The Complainant is Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., Torino, Italy, represented by Studio Legale Perani, Italy.
The Respondent is Net Info, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The disputed domain name <wwwsanpaolobancodinapoli.com> is registered with eNom.
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 11, 2008. On August 12, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to Enom a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 12, 2008, Enom 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 the Complainant on August 20, 2008 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on August 22, 2008. 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 August 27, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 16, 2008. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on September 18, 2008.
The Center appointed Flip Jan Claude Petillion as the sole panelist in this matter on September 22, 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.
The Complainant is a large Italian bank group which is the result of a recent merger between Banca Intesa S.p.A. and Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A. It has a retail presence in Italy and Central-Eastern Europe. It also has an international network to support corporate customers which is active in 34 countries.
One of the Complainant's subsidiaries is Banco di Napoli, which was merged with Sanpaolo IMI at the end of 2002. The merged bank was called Sanpaolo Banco di Napoli S.p.A. In 2007 the bank has returned to using its original name Banco di Napoli.
The Complainant is the holder of the following trade marks for SANPAOLO and BANCO DI NAPOLI:
- a complex Italian trade mark SANPAOLO and device with registration number 910025, registered for class 36;
- a complex Community trade mark SANPAOLO and device with registration number 122309, registered for class 36;
- a complex Italian trade mark BN BANCO DI NAPOLI & device with registration number 870464, registered for classes 35 and 36.
The Respondent did not submit a Response and therefore did not provide any information with regard to its activities.
The Complainant states that the disputed domain name is a combination of its two trade marks SANPAOLO and BANCO DI NAPOLI, a combination which only the Complainant is allowed to use. The only difference between the disputed domain name and the combination of these trade marks is the addition of the prefix “www”. This addition however does not result in the words not being confusingly similar.
The Respondent is alleged not to have a trade mark which corresponds to the disputed domain name and does not appear to be commonly known by that name. The domain name is not used for the bona fide offering of goods, as it is used as a parking website which contains links to the websites of competitors of the Complainant. Pursuant to the Complainant, the Respondent therefore does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant also states that the Respondent has registered and uses the disputed domain name in bad faith. That would be because the disputed domain name is used for parking purposes. Moreover, the Complainant argues that this case is an example of typosquatting which also shows the Respondent's bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade marks.
It has been accepted by various panels that the combination of two marks may be considered to be confusingly similar with the marks individually. (see Société des Produits Nestlé SA v. Stuart Cook, WIPO Case No. D2002-0118 and Danisco A/S and Genencor International, Inc. v. Bong-Gyu Jeong, WIPO Case No. D2005-0973). Given that both marks are reproduced in their entirety in the domain name, there can be no doubt as to the confusing similarity. This is even more so now that the public is well acquainted with the combination of both marks as this used to be the Complainant's subsidiary company name until 2007.
The mere addition of the prefix “www” does not affect the Panel findings on this matter. As the learned panel stated in Buongiorno Vitaminic S.p.A. v. Olga Gatto, WIPO Case No. D2003-0914: “The addition “www” is the well known acronym for “World Wide Web” and has no distinguishing capacity in the context of domain names”. The generic top-level domain name “.com” is also irrelevant when determining whether a disputed domain name is confusingly similar to trade marks. (see Outils Rubis Ltd. v. NETPLUS Communication, WIPO Case No. D2005-0645 and Microsoft Corporation v. N.R. Vinod, VinSoft, WIPO Case No. D2004-0310).
As it is often impossible for a complainant to prove the negative fact that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, it is well accepted that a complainant must only prima facie show that there are no rights or legitimate interests. The burden of proof will then shift to the respondent (Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455 and Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110).
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has proven prima facie that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests. The Respondent does not appear to be known under the name which is used for the disputed domain name and the use of the disputed domain name is not one for the bona fide offering of goods.
The Respondent did not file a Response and therefore failed to refute the Complainant's prima facie showing on this matter.
The Panel finds that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four (non-exclusive) situations which are evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.
In particular, paragraph 4(b)(iv) states that if the respondent has used the domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its website, the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
Given that the Complainant's subsidiary is a well-known bank and given that the combination of the marks, which used to be the company name of the Complainant's subsidiary, the Respondent must have known the Complainant's marks. This clearly shows an intention on the Respondent's behalf.
The Internet user who inserts the URL “wwwsanpaolobancodinapoli.com” in his browser will be expecting to visit the website of the Complainant's subsidiary and will therefore be confused as to the source of the website when redirected to a parking page.
A parking page is in effect nothing more than a collection of sponsored links, which means that a commercial gain is being made. That is why the use of a parking page in similar circumstances has often been considered to be a use in bad faith. (see Owens Corning v. NA, WIPO Case No. D2007-1143 and Villeroy & Boch AG v. Mario Pingerna, WIPO Case No. D2007-1912).
The Panel also agrees with the Complainant that this case is one of typosquatting. That is apparent from the addition “www” to the combination of the Respondent's trade marks.
For all 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 <wwwsanpaolobancodinapoli.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Flip Jan Claude Petillion
Date: October 6, 2008