The Complainant is Caesars License Company, LLC, United States of America (“United States”), represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Kevin Kim, United States.
The disputed domain name <caesars-bet.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 7, 2019. On June 11, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 12, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the 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 the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on June 14, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 4, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 5, 2019.
The Center appointed Kimberley Chen Nobles as the sole panelist in this matter on July 24, 2019. 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.
Caesars License Company, LLC is the owner of the CAESARS, CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT, and CAESARS PALACE trademarks and associated brands, and through affiliated companies including Caesars Entertainment Corporation (collectively “Caesars” or “Complainant”), is the owner and operator of the world famous Caesars Palace casino hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as CAESARS-branded casinos or casino hotels located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States; Ontario, Canada; Cairo, Egypt, and the newest property just opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Caesars brand was assigned to Caesars License Company, LLC through its previous owner Caesars World, LLC (the predecessor to Caesars World, Inc.).
Caesars Palace is located in the heart of the strip in Las Vegas and was opened on August 5, 1966. On average, approximately 1.5 million people stay at Caesars Palace each year. Millions more from around the world, including the United States, visit the casino each year, dine at Caesars’ restaurants and cafes, or watch a show in Caesars’ 4,100-seat theater named the Colosseum. Built around a Greco-Roman theme, Caesars Palace features more than 3,000 hotel guest rooms. Caesars Palace also contains 129,000 square feet of casino gaming space, four swimming pools, a 50,000 square-foot health spa and beauty salon, tennis courts, nine entertainment lounges and bars, showrooms, a 300,000 square-foot ballroom and convention facility, five wedding chapels, and a shopping mall with more than 150 retail stores.
Complainant has secured numerous registrations throughout the world for its CAESARS, CAESARS PALACE, CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT and Roman Head Design marks (the “Complainant Marks”), including those listed below:
February 9, 1971
CAESARS PALACE (stylized word)
February 9, 1971
March 6, 1973
CAESARS (stylized word)
March 6, 1973
35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
CAESARS (stylized word)
January 7, 1975
November 29, 2005
100, 101, 107
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT (design and text)
April 12, 2011
100, 101, 102, 107
Roman Head Design (design)
October 16, 2007
25, 41, 43
22, 39, 41, 100, 101, 107
July 28, 2009
October 7, 2009
August 14, 2010
February 7, 1995
October 21, 2009
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT (design and text)
August 28, 2010
Additionally, the Complainant holds registered domain names incorporating the Complainant Marks in order to promote its brand and services. The Complainant-held domain name <caesars.com> was registered on May 26, 1995. The Complainant-held domain name <caesarspalace.com> was registered on May 8, 1995. The Complainant-held domain name <caesarscasino.com> was registered on May 21, 1997.
The disputed domain name <caesars-bet.com> was registered on January 8, 2019. According to the Complainant, the disputed domain name previously resolved to a website including pictures of the Complainant’s casino properties and other material trademarked by the Complainant (see Annex 7). At the time of this Decision, the disputed domain name does not resolve to any website.
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s CAESARS marks. The Complainant has rights in the CAESARS marks by virtue of its trademark registrations. When comparing the disputed domain name to the Complainant Marks, the comparison should be made to the second-level portion of the disputed domain name only. The generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” should not be considered. The disputed domain name consists of the CAESARS trademark, followed by a hyphen and the generic term “bet”. This indicates that the Respondent intended the disputed domain name to be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant Marks.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no legal right to use any marks that include or are confusingly similar to the Complainant Marks to identify any hotel or resort, casino, or gaming related goods or services without a license from the Complainant. The Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, has not used or prepared to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, and has not been authorized, licensed, or otherwise permitted by the Complainant to register and/or use the disputed domain name.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. At the time of registration of the disputed domain name, it is obvious that the Respondent had actual knowledge of the Complainant Marks. In fact, the Respondent’s actual knowledge of the Complainant Marks is the entire reason behind the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name. Furthermore, the mere fact that the Respondent has registered a domain name that incorporates the famous trademark of a well-known company is alone sufficient to give rise to an inference of bad faith. However, the Respondent was clearly aware of the Complainant’s rights in the Complainant Marks when the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name, because the Respondent incorporated these well-known trademarks into the disputed domain name and forwarded the disputed domain name to website content that references the Complainant and the Complainant Marks.
For the reasons described above, the Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
The Policy provides for transfer or cancellation of the disputed domain name if the complainant establishes each of the following elements set out in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) The respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) The disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant has rights to the CAESARS marks. The Complainant has established that it is the registered owner of United States and China trademark registrations of the CAESARS marks and the other Complainant Marks.
The disputed domain name <caesars-bet.com> consists of the CAESARS mark, a hyphen, the dictionary term “bet”, and the gTLD “.com”. As a technical part of the domain name, the “.com” gTLD may be disregarded in determining confusing similarity. See Alienware Corp. v. Truther, WIPO Case No. DCO2012-0027; Belo Corp. v. George Latimer, WIPO Case No. D2002-0329. The disputed domain name consists entirely of the CAESARS mark, except for the hyphen, which serves as a non-distinctive element linking the mark to the rest of the domain name, and “bet”, a term related to activity in casinos and the Complainant’s gaming business.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.
As noted above, the Complainant has provided evidence of its prior rights in the Complainant Marks. These rights precede the creation of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name <caesars-bet.com> incorporates the Complainant’s CAESARS mark in its entirety. There is no evidence indicating that the Respondent is licensed to use the Complainant Marks, that the Respondent is associated or affiliated with the Complainant, or that the Respondent has any other rights or legitimate interests in the string “caesars-bet” or variants thereupon. As such, the Complainant has made out its prima facie case, which the Respondent has not rebutted.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states that any of the following circumstances, in particular, but without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith:
(i) Circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or has acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or
(ii) The respondent has registered the disputed 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 the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) The respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) By using the disputed domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the respondent’s website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of such website or location or of a product or service on such website or location.
The present case falls squarely within the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
The Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant Marks and the Complainant’s businesses when the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, as evidenced by the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a website displaying several of the Complainant Marks and offering services that compete with those of the Complainant. See Balenciaga v. liu zhixian, zhixian liu, WIPO Case No. D2010-1831. Moreover, the Respondent included the term “bet” in the disputed domain name, a word that bears a direct connection to the Complainant’s CAESARS-branded services, in the disputed domain name, further indicating that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant, its services, and its CAESARS marks. The Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name incorporating the Complainant’s CAESARS mark, being fully aware of the Complainant’s rights in the mark, without any rights or legitimate interests in doing so is registration in bad faith. See, e.g., Research In Motion Limited v. Privacy Locked LLC/Nat Collicot, WIPO Case No. D2009-0320; The Gap, Inc. v. Deng Youqian, WIPO Case No. D2009-0113.
The fact that the disputed domain name is not actively used at present does not hinder a finding of bad faith use under the Policy. See, e.g., Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003. The Complainant Marks are well known, the Respondent has provided no evidence of any good faith use, and the Panel cannot conceive of any good faith use of the disputed domain name.
For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent’s registration and use of the disputed domain name is 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 <caesars-bet.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Kimberley Chen Nobles
Date: August 5, 2019
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