WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Caesars Entertainment, Inc. v. Infomax, Ltd.
Case No. D2005-0032
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Caesars Entertainment, Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America, represented by Pitney Hardin LLP of United States of America.
The Respondent is Infomax, Ltd. of Bridgeman Downs, New Zealand.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <paris-casinos.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Fabulous.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on January 11, 2005. The Center transmitted its request for registrar verification to the Registrar on January 13, 2005. The Registrar replied on January 14, 2005, confirming that it was the registrar and the Respondent was the registrant of the Domain Name, that the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”) applied to the registration, that the registration agreement was in English and that the Respondent had submitted to the jurisdiction at the location of its principal office; and providing the contact details recorded on its Whois database in respect of the registration.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Policy, 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint by email and courier to the addresses recorded on the Registrar’s Whois database and email@example.com, and the proceedings commenced on January 20, 2005. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 9, 2005. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 16, 2005.
The Center appointed Jonathan Turner as the sole panelist in this matter on February 25, 2005. The Panel submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
Contrary to paragraph 3(b)(xv) of the Rules, the Complaint did not contain a schedule indexing its annexes. The Panel waives this non-compliance under paragraph 12 of the Rules.
Having reviewed the file, the Panel is satisfied that the Complaint complied with applicable formal requirements (except as indicated and waived above), was duly served on the Respondent, and has been submitted to a properly constituted Panel in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and the Supplemental Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant operates the Paris Las Vegas Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, and owns United States registered marks for PARIS CASINO RESORT, PARIS, PARIS in stylized writing, and PARIS LAS VEGAS accompanied by a depiction of the Eiffel Tower, in respect of casino, hotel and restaurant services.
The Complainant’s casino and hotel have been extensively promoted since their proposed construction was announced in 1995. Expenditure on advertising exceeded US $3 million in 2001, $7 million in 2002 and $11 million in 2003.
The number of guests staying at the hotel exceeded 1.8 million in 2000 and 2 million in 2001. Some 16.5 million pedestrians passed through the hotel and casino in 2000 and some 24 million pedestrians passed through in 2003.
The Complainant’s website at “www.parislasvegas.com” and “www.paris-lv.com” received over 1.6 million hits in 2000, nearly 3.4 million in 2001, and around 3.5 million in each of 2002 and 2003.
The Domain Name was registered on July 21, 2003, and renewed on July 12, 2004. It is pointed to an online gaming portal with a home page headed “Paris Casinos” containing links to various online casinos.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to its registered marks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and that it was registered and is being used in bad faith.
In particular, the Complainant alleges that the Domain Name is being used to attract internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks, and that the Respondent gains commercially from such confusion by receiving “click-through” commissions when users follow the links on its website to online casinos.
The Complainant requests an order that the Domain Name be transferred to it.
As mentioned above, the Respondent did not reply to the Complaint.
6. Discussion and Findings
In accordance with the Policy, paragraph 4(a), to succeed in this proceeding, the Complainant must prove (a) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which it has rights, and (b) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name, and (c) that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. These requirements will be considered in turn.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel considers that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the mark “PARIS CASINO RESORT” in which the Complainant has rights. In the Panel’s view, many internet users would suppose that the Domain Name, <paris-casinos.com>, identifies the online .com affiliate of the Complainant’s well-known bricks-and-mortar resort.
It is unnecessary to consider whether the Domain Name is also confusingly similar to the Complainant’s other marks
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name. Its use of the Domain Name for a gambling portal under the name “Paris Casinos” does not confer rights or legitimate interests since it is not a bona fide offering, but rather one which seeks to profit from confusion with the Complainant, as further discussed below.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Respondent has not disputed the Complainant’s allegation that it is a member of the Adriches Affiliate program under which it receives a fee each time a user clicks on a link on its website to the Phoenician Casino website. In any case, it is common knowledge that portals generally receive click-through commissions when internet users follow links to commercial websites such as online casinos.
The Panel is satisfied that the Respondent is intentionally using the Domain Name to attract internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s well-known mark, and that the Respondent gains commercially from such confusion by receiving “click-through” commissions. This constitutes evidence of registration and use in bad faith in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
There is no contrary evidence and the Panel is satisfied that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <paris-casinos.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: March 6, 2005