The Complainant is Sport Lisboa E Benfica of Lisboa, Portugal, represented by Simões Garcia Corte-Real & Associados, Portugal.
The Respondent is Danilo of Lisboa, Portugal.
The disputed domain name <slbenfica.com> is registered with Domain Bank, Inc (the “Domain Name”).
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 7, 2010. On May 7, 2010, the Center transmitted by email to Domain Bank, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 11, 2010, Domain Bank, 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” 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 11, 2010. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 31, 2010. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on June 1, 2010.
The Center appointed Nuno Cruz as the sole panelist in this matter on June 9, 2010. 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 Portuguese multisport private law association founded in Lisbon in 1904. Its football team was one of the founding members of the Portuguese League in the third decade of the twentieth century.
The Complainant is the registered owner of various trademarks consisting of or including the designations SLB (e.g. Portuguese trademark registration no. 306233), SLB SPORT LISBOA E BENFICA (e.g. International registration number no. 702.379) and BENFICA (e.g. Portuguese trademark registration no. 299085).
All these trademark registrations cover goods in classes 2, 6, 8, 9, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 34.
The Complainant's website is connected to its domain name, <slbenfica.pt>, which was submitted to the DNS PT by the Complainant on February 5, 1998.
The Domain Name was registered on March 20, 2000. The Domain Name does not resolve to an active website.
The Complainant contends that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights, as well as earlier ccTLD domain name registrations.
The use of the Domain Name attempts to attract for commercial gain Internet users, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website or service on the website.
The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
Finally, the Complainant contends that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant ends its Complaint by requesting, in accordance with paragraph 4(i) of the Policy, that the Panel orders that the Domain Name be transferred to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, for this Complaint to succeed in relation to the Domain Name, the Complainant must prove each of the following, namely that:
(i) The Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant 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
In the case under analysis, the Complainant proved that it is the owner of trademark registrations for SLB, SLB SPORT LISBOA E BENFICA and BENFICA.
The contested Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademark SLB of the Complainant, as the initial part of the domain name reproduces the trademark of the Complainant.
Additionally, the public tends to retain more vividly the beginning of domain names.
Furthermore, the designation BENFICA, which forms the final part of the domain name, is also a registered trademark of the Complainant.
Also, the mere inclusion in the Domain Name of the letters “S” and “L” before the designation BENFICA is not only insufficient to remove the risk of confusion between the signs, but also heightens this risk as the said letters correspond to the abbreviation of the name of the Complainant, “Sport Lisboa E Benfica”.
The name “Sport Lisboa E Benfica” is very well-known, particularly among those with an interest in football, as the name of the Complainant. However, SLB and BENFICA are widely known abbreviations often used by the public to refer to it.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent registered the Domain Name while knowing of the existence of the Complainant, with the intention of deriving unfair commercial benefit on the back of the Complainant's reputation and goodwill.
Furthermore, the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to use its name or any of its trademarks, nor has it licensed or otherwise permitted the Respondent to apply for or use any domain name incorporating any of those marks.
In view of the above, there is no evidence either that the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name.
In the view of the Panel, the overwhelming probability is that the Respondent registered the Domain Name with a view to one day deriving commercial gain stemming from Internet users visiting the Respondent's site by mistake, believing that they were about to visit an official site of the Complainant.
That contention of the Complainant is clearly set out in the Complaint and invites an answer from the Respondent. The absence of an answer merely reinforces the Panel's view that the Complainant's contention is well made.
Therefore, the Panel finds that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Panel orders that the Domain Name <slbenfica.com> be transferred to the Complainant, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules.
Dated: June 23, 2010