Geico wins WIPO case for 4 Infringing Domain Names

Whois XML Api

Geico also is known as Government Employees Insurance Company was represented by Burns & Levinson LLP in the domain name dispute – WIPO case number D2020-1079, The four domain names that Geico won were ygeico.com,  geico0.com,  geicok.com, geicod.com all made complete sense to the single panellist Roberto Bianchi to transfer these domain names over Geico.

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Geico has 10 Live WIPO cases running just now for multiple domain names, here are the recent Geico WIPO cases below.

Case No Domain Name Decision Decision Date
D2020-1737 support-bomgargeico.com, support-bomgar-geico.com, hrgeico.com and 2 others… CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1723 kgeico.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1595 geicoinsurancebakersfield.com, bakersfieldgeicoinsurance.com, bakersfieldgeico.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1593 geico-carinsurance.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1425 jgeico.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1423 geicocorp.net CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1176 egeicoinsurance.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-1175 geiconumber.com TERMINATED
D2020-1079 ygeico.com, geico0.com, geicok.com and geicod.com TRANSFER July 2, 2020
D2020-1013 geicoservice.com TRANSFER June 15, 2020
D2020-1012 sgeico.com CASE ACTIVE
D2020-0946 geicojob.com, geicocareer.com, geico.cam CASE ACTIVE
D2020-0841 geico-ins.site, geicoauto.live TRANSFER June 8, 2020
D2020-0772 emailgeico.com TRANSFER May 29, 2020
D2020-0764 gegeico.com TRANSFER June 7, 2020
D2020-0492 geicofamily.com, geicoconsulting.com TERMINATED
D2020-0386 geicomotocycle.com TRANSFER April 22, 2020
DIO2020-0003 geico.io CASE ACTIVE
D2019-3025 giieco.com TRANSFER Feb. 21, 2020
D2019-3022 geico-car-insurance-quote.com TRANSFER Feb. 7, 2020
D2019-2620 geicoclaims.org, geicoclaims.net, geicoclaims.miami and 2 others… TRANSFER Jan. 6, 2020
D2019-2616 geicoautoclaims.com TERMINATED
D2019-2449 screwgeico.com TERMINATED
D2019-2406 egeico.com TRANSFER Dec. 6, 2019
D2019-2026 geicoinsco.com TRANSFER Oct. 22, 2019
D2019-1975 geico.tech TRANSFER Nov. 7, 2019
D2019-1964 geico.vip TRANSFER Oct. 30, 2019
D2019-1926 wwgeico.com TERMINATED
D2019-1924 gweico.com TRANSFER Oct. 1, 2019
D2019-1923 grico.com TRANSFER Nov. 5, 2019
D2019-1832 giecio.com TRANSFER Sept. 13, 2019
D2019-1831 geoko.com TERMINATED
D2019-1830 geivo.com TRANSFER Oct. 2, 2019
D2019-1595 giecocommercial.com TRANSFER
D2019-1534 giceo.com, geoico.com, geixco.com TRANSFER Aug. 14, 2019
D2019-1533 geicolawyer.com TERMINATED
D2019-0991 geico-corp.com TERMINATED
D2019-0879 wwwigeico.com, tgeico.com, hgeico.com and 14 others… TRANSFER June 11, 2019
D2019-0877 geicorecruit.info TRANSFER June 12, 2019
D2019-0596 geicoinsurance.biz TRANSFER May 10, 2019
D2019-0595 geicoo.org TRANSFER May 1, 2019
D2019-0112 thebestofgeico.com, bestofgeico.com TRANSFER April 7, 2019
D2018-2884 geicoinsurancequote.com TRANSFER Feb. 26, 2019
D2018-2728 geieco.com TRANSFER Jan. 7, 2019
D2018-2641 geoco.com TRANSFER Jan. 4, 2019
D2018-2639 geioc.com, geieco.com TRANSFER Jan. 27, 2019
D2018-2527 gicko.com, geicho.com, geicco.com TRANSFER Dec. 29, 2018
D2018-2315 geico-login.com TRANSFER Nov. 22, 2018
D2018-2314 gekio.com TRANSFER Nov. 22, 2018
D2018-2313 geikco.com TERMINATED
D2018-2312 giecko.com TRANSFER Nov. 22, 2018
D2018-1698 geicoddd.com TRANSFER Sept. 10, 2018
D2018-1685 sales2geico.com TRANSFER Aug. 25, 2018
D2018-1565 geicogaming.com TERMINATED
D2018-0018 geico.promo TRANSFER March 7, 2018
D2017-1577 geico365.com TRANSFER Oct. 21, 2017
D2017-0617 partnergeico.com TRANSFER May 4, 2017
D2016-2634 therealgeicogecko.com TERMINATED
D2016-2468 cheapneasy-geico.com TRANSFER
D2016-2418 geicohouston.com TERMINATED
D2016-1275 geicorewards.com TRANSFER Aug. 28, 2016
D2015-1448 geicocom.com TERMINATED
D2015-1410 geico-com.com TRANSFER Sept. 30, 2015
D2014-2286 geicocloud.com TRANSFER Feb. 27, 2015
D2014-0805 geico.email TRANSFER Aug. 18, 2014
D2013-2048 geicotowing.com TRANSFER Jan. 23, 2014
D2013-1790 geicotrust.com TRANSFER Dec. 2, 2013
D2012-1489 giego.com, geigo.com TRANSFER Sept. 25, 2012
D2012-1488 geic.com TRANSFER Aug. 31, 2012
D2012-1487 giecocreditcards.com TRANSFER Sept. 4, 2012
D2012-1486 giekco.com, giecoc.com TRANSFER Sept. 18, 2012
D2012-1306 geice.com TRANSFER Sept. 4, 2012
D2012-1262 geicodc.com TERMINATED
D2011-2306 geicoins.net TRANSFER Feb. 20, 2012
D2011-1130 geicohosting.net, geicohosting.com TRANSFER Aug. 5, 2011
D2011-0035 geicobowl.com TRANSFER Feb. 16, 2011
D2010-1746 gecio.com TRANSFER Dec. 7, 2010
D2010-1180 wwwgeico.com TRANSFER Aug. 30, 2010
D2005-1131 giacoinsurancedirect.com, giacoinsurance.com, giacodirect.com and 31 others… TRANSFER Dec. 29, 2005
D2005-1088 geicomotorcycles.com, geicomotorcycle.com, gaccoinsurancedirect.com TRANSFER Dec. 15, 2005
D2004-0919 insurancegeico.com, giecoinsurence.com, giecoinsureance.com and 21 others… TRANSFER Jan. 7, 2005
D2004-0712 ggeico.com, gfeico.com, geuico.com and 7 others… TERMINATED
D2004-0545 gico.com TRANSFER Sept. 7, 2004
D2004-0129 partnersgeico.com, gicodirect.com, geicopriviledges.com and 3 others… TRANSFER May 13, 2004
D2001-0742 geicodirect.org TRANSFER Sept. 4, 2001

Ever wanted to know what domain names that Geico owns? Well, we have a list tomorrow on Robbies Blog of over 380 domain names owned Geico, visit the Robbies blog to see these domain names owned by Geico.

Have you registered your $6.99 Dot Com Domain Name with Dynadot – Click here to register your domain name today, one of the cheapest prices online.

Here are the full case notes below for WIPO case number D2020-1079

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Government Employees Insurance Company v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD

Case No. D2020-1079

1. The Parties

Complainant is Government Employees Insurance Company, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Burns & Levinson LLP, United States.

Respondent is Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, Panama.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <geicod.com>, <geicok.com>, <geico0.com> and <ygeico.com> are registered with Media Elite Holdings Limited dba Register Matrix (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 30, 2020. On April 30, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On May 4, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy” or “UDRP”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Supplemental Rules”).

In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2 and 4, the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 12, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 1, 2020. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on June 6, 2020.

The Center appointed Roberto Bianchi as the sole panellist in this matter on June 11, 2020. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.

4. Factual Background

Complainant is an American company providing insurance services since 1936. Complainant’s insurance services include automobile, motorcycle, homeowners, rental, condominium, flood, mobile home, personal umbrella, and overseas insurances. According to the Complaint, Complainant has issued over 17 million policies, is the insurer of more than 28 million vehicles and has over 40,000 employees.

Complainant owns, inter alia, the following trademark registrations in the United States:

– GEICO, Registration No. 763274, registered on January 14, 1964, filed on December 6, 1962, covering various insurance services in classes 35 and 36. First use in commerce: 1948.

– GEICO, Registration No. 2601179, registered on July 30, 2002, filed on January 25, 2001, covering providing various insurance brokerage and underwriting services in Class 36. First use in commerce: December 31, 1948.

Complainant also owns the domain name <geico.com>, at which it operates the “www.geico.com” website to promote and sell its services.

The disputed domain names <ygeico.com>, <geico0.com> and <geicok.com> were registered on May 31, 2019. The disputed domain name <geicod.com> was registered on December 12, 2019.

At the time of rendering this decision, the disputed domain names resolved to various websites, as follows: the disputed domain name <ygeico.com> resolved to the “www.nordfx.com” website, offering Forex trading services. The disputed domain names <geico0.com>, <geicok.com> and <geicod.com> resolved to websites displaying the related links “Geico Auto Insurance”, “Automobile Insurance”, “Online Loans”, “Cheap Flights”, “Sport Bets”, “Avianca”, “IPhone”, “Facebook” and “Translator”.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Complainant contends as follows:

The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainant’s GEICO mark as they fully incorporate common or obvious misspellings of the GEICO mark. Furthermore, (i) GEICO is a distinctive and invented word; (ii) each of the disputed domain names merely adds an additional letter or number to the GEICO mark, none of which creates any new word, or gives any of the disputed domain names a distinctive meaning; (iii) the disputed domain names are deliberate misspellings of Complainant’s GEICO mark (“typosquatting”); and (iv) the disputed domain names visually are so close to Complainant’s GEICO mark that confusion is inevitable.

Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. Respondent has no connection or affiliation with Complainant and has not received any license or consent to use the GEICO mark in a domain name or in any other manner. Furthermore, Complainant believes Respondent has never been known by any of the disputed domain names. Respondent’s misappropriation of the GEICO mark in the disputed domain names was no accident. Where a mark is famous, as in the instant case, it is “not one trader would legitimately choose unless seeking to create an impression of an association” with the Complainant. See Telstra Corp. Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 (February 18, 2000). The use of the disputed domain names to redirect to third party websites is not a legitimate interest. The GEICO mark is not a name that Respondent would have legitimately and randomly chosen to use.

Respondent registered the disputed domain names in bad faith, with knowledge of Complainant’s rights in its GEICO mark and with an intent to profit off of those rights. It is inconceivable that Respondent was unaware of GEICO’s rights in the GEICO mark when it registered, not one, but all of the disputed domain names that incorporate either Complainant’s famous federally registered GEICO mark in its entirety, or obvious misspellings thereof. At a minimum, Respondent had actual notice of Complainant’s rights. GEICO engages in extensive advertising, including television advertising, featuring its name and mark and has offices throughout the world. A simple Internet search would have revealed Complainant’s extensive use of the GEICO mark as a source identifier. Complainant’s rights in the GEICO mark also would have been obvious through basic domain name searches and other searches of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) records, readily accessible online. Respondent is thus deemed to have constructive notice of Complainant’s trademark rights by virtue of its federal registrations in the GEICO mark.

Most of the disputed domain names are advertised for sale for USD 500- USD 899, far in excess of any out-of-pocket expenses directly related to any of the disputed domain names. This fact strongly suggests that Respondent was aware of Complainant’s trademark and its business when it registered the disputed domain names and that Respondent’s intention in registering the disputed domain names was for financial gain, all in bad faith.

Respondent’s use of the GEICO mark to attract Internet users to Respondent’s websites, knowing that Complainant had not authorized it to do so is evidence of bad faith. The disputed domain names are used to redirect users to various third-party sites, including unrelated websites that feature services that are in fields related to those of Complainant, which causes harm to Complainant. Respondent’s use of the disputed domain names to redirect visitors to websites that appear to provide insurance services that are competitive with Complainant is patent evidence of bad faith use.

Finally, Respondent is a “serial cybersquatter” implicated in previous UDRP decisions for the same conduct of typosquatting, further evidencing bad faith. Government Employees Insurance Company v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2019-0879 (June 11, 2019 )(“it seems clear that over many years the Respondent has registered a series of Disputed Domain Names all confusingly similar to the Complainant’s GEICO trademark and this is part of a deliberate enterprise seeking to derive revenue as a result of traffic arriving at websites linked to the Disputed Domain Names in question”); Government Employees Insurance Company v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, WIPO Case No. D2018-2527 (February 27, 2019); Government Employees Insurance Company v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2018-2312 (November 22, 2018).

There is no conceivable contemplated use of the disputed domain names that would not be an infringing use by Respondent.

B. Respondent

Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

By submitting printouts taken from the USPTO database, Complainant has shown to the satisfaction of the Panel that it owns trademark rights in the GEICO trademark. See section 4 above.

The Panel notes that in each of the disputed domain names one letter or number is added to the GEICO trademark: the letter “d” as a suffix in the disputed domain name <geicod.com>, the letter “k” as a suffix in the disputed domain name <geicok.com>, the letter “y” as a prefix in the disputed domain name <ygeico.com>, and the number “0” as a suffix in the disputed domain name <geico0.com>. These minor additions are inapt to distinguish the disputed domain names from Complainant’s GEICO mark. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), paragraph 1.8 (“Where the relevant trademark is recognizable within the disputed domain name, the addition of other terms (whether descriptive, geographical, pejorative, meaningless or otherwise) would not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the first element.”) Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s mark GEICO.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel also notes that according to the relevant WhoIs data, the registrant of record of the disputed domain names, i.e., Respondent, is “Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD”. There is no evidence that this entity is known, commonly or otherwise, by any of the disputed domain names, which excludes the application of Policy paragraph 4(c)(ii). Complainant says that it never granted Respondent any license or consent, express or implied, to use the GEICO mark in any other manner, and the Panel sees no evidence proving otherwise.

The Panel further notes that the disputed domain name <ygeico.com> resolves to the website “www.nordfx.com”, offering Forex trading services after opening an account with a broker based in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The disputed domain names <geico0.com>, <geicok.com> and <geicod.com> resolve to websites displaying related links such as “Geico Auto Insurance”, “Automobile Insurance”, “Online Loans”, “Cheap Flights”, “Sport Bets”, “Avianca”, “IPhone”, “Facebook” and “Translator”. The Panel notes that such links appear to be unrelated to Complainant. In particular, the “Geico Auto Insurance” redirects to the website of the Circle`s Group, a European insurer of events and audiovisual productions, and to the “www.viicapitalfunds.com” website of a financial company, both companies also unrelated to Complainant. In addition, the “Automobile Insurance” link redirects to competitors of Complainant. Thus, Respondent likely is profiting from the confusion with Complainant`s GEICO mark, presumably to generate click-through income. In the view of the Panel, this use of the disputed domain names is neither a bona fide use pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(c)(i), nor a fair or legitimate noncommercial use without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers under Policy paragraph 4(c)(iii). In sum, Complainant has succeeded in raising a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.

Since Respondent failed to provide any arguments or reasons for having registered the disputed domain names or for using them as shown, the Panel finds that Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel notes that Complainant began using its GEICO mark in 1948, and that it owns registrations for this mark in the United States since at least 1962, while the disputed domain names were registered over fifty years later, in 2019. See section 4 above. In addition, previous panels have found that Respondent had registered and used in bad faith several domain names confusingly similar to Complainant´s mark GEICO. See, inter alia, Government Employees Insurance Company v. Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, WIPO Case No. D2019-1534 and Government Employees Insurance Company v. Domain Administrator, Fundacion Privacy Services LTD, WIPO Case No. D2018-2527.

From these facts, the Panel infers that at the time of registering the disputed domain names, Respondent knew quite well and targeted Complainant and its mark GEICO. In the circumstances of this case, this is evidence of registration in bad faith.

Complainant also has shown that the disputed domain names are being offered for sale on the Internet via Sedo.com for USD 500 and USD 899, i.e., clearly above the costs directly related to their registration. According to Policy paragraph 4(b)(i) this is an additional circumstance of registration and use in bad faith.

As seen in section 6B above, Respondent is using the disputed domain names to redirect Internet users presumably looking for Complainant and its Geico insurance services either to the website of a competitor or to websites displaying “related links” totally unrelated to Complainant. In all likelihood, this manoeuvre is addressed at generating click-through income. Thus, Respondent is intentionally attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or location or products or services on its website or location. Pursuant to Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv), this is a circumstance of registration and use in bad faith of the disputed domain names.

The Panel concludes that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain names <geicod.com>, <geicok.com>, <geico0.com> and <ygeico.com> be transferred to Complainant.

Roberto Bianchi
Sole Panelist

Date: June 24, 2020

About the Author

Robbie
Robbie Ferguson is an Internet Entrepreneur, Domain Investor, Domain Broker, Blogger and founder of various websites and eCommerce businesses such as ScreenProtectors.co.uk

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