WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Banco De Sabadell, S.A. v. Enterprises U.S.A.
Case No. D2006-0907
1. The Parties
Complainant is Banco De Sabadell, S.A., Sabadell, Spain, represented by Oficina Ponti, Spain.
Respondent is Enterprises U.S.A., Texas, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bancsabadell.net> is registered with Tucows.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 17, 2006. On July 18, 2006, the Center transmitted by email to Tucows a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On July 18, 2006, Tucows transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details for the administrative, billing, and technical contact. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on July 25, 2006. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was August 14, 2006. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on August 17, 2006.
The Center appointed Eduardo Machado as the sole panelist in this matter on August 29, 2006. 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 a financial entity which has been in operation for more than 120 years and that is the fourth largest banking group in Spain.
Complainant has more than 500 branches in Spain and operates in 23 countries.
Complainant is the owner of 15 trademark registrations comprised of or containing “BANCO SABADELL” and “BANC SABADELL”, in Spain, one community trademark, and 15 registrations in 15 countries. The first one registered on December 11, 1997.
Complainant is also the owner of several trademark applications in eight countries.
Complainant is the owner of domain names <bancsabadell.es>, <bancsabadell.com>, <sabadellatlantico.com>, <sabadellbancaprivada.com>, <solbank.com>, <activobank.com> and <bancoherrero.com>.
Respondent registered the domain name at issue on March 12, 1999. The disputed domain name is formed by an Index of files that have no content.
The term “banc” means “bank” in English and is devoted exclusively to refer to any financial entity. “Banc” is the Catalan term for “bank”.
Respondent is the owner of several domain names, two of which are <islatortuga.com> and <paistortuga.com>, which are devoted to giving instructions in order to crack softwares, hosting forbidden websites, as seen in Annex 10.
The creator of these websites is Mr. Badia, a Spanish citizen who, according to information in his own website, moved to Houston in July 1999.
Mr. Badia has already been involved in WIPO UDRP cases related to domain names <timofonicas.com>, <atlantico-vida.com> and <atlanticovida.com> (WIPO Case No. D2001-0529).
Respondent has also registered domain names <antena3.net>, Antena 3 is a well known Spanish TV channel, <argenvia.com>, Argenvia is a web retail banking service developed by Argentaria Bank, one of Spain’s biggest banks, <halcon-viajes.com>, Halcom Viajes is a reputable travel agency present all around Spain, <sogepaq.com>, Sogepaq is a Sogecable’s filial company which acquires, manages and commercializes intellectual property rights for cinema, video and television.
5. Parties’ Contentions
i. Complainant argues that it is the legitimate owner of the well-known trademarks “BANCO DABADELL” and “BANCSABADELL”
ii. Complainant argues that Respondent has registered the domain name <bancsabadell.net> which is nearly identical to Complainant’s trademark “BACSABADELL”.
iii. Complainant argues that since the domain name <bancsabadell.net> was created it seems not have been used and it seems that there are no demonstrable preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services.
iv. Complainant argues that Respondent is not commonly known by the domain name in dispute as only Banco De Sabadell operates commercially under name “BANC SABADELL” or “BANCO SABADELL”s and therefore has clearly no rights or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name.
v. Complainant argues that Respondent does not offer either goods or services inherent to those corresponding to a bank or a financial institution, and that it is not possible that Respondent could have ever been known by the domain name in dispute.
vi. Complainant argues that Respondent is not duly authorized, on the grounds of a license agreement or any sort of right or entitlement, to use the name BANCSABADELL.
vii. Complainant argues that Respondent knew the existence of Complainant when registering the domain name.
viii. Finally, Complainant argues that Respondent registered the domain name in dispute in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Although Respondent did not reply, it is proper for the Panel to examine Complainant’s contentions having regard to both the Policy and the Rules.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant is correct in claiming that the domain name <bancsabadell.net> is identical to Complainant’s trademark BANCSABADELL, and confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark BANCO SABADELL.
It is clear that this will in all likelihood cause the public to think that the domain name <bancsabadell.net> is owned by Complainant.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name <bancsabadell.net> is identical to Complainant’s trademark BANCSABADELL, and confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark BANCO SABADELL.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant alleges that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name at issue as enumerated in paragraph 4(c) of the Policy.
Complainant also alleges that the domain name in dispute seems not to have been in use and it resolves to a website formed by an index of files that have no content at all.
Moreover, Complainant alleges that Respondent is not known by the domain name in dispute, since only Banco De Sabadell operates commercially under the name “BANC SABADELL” or “BANCO SABADELL”, and that Respondent does not offer either goods or services inherent to those corresponding to a bank or a financial institution.
Based on the record, and in the absence of rebuttal by the Respondent, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy has been established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel notes the following particular circumstances of this case:
(i) Complainant’s trademark has a strong reputation and is widely known in Spain;
(ii) Respondent has provided no evidence of any good faith use by it of the disputed domain name, is making no use of the domain name, and has not participated in this proceeding even though properly notified thereof:
(iii) Respondent is the owner of several domain names, two of which are devoted to giving instructions in order to crack softwares, hosting forbidden sites, which suggests Respondent’s bad faith.
In light of these circumstances, the Panel makes the reasonable inference that Respondent was aware of Complainant and its trademark and that Respondent registered the disputed domain name within the meaning of paragraph 4(b) of the Policy.
The third element of the Policy has been met.
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 <bancsabadell.net> be transferred to Complainant.
Dated: September 12, 2006