

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on May 20, 2022; the Forum received payment on May 20, 2022.

 

On May 22, 2022, Name.com, Inc. confirmed by email to the Forum that the <cboechange.com> domain name is registered with Name.com, Inc. and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Name.com, Inc. has verified that Respondent is bound by the Name.com, Inc. 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 24, 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 email to all entities and persons listed on Respondent's registration as technical, administrative, and billing contacts, and to postmaster@cboechange.com. Also on May 24, 2022, 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 June 21, 2022, 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.

 

RELIEF SOUGHT

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

 

PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

A. Complainant

Complainant provides securities and derivatives exchange products and services in the United States and throughout the world. Complainant states that it and its affiliated entities have used CBOE and related marks in connection with this business since at least as early as 1972. Complainant owns United States trademark registrations for CBOE in both standard character and stylized form and asserts common-law trademark rights in a family of CBOE marks.

 

Respondent registered the disputed domain name <cboechange.com> in April 2022. The domain name is being used for a website that prominently displays Complainant's CBOE stylized mark and images of Complainant's trading floor. The website appears to be a financial trading platform, purporting to provide services similar or identical to those offered by Complainant. A login page on the website prompts users for an email or phone number and password. Complainant alleges that Respondent is using the domain name to impersonate Complainant, likely for the purpose of obtaining information and money from Complainant's customers under false pretenses. Respondent has previously been found to have targeted Complainant using a similar domain name and a website that was identical to the one involved here. See Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. plum Bruce / Nasdaq, FA 1984496 (Forum Mar. 22, 2022) (ordering transfer of <cboeex.com>). The registration information provided by Respondent is incomplete and mostly or entirely fictitious. Complainant states that Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name and is not authorized or licensed to use Complainant's marks.

 

Complainant contends on the above grounds that the disputed domain name <cboechange.com> is confusingly similar to its CBOE mark; that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

 

B. Respondent

Respondent failed to submit a Response in this proceeding.

 

FINDINGS

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.

 

DISCUSSION

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 Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, 4.3 (3d ed. 2017), available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/overview3.0/; see also eGalaxy Multimedia Inc. v. ON HOLD By Owner Ready To Expire, FA 157287 (Forum June 26, 2003) (dismissing complaint where complainant failed to "produce clear evidence to support its subjective allegations").

 

Identical and/or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name <cboechange.com> incorporates Complainant's registered CBOE trademark, adding the generic term "change" (possibly a truncated version of "exchange") and the ".com" top-level domain. These additions do not substantially diminish the similarity between the domain name and Complainant's mark. See, e.g., Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. plum Bruce / Nasdaq, FA 1984496, supra (finding <cboeex.com> confusingly similar to CBOE); Cboe Global Markets, Inc. & Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. Oluwafemi Racheal Adesanya, FA 1932016 (Forum Mar. 15, 2021) (finding <cboemarket.com> confusingly similar to CBOE). The Panel considers the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to a mark in which Complainant has rights.

 

Rights or Legitimate Interests

Under the Policy, the Complainant must first make a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and then the burden shifts to the Respondent to come forward with concrete evidence of such rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. v. Entertainment Commentaries, FA 741828 (Forum Aug. 18, 2006).

 

For the reasons set forth in Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. plum Bruce / Nasdaq, FA 1984496, supra, 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.

 

Registration and Use in Bad Faith

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."

 

For the reasons set forth in Cboe Exchange, Inc. v. plum Bruce / Nasdaq, FA 1984496, supra (among other reasons), the Panel finds that Complainant has sustained its burden of proving that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

 

DECISION

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

 

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

 

 

David E. Sorkin, Panelist

Dated: June 22, 2022

 

 

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