WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Itsanp Nicholas Kester
Case No. D2008-0811
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., of Torino, Italy represented by Perani, Italy
The Respondent is Itsanp Nicholas Kester, Albany, New York, United States of America
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <intesasanp.com> is registered with Netfirms, Inc..
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 23, 2008. On May 26, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Netfirms Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On June 5, 2008, Netfirms Inc. 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”), 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, and the proceedings commenced on June 10, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was June 30, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 1, 2008.
The Center appointed Adam Samuel as the sole panelist in this matter on July 8, 2008. 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
The Complainant is an Italian banking group. It has registered European Community Trademarks INTESA SANPAOLO notably numbers 005421177, granted on November 5, 2007, 5301999, granted on June 18, 1997 and 5421227, granted on September 25, 2007.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on May 1, 2008.
5. Parties’ Contentions
What follows are the Complainant’s contentions. The Panel does not necessarily accept each of them. However, to avoid repetition, the Complainant’s arguments will not be prefaced by remarks such as “the Complainant contends”.
The Complainant owns trademark rights to the name “Intesa Sanpaolo” having registered it as a European Community trademark. The disputed domain name is confusing similar to it because it reproduces the first half of the trademark concerned.
No trademark covering the words “Intesa” and “San Paolo” has been detected in the name of the Respondent. The disputed domain name does not correspond to the business name of the Respondent and the Respondent is not commonly known as “Intesasanp”. The Respondent’s name does not correspond to any real company or organization.
Until May 16, 2008, the disputed domain name was connected to a webpage showing a fake site. It is clear that the domain name was used to defraud or deceive the bank’s customers using “phishing”. This consists of attracting the bank’s customers to a webpage which imitates the real page of the bank with a view to having customers disclose confidential information such as credit card or bank account numbers for the purpose of unlawfully charging such bank accounts or withdrawing money from them. Some of the Complainant’s customers have received e-mail messages by means of webpages very similar to the Complainant’s webpages asking for the sensitive data of the latter’s customers, such as User IDs and passwords. Subsequently, some of these customers have been cheated of their savings. Essentially, the Respondent registered the disputed domain name with a view to inducing and diverting the Complainant’s customers to the Respondent’s website in order to steal their money.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:
(i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which it has rights; and
(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name consists of a reproduction of the first part of the Complainant’s registered trademark INTESA SANPAOLO, the first four letters of the second part of the trademark, and the generic suffix “.com” that is necessary to create a viable website. The dispute domain name has no meaning of which the Panel is aware. For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent does not appear to own any trademark using the words “Intesa” and “San Paolo”. The disputed domain name does not correspond to the business name of the Respondent and the Respondent is not commonly known as “Intesasanp”. The Respondent’s name does not appear to correspond to any real company or organization.
There is no evidence that the Complainant has authorized the Respondent to use its trademark. The Respondent has not asserted any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
For these reasons, on the basis of the available evidence, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The website to which the disputed domain name resolves, as it stood on May 22, 2008, contained spaces inviting customers to enter their account numbers and password. The website uses the Complainant’s name and trademark and presents itself as if it was the Complainant’s website in general. This all occurred, just three weeks after the domain name’s registration. The Panel concludes from this that the purpose of registering and using the domain name in this way was to confuse the Complainant’s customers and induce them to give personal information about their bank accounts to the Respondent. This is bad faith in both registration and use.
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 <intesasanp.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: July 22, 2008