World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

WMS Gaming Inc. v. Cornel Vaida

Case No. D2011-0267

1. The Parties

The Complainant is WMS Gaming Inc. of Illinois, United States of America, represented by Bristows, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Respondent is Cornel Vaida of Bucharest, Romania.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <jackpotpartyonlineslots.com> is registered with 1&1 Internet AG.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 8, 2011. On February 9 and 11, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to 1&1 Internet AG a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 11, 2011, 1&1 Internet AG 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 February 17, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 9, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 10, 2011.

The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on March 21, 2011. 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 a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, with a principal place of business in Waukegan, Illinois, USA. According to information by the Complainant, it has been one of the world's leading manufacturers of gaming devices including video and mechanical slot machines and related goods and services since 1943. Affiliated entities of the Complainant operate an online gaming operation in the United Kingdom and Alderney.

The Complainant is the owner of numerous national and international trademark registrations for JACKPOT PARTY in various countries dating back to 1999.

The Complainant owns the domain name <jackpotparty.com>, through which it runs a website promoting its gaming machines.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on September 10, 2010. The disputed domain name directs Internet users to an English-language web site designated “Jackpot Party Online Slots”, offering online gaming services and information.

On December 24, 2010, the Complainant attempted to send via courier a letter to the Respondent demanding transfer of the disputed domain name. The letter never reached the Respondent because the physical address provided by the Respondent in the WhoIs record for the disputed domain name was false.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant asserts the following:

The JACKPOT PARTY marks have become famous, and the Complainant has developed substantial goodwill in the JACKPOT PARTY marks, making them an extremely valuable asset.

The addition of the generic words “online slots” does not prevent a finding a confusing similarity of the disputed domain name to the Complainant’s JACKPOT PARTY marks, but rather increases such confusing similarity as the JACKPOT PARTY marks are used in connection with online slots.

The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and has not received any express or implied license or authorization to use the Complainant’s marks in a domain name or in any other manner. Furthermore, the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor has made preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor makes or intends to make a legitimate, noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. There is no information on the web site to suggest any legitimate right of the Respondent to use the mark JACKPOT PARTY.

The Respondent’s primary motive in relation to the registration and use of the disputed domain name appears to be to capitalize on or otherwise take advantage of the Complainant’s trademark rights, through the creation of initial interest confusion. The Respondent’s actual knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark rights is evidenced by the Respondent’s use of the JACKPOT PARTY marks in connection with online gaming on the web site associated with the disputed domain name. Therefore, the Respondent could not have legitimately registered or used the disputed domain name in good faith. A finding of bad faith use and registration is furthermore supported by evidence that the Respondent’s contact details in the WhoIs information are false.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark JACKPOT PARTY with the addition of the generic terms “online slots”.

According to WIPO UDRP case law, the addition of a generic term to a trademark does not normally alter the fact that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark (for a similar case, cf. Stanworth Development Limited v. Susana Gonzales, Smart Answer S.A., WIPO Case No. D2009-0260, <jackpotcityonlinecasino.org>).

The Complainant has thus fulfilled paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant, having made a prima facie case which remains unrebutted, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

It may be concluded under the circumstances of this case that the Respondent knew of the existence of the Complainant’s trademarks and their significance when the disputed domain name was registered.

Therefore, it seems obvious that, by using the disputed domain name for an online gaming web site, the Respondent was attempting to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its web site, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's marks. Such conduct falls under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy. The Respondent’s bad faith is further supported by the fact that the Respondent’s contact details provided in the WhoIs record for the disputed domain name appear to be false (cf. Telstra Corp. Ltd. v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003).

The Panel thus finds that the Respondent’s conduct constitutes bad faith registration and use pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

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 <jackpotpartyonlineslots.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Tobias Zuberbühler
Sole Panelist
Dated: March 23, 2011

 

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