United Services Automobile Association v. Harris Claims Service
Claim Number: FA2208002007801
Complainant is United Services Automobile Association (“Complainant”), represented by Caitlin Costello, Virginia, USA. Respondent is Harris Claims Services (“Respondent”), represented by its principal, Jason Harris, Illinois, USA.
REGISTRAR AND DISPUTED DOMAIN NAME
The domain name at issue is <usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com>, registered with Omnis Network, LLC.
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.
Gerald M. Levine as Panelist.
Complainant submitted a Complaint to the Forum electronically on August 9, 2022; the Forum received payment on August 9, 2022.
On August 10, 2022, Omnis Network, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the Forum that the <usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com> domain name is registered with Omnis Network, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the name. Omnis Network, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the Omnis Network, 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 August 12, 2022, the Forum served the Complaint and all Annexes, including a Written Notice of the Complaint, setting a deadline of September 6, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on August 12, 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.
A timely Response was received and determined to be complete on September 6, 2022.
On September 9, 2022 Complainant submitted an Additional Submission which the Panel as accepted.
On September 14, 2022, Respondent requested permission to submit an Additional Submission.
On September 14, 2022 pursuant to Complainant's request to have the dispute decided by a single-member Panel, the Forum appointed Gerald M. Levine as Panelist.
On September 15, 2022, the Panel issued Procedural Order No. 1 dated September 15, 2022 in which it granted Respondent’s request to submit an Additional Submission.
On September 20, Respondent submitted an Additional Submission.
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.
Complainant requests that the domain name be transferred from Respondent to Complainant.
United Services Automobile Association (hereinafter referred to as “Complainant” or “USAA”) was founded in 1922 in San Antonio, Texas, by 25 officers in the U.S. Army who banded together to insure each other’s Model-T Fords. Since that time, USAA has grown into a Fortune 200 financial services company that has approximately 7,500,000 members, all of whom have or have had a direct or familial connection to the United States Armed Forces, and over half of whom have served in the military. USAA continues to be headquartered in Texas and employs approximately 32,000 employees.
Since at least as early as 1927, USAA has used the famous mark and trade name USAA in connection with its goods and services. USAA currently offers a variety of services and products under the mark USAA and various other marks that include “USAA” (collectively, the “USAA Marks”).
USAA primarily offers insurance services (including annuities, automobile, homeowner, whole life and term life, renters, and personal property insurance) and financial services (such as banking, credit card, brokerage, and financial planning).
Since its adoption of the USAA name and trademark in 1927, USAA has spent many millions of dollars advertising, marketing, and promoting its USAA branded products and services through a variety of national media, including billboards, Internet advertising, direct mail, print advertisements, and USAA’s website at the domain usaa.com.
Complainant states that it has won numerous awards as a company and as an employer. It is unnecessary to recite the awards since they are not relevant to the issues before the Panel. It alleges that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in <usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com> and that it was registered and is being used in bad faith.
also states Complainant claims that it sent a cease-and-desist letter to
Respondent dated June 2, 2022 at the mailing address found on its website. It
notes that “Respondent has not replied, even when aware of Complainant’s
objections, and likewise failed to comply with Complainant’s demand that it
cease and desist in the use of the domain name, whilst continuing to
commercialize its offerings sold at the disputed domain name.” Complainant does
not proffer evidence of any earlier notices and according to the Whois
directory Respondent registered <usaainsuranceclaims adjusting.com>
Respondent, Harris Claims Services is an Illinois company. It states that it is a licensed public adjusting firm and that its very nature and business is to negotiate and adjust insurance claims on behalf of policy holders "against" USAA. Harris Claims Services states that it is not a competitor seeking to divert business from USAA to Harris Claims Services. Further it does not sell insurance, is not a broker or an insurance agency. Specifically, contrary to Complainant’s contention Harris Claims Services does not engage in the sale of insurance, banking or retirement solutions.
Respondent states that its business is similar in some respects to that of an attorney who represents client’s interests in resolving legal issues. Like attorneys public adjusting firms must comply with the state of Illinois rules and regulations applicable to public adjusters. It must be tested and have passed the public adjusters exam and must be bonded, all of which it claims for itself.
contends that USAA's seeks to interfere with its lawful practice of offering
its services of claims adjusting for policy holders seeking independent
representation. It states USAA has no legitimate or logical reasoning for its assertions
and the assertions it makes are false as can be seen from a clear reading of
the complaint and comparing the web page to which usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com>
resolves. Respondent argues that this is not an URL issue but really USAA is
seeking to limit free speech. It contends that it has rights and legitimate
interests in <usaainsurance claimsadjusting.com> and that its registration
of the domain name was lawful.
A. Additional Submissions
In its Additional Submission, Complainant mainly repeats its allegations and In particular it states that Respondent’s domain name, encompassing Complainant’s entire USAA Mark and tacking on the generic phrase “insurance claims adjusting,” is misleading because it implies the insurance claims adjusting services in question are offered by USAA. Indeed, USAA states that it provides insurance claims adjustment services. Moreover, the Disputed Domain Name is not worded such that it is commenting on USAA or talking about the relationship between Respondent’s business and that of Complainant. Instead, it presents like the domain name of an official website of Complainant offering Complainant’s services. Thus, there can be no doubt that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s USAA mark.
Complainant rejects Respondent’s repeated protests that it does not offer directly competing services since Complainant offers its own insurance adjusting services as part of its insurance claims services.
Respondent counters USAA’s Supplemental Submission by accusing it of wrongfully claiming Respondent is a competitor when it is an independent public adjuster. Throughout this process USAA has failed to support one fact demonstrating that respondent is making any false claims, is making any insurance offerings or is directly competing with USAA. Now USAA having failed to prove the matter makes other false allegations in its Supplement.
Respondent states that far from being a competitor it is an adversary of USAA in that it assists policy holders in adjusting their claims against USAA. It states that the falsity of the allegations are made apparent by examining the language of the website to which usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com resolves. A visitor to the website “can find all or at least one of the following: that it is a “State Licensed Public Adjusters & General Contractors of Insurance Losses,” “Public Adjusters Working for You, NOT the Insurance Company,” “Our Team of Public Adjusters and Fire Insurance repair Experts work only for you!”
Respondent concludes that “USAA’s bold claim that [Harris Claims Services] is a direct competitor is false, misleading and made in bad faith to this panel.” As noted throughout this proceeding the goal here is for USAA to control the claims process, the entire process and not allow a USAA insureds to seek representation in a claim process.
Complainant is a Texas Association which is self-described as an Unincorporated reciprocal inter-insurance exchange. It has many US service marks for the term USAA. Its in-house and contract adjusters provide services internal to its business practice. USAA is not a public adjuster.
Respondent is an Illinois company doing business under the tradename of Harris Claims Service as a registered public adjuster. As Harris Claims Service is the Respondent in this case the caption is amended to reflect this status. It is represented in this proceeding by its principal, Jason Harris. Respondent is not associated with Complainant and describes itself as an “adversary.”
The disputed domain name, <usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com> (hereinafter, the “Disputed Domain Name”) was registered in 2010 and resolves today to a webpage that appears to be identical in its content to the website when it was first launched. For this last piece of information the Panel reviewed the screen captures from <archive.org>. See WIPO Overview 3.0 Sec. 4.8: “a panel may undertake limited factual research into matters of public record if it would consider such information useful to assessing the case merits and reaching a decision.” Web pages are public records.
The website to which the Disputed Domain Name resolves accurately reflects Respondent’s business as a public adjuster by distinguishing its services from the services of Complainant.
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 provides that in order to divest the Respondent of the disputed domain name, the Complainant must demonstrate each of the following which requires Complainant to 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.
Complainant has a number of service marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the term USAA which is, an acronym of its unincorporated association. It offers insurance and other services in Classes 35, 36, 39, and 41. The Panel finds that Complainant has a mark in which it has a right.
The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the mark together with the phrase “insurance claims adjusting.” The term USAA is dominant in both the mark in which Complainant has a right and in the Disputed Domain Name. The addition of other terms in a domain name does not affect a finding that a domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark. Britannia Building Society v. Britannia Fraud Prevention, Case No. D2001-0505; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, Case No. D2000-0662. The Disputed Domain Name is not identical to Complainant’s mark as it includes the words “insurance claims adjusting.”
As the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to a mark in which Complainant has a right, it therefore satisfies the two element requirement of Para. 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
In the generality of cases submitted for adjudication under the UDRP there is no question that respondents have actual knowledge of complainants, but in cases in which respondents appear and argue, as is the case here, they generally deny actual knowledge. Here, though, there is no question that Respondent has actual knowledge of Complainant, indeed Respondent does not deny it. The raison d’etre of its business is to engage with Complainant in adjusting claims on behalf of Complainant’s insureds seeking independent experts to represent their interests.
Complainant knows precisely who Respondent is, as they have been engaged in combat for at least 10 years, and possibly more (Respondent’s webpage states that it has been providing expert services for over 20 years). Complainant does not acknowledge this history although it must be aware of it. It alleges that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name because by its use it “divert[s] consumers away from USAA [. . .] toward this unauthorized website [which] is not a bona fide offering of goods or services.”
It also argues that Respondent’s page at the Disputed Domain Name “even encourages users to cease use of Complainant’s insurance adjusting services and to use Respondent’s insurance adjusting services instead, stating “USAA INSURANCE COMPANY HAS EXPERTS WORKING FOR THEM ON FIRE CLAIMS AND WATER CLAIMS. . . . YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR OWN [Harris Claims Services] EXPERT PUBLIC INSURANCE ADJUSTER . . ..” Thus, Respondent and Complainant offer insurance adjusting services that in fact directly compete.”
There is a close question as to whether Complainant’s contentions satisfy Complainant’s prima facie burden of proving Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name, but it is unnecessary to answer the question because Respondent has adduced a substantial rebuttal based on the contents of its website, the nature of its public adjusting services, the length of time it has been an “adversary” of Complainant, and lapse of time without objection since the website became active.
The Policy provides a set of three nonexclusive circumstances on proof of any one of which “shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii):
i. “[B]efore any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.”
ii. “[Y]ou (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights.”
iii. “[Y]ou are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”
shows that it offers public adjusting services to persons holding insurance
policies with USAA and that the information contained in the website to which
the Disputed Domain Name resolves is true and accurate of its services as an
independent adjuster. A screen shot of the website submitted by both parties
states in direct terms that:
“USAA insurance company has
experts working for them on fire claims and water claims. USAA INSURANCE
adjusters are hard at work keeping payouts on fire claims low so they can earn
YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR OWN expert public insurance adjuster working for you on your USAA insurance claim!!!
OUR SERVICES PAY FOR THEMSELVES. WE MAXIMIZE CLAIMS WITHOUT ANY EXTRA COSTS!!!!
For the duration of Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Name from 2010, there is no evidence in the record that Complainant has ever questioned Respondent’s right to perform public adjusting services for its insureds, nor would there be any legal grounds to object to its insureds seeking independent expert advice in settling claims.
Complainant nevertheless contends that “Respondent has not used, nor made any demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.” It contends further that “Respondent is using the domain name to direct unsuspecting internet users seeking Complainant’s insurance offerings to a webpage dedicated to Respondent’s own directly competing and unaffiliated insurance business, Harris Claims Services.”
Complainant is correct that the purport of Respondent’s website is to encourage Complainant’s insureds to seek independent expert advice in negotiating their insurance claims. Therefore, it is a misstatement to allege that “Before notice” “Respondent has not used, nor made any demonstrable preparations,” etc. The question is whether this encouragement which has been going one for over 10 years supports a claim that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
On the evidence presented to the Panel this is not a case of a respondent “divert[ing] USAA customers to Respondent’s website with directly competing offerings.” The record reflects only that Complainant is offering adjusting services as a complement to its writing insurance contracts, but the services Respondent offers as a public adjuster is on an entirely different level in that it is independent of USAA with a fiduciary duty to policy holders seeking adjustment of their insurance claims.
Although not in so many words, Respondent is claiming that it is using the Disputed Domain Name nominatively to market its public adjusting services as indicated by the additional words in the Disputed Domain Name “insurance claims adjusting.” Nominative fair use has a long history under the UDRP, as it does under US law. The question posed to the Panel is whether there is merit to Respondent’s defense of nominative fair use for if there is, it would also satisfy a nonexclusive circumstance of a right or legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name.
Complainant offers a string of case citations that are not germane to the issues before the Panel since the facts presented in those cases have no resemblance to the facts in this case. If cases are to be cited, there must be some explanation as to their relevance in deciding the specific case before the Panel. To simply throw citations into a pleading as footnotes as though a Panel will nod in agreement is too much to expect.
A significant body of law has developed around the issue of nominative fair use as a defense to UDRP complaints. The principles established by the seminal Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc. Case No. D2001-0903 recognize that the Policy is not intended to prohibit, without exception, the incorporation of a third party’s trade mark within a domain name in all cases. The Panel in that case sought to establish a balance which incorporated the concept of “nominative fair use”. It laid down the following test:
(1) [It] must actually be offering the goods or services at issue;
(2) [It] must use the site to sell only the trademarked goods; otherwise, it could be using the trademark to bait Internet users and then switch them to other goods;
(3) [Its] website must accurately disclose the registrant’s relationship with the trademark owner; it may not, for example, falsely suggest that it is the trademark owner, or that the website is the official site, if, in fact, it is only one of many sales agents;
(4) [It] must not try to corner the market in all domain names, thus depriving the owner of reflecting its own mark in a domain name..
Complainant contends that Respondent’s adjusting services compete with similar services it offers. It argues that Respondent falsely lures Complainant’s insureds to its website believing they are going to a USAA sponsored website. Given the language on the website, no objective reader of Respondent’s website text, parts of which are quoted above, will misconstrue the nature of Respondent’s services or come away with the impression that Respondent is sponsored by Complainant; quite the opposite: “We are the experts to rely on. We are the public insurance adjusters who have been fighting USAA insurance company and adjusting fire and water claims for over twenty years!!!” and “We maximize and adjust all USAA insurance claims. FIRE DAMAGE, WATER DAMAGE, FLOOD DAMAGE AND MORE!!!”
The settled law on the issue of nominative fair use is clearly set forth in the following decisions. As there is no reason to deviate from the consensus, I accept their reasoning as applicable to the circumstances in this case. In Chicago Bd. Options Exch. Inc. v. Private, FA 804703 (Forum November 29, 2006) the Panel found that “For seven years, Respondent has been providing services to persons who wish to know more about or trade on the Options Exchange.” In N.V. Organon and Schering Plough Corporation v. Fields Law Firm and Stephen Fields, 1259266 (Forum June 16, 2009) (<nuvaringside effects.com>) the Panel notes what the registrant may and may not do: “A person may not, by using a domain name, attempt to trade on the goodwill of a trademark holder by creating confusion or misleading the public about the source or sponsorship of his website [. . . .] [B]ut if his purpose is to offer criticism or express concern about the safety of a given product in the marketplace he is entitled to use the name of that product in his domain name, so long as the domain name, taken as a whole, is clear as to the purpose of the website and does not imply sponsorship or endorsement thereof by the proponents of that product.” In Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Watts Guerra Craft LLP, Case No. D2012-0486 (<byettacancer.com>) the Panel explains that “[t]he use [the domain name] is a nominative fair use because the Respondent is using the trademark to refer to the trademarked goods and services, and the Respondent needs to use the mark in order for Internet users to understand the goods to which the Respondent is referring.”
The Panel finds that Respondent satisfies each of the elements of the Oki Data test by offering public adjusting services independent of any relationship with Complainant. It may very well be that Complainant’s goal, as Respondent contends, is “to control the claims process [. . .] and not allow [. . .] its insureds to seek representation in a claim process,” but this it cannot do. The UDRP is designed to suppress cybersquatting, not competition, and for these reasons Respondent has legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.
Thus, Complainant has not satisfied the requirements of Para.4(a)(ii).
Having found that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name it is not strictly necessary to address the facts and law under this head, except to consider the merits of Complainant’s argument that Respondent’s registration and use of the Disputed Domain Name violated the Policy and its rights.
Bad faith under the UDRP is broadly understood to occur where a respondent takes unfair advantage of or otherwise abuses a complainant’s mark. WIPO Overview 3.0, at par. 3.1 (2017). To support a claim for abusive registration, the Policy sets forth a set of four circumstances “in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith.” The first three address the issue of bad faith registration and the fourth addresses the issue of bad faith use:
i. “[C]ircumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name.”
ii. “[Y]ou have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct.”
iii. [Y]ou have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting
the business of a competitor.
iv. [B]y using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.
Complainant makes no claim that Respondent acquired the Disputed Domain Name to sell it to Claimant for valuable consideration or that Respondent registered it to prevent Complainant from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name. This leaves the other two circumstances for consideration.
Complainant argues that Respondent is a competitor in the field of adjusting claims. While both parties adjust claims, Complainant’s principal business involves writing insurance contracts. The parties are in competition only in the sense that policy holders may prefer to work with independent adjustors rather than in-house adjusters whose loyalty is to USAA. Adjusting claims is not Complainant’s business, but incidental to it for if insurance policies are written just as surely there will be claims. As Respondent is not a competitor for any of the products for which Complainant is known, and as Complainant is not in the business of adjusting claims but of writing policies, its argument must be rejected,
There is a clear distinction between what Complainant does incidental to its writing insurance policies and what Respondent does. Nevertheless, Complainant argues that consumers looking for USAA will be initially confused by arriving at Respondent’s website. Initial interest confusion is certainly a factor in determining bad faith, but not conclusive without other evidence specifically violating the circumstances set forth in Para. 4(b) of the Policy. As the Panel noted in Legal & Gen. Group Plc v. Image Plus, D2002-1019 (WIPO Dec. 30, 2002):
“[S]ome Internet users might initially be confused into thinking that, because of the use of the mark in the disputed domain name, <legal-and-general.com> is the Complainant’s official website is, in the view of the majority of the Panel, of no moment. First, any such confusion would, in the view of the majority of the Panel immediately be dispelled by the content on the Respondent’s website. Second, and in any event, such a low level of confusion is, in the view of the majority of the Panel, a price worth paying to preserve the free exchange of ideas via the Internet.”
In assessing the issue of competition under 4(b)(iii) it is generally considered together with 4(b)(iv). The critical element of this factor is that a respondent has “creat[ed] a likelihood of confusion with complainant’s mark as to the source, affiliation, or endorsement” of its services.” A reading of the website does not support this argument. The same issue was before the Panel in Fluke Corporation v. Erwin Bryson / fixmyfluke / Nelson Bryson, FA2203001988399 (Forum July 6, 2022). In that case the Panel pertinently held that “[w]hile Respondent does seek to attract consumers to its website for commercial gain, for the reasons noted [. . .] in the previous section, the Majority does not find that it is doing so by creating a likelihood of confusion with the FLUKE mark or that it’s intent is to divert customers who are seeking Complainant’s own repair services.” See also Hästens Sängar AB v. Jeff Bader / Organic Mattresses, Inc., FA2005001895951 (Forum July 31, 2020) (<comparetohastens.com>): “It is true that such a comparison website, if launched, may attract consumers to it. But, if the website is properly designed, it likely would not cause confusion as to source, sponsorship or affiliation; rather, it should be clear that the website does not come from Complainant but rather from a competitor of Complainant.”
Accordingly, Complainant’s claim under paras. 4(b)(iii) and 4(b)(iv) of the Policy are rejected.
Complainant advances several other arguments. It contends that “Respondent uses the domain name usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com to usurp the goodwill in the USAA Marks.” If this assertion has any substance, which this Panel declines to speculate on, then it does not belong in a UDRP proceeding as the jurisdiction of the UDRP is limited to claims of cybersquatting.
On this record, Respondent registered the Dispute Domain Name to
market its legitimate business as a public adjuster. That Complainant is irked
that an insured would prefer to have an independent expert “on its side” is not
the basis for a claim of cybersquatting. Finally,
Complainant argues that “Respondent’s bad faith is also evidenced by the fact
that it owns no trademark or other intellectual property rights in the domain
name.” If not owning a trademark were a disqualification to registering domain
names 99.9% of domain names would be forfeit.
For the above reasons, Complainant has not satisfied Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING
Respondent argues that Complainant makes false and misleading statements in its complaint and Additional Submission and that Complainant’s contentions have no reasonable connection to the facts in this case. The Disputed Domain Name was registered in 2010 and as a public adjuster Respondent has been representing USAA’s insured who seek independent experts for over twenty years. Complainant’s failure to acknowledge these material facts is a serious oversight. Recognizing them should have alerted Complainant’s counsel that it had no actionable claim for cybersquatting, yet it proceeded despite its knowledge of these facts.
Rather, Counsel has crafted a complaint to mislead the Panel that the Disputed Domain Name has only recently been discovered, that there is no history of Respondent’s representation of Complainant’s insureds over the years, and Complainant is “shocked” that Respondent is representing Complainant’s insureds as a public adjuster in negotiating settlements of insurance claims. In failing to recognise this history Complainant has presented a false picture of the circumstances under which and for which the Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used.
In filing this complaint, Counsel certified under UDRP Rule 3(xiii) that “this Complaint is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, and that the assertions in this Complaint are warranted under these Rules and under applicable law, as it now exists or as it may be extended by a good-faith and reasonable argument.” In assessing a claim for cybersquatting, a party’s failure to recognize what those undeniable facts are undermines any claim that “the assertions [. . .] are warranted.”
Reverse domain name highjacking is defined in the UDRP Rules as an “attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.” Rule 15(e) provides that “If after considering the submissions the Panel finds that the complaint was brought in bad faith, for example in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking or was brought primarily to harass the domain-name holder, the Panel shall declare in its decision that the complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding.”
For the reasons explained above and in the prior sections, the Panel declares that this complaint was brought in bad faith in an attempt to deprive Respondent of the Disputed Domain Name.
Having not established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy, the Panel concludes that relief shall be DENIED.
Accordingly, it is Ordered that the <usaainsuranceclaimsadjusting.com> domain name shall REMAIN WITH Respondent.
Gerald M. Levine, Panelist
Dated: September 27, 2022
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