CREDITNINJA and KreditNinjaLLC dispute

Started by Domaining News, Jan 10, 2023, 10:18 AM

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Domaining NewsTopic starter, a domain name similar in sound to the registered trademark CREDITNINJA owned by CreditNinja Lending LLC, led to a UDRP case filed by the Complainant at the Forum. Although the domain name was registered in 2021, the sole panelist dismissed the case as the Respondent runs a legitimate, registered business in Arkansas, indicating that the domain was not registered or used in bad faith.

CreditNinja Lending, LLC filed a complaint against RASHAUD SPIKES / Business, the owner of, registered with, LLC. The complainant seeks a transfer of the disputed domain name to their ownership. The case was dismissed due to the Respondent operating a valid, registered business in Arkansas.

The Complainant in the UDRP asserts ownership of the CREDITNINJA mark based on its registration with the USPTO. According to Policy ΒΆ 4(a)(i), ownership of a mark registered with the USPTO is evidence of rights in a mark. Therefore, the Panel may find that the Complainant has rights in the mark.

The Complainant argues that the disputed domain name, is confusingly similar to the CREDITNINJA mark and adds extraneous letters and replaces a single letter. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant's mark as it contains the CREDITNINJA mark entirely and merely replaces the letter "c" with the letter "k" and adds in the letters "llc" and the ".com" gTLD.

The Complainant also contends that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name as Complainant has not authorized Respondent to use the mark and Respondent's fraudulent webpage offers similar financial services, purporting to be the Complainant. However, Respondent rebuts that Kredit Ninja LLC is a locally owned and operated company offering credit restoration services and helping credit scores increase up to 200 points.

The Panel notes that Respondent created the business with the name "Kredit Ninja" predating the first use of Complainant's mark and is recorded as "Incorporator/Organizer" of the company "Kredit Ninja LLC" which remains in "Good Standing" status. The Panel also notes that Kredit Ninja LLC created a website using the disputed domain name for clients to sign up or inquire about credit restoration services.