The Complainant is Navasard Limited of Limassol, Cyprus, represented by Giorgos Landas LLC, Cyprus (hereinafter “Complainant”).
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard Inc. of Panama, Panama / Dmytro Susidko of Kiev, Ukraine (hereinafter “Respondent”).
The disputed domain name <1xbet.date> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 9, 2018. On the same day, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 9, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on August 23, 2018, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on August 24, 2018.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 August 28, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 17, 2018. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on September 18, 2018.
The Center appointed M. Scott Donahey as the sole panelist in this matter on September 28, 2018. 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.
Complainant is a company headquartered in Cyprus which was incorporated on March 9, 2015. Complainant operates one of the most recognized online sports betting brands in Eastern Europe. Prior to Complainant’s incorporation, Complainant’s predecessor used the mark as a common law trademark. Complainant is the holder of figurative 1XBET trademark, registered on July 27, 2015, with trademark registration number 13914254, and 1XBET word mark registered on September 21, 2015, with trademark registration number 14227681, both registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Complainant leases the trademarks to affiliated companies who use them as part of the online sports betting enterprises that they operate.
Respondent registered the disputed domain name on February 20, 2017. The disputed domain name currently redirects to “www.1xbett.info”, a website which displays Complainant’s figurative trademark and word mark. Both the colors used and the logo used on the website to which the disputed domain name resolves are identical to those of Complainant’s trademarks.
On March 13, 2018, Complainant notified the Registrar and Respondent of Complainant’s rights in the trademarks identical to the domain name and requested that Respondent transfer the domain name to Complainant. Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s notification or request.
Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s word mark and that the logo on the website to which the disputed domain name resolves is identical to Complainant’s figurative trademark. Complainant contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name in that Respondent has never been authorized to use either of Respondent’s trademarks, and that Respondent is not using the domain name to make any noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Finally, Complainant has been using the disputed domain name to resolve to a pay-per-click website which contains a link to a website which offers competing online sports betting.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute:
“A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.”
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the complainant must prove each of the following:
(i) that the domain name registered by the respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and,
(ii) that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and,
(iii) that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
The disputed domain name consists of Complainant’s trademark 1XBET which has been registered in the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.date”. Panels have found that when a domain name consists of a Second-Level Domain that corresponds exactly to a trademark and is registered in a gTLD, in this case “.date”, the disputed domain name is identical to the trademark in question. Accordingly, the Panel finds that disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s trademark.
While the overall burden of proof in UDRP proceedings is on the complainant, UDRP panels have recognized that proving a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in a domain name may result in the often impossible task of “proving a negative”, requiring information that is often primarily within the knowledge or control of the respondent. As such, where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element. WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1.
In the present case Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and Respondent has failed to assert any such rights. Accordingly, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
The Panel notes that the Second-Level Domain is identical to the 1XBET trademark and that the disputed domain name was registered after Complainant’s trademark registration. In addition, Respondent used the disputed domain name to resolve to a pay-per-click website which contained links to Complainant’s competitors and on which Complainant’s word mark and figurative trademark were being used so that Internet users would be confused as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website and the betting services they were receiving. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
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 name, <1xbet.date>, be transferred to Complainant.
M. Scott Donahey
Date: September 29, 2018
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