World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Progedil90 Programmi Edilizi S.p.A v. sc Jcode srl / Domains by Proxy Inc.

Case No. D2011-0268

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Progedil90 Programmi Edilizi S.p.A of Roma, Italy, represented by PierLuca del Frate and Patrizia Carmen Quaranta, Italy.

The Respondent is sc Jcode srl / Domains by Proxy Inc. of Timisora, Romania and of Scottsdale, Arizona, United Sates of America, respectively.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> are registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 8, 2011. On February 9, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On the same date, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on February 22, 2011 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by GoDaddy.com, Inc., and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on February 26, 2011. The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended to 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 28, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 20, 2011. The Response was filed with the Center on March 9, 2011.

The Center appointed Miguel B. O'Farrell as the sole panelist in this matter on March 22, 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 Prodegil90 Programmi Edilizi S.p.A. is an Italian construction company that was established 20 years ago.

The Complainant owns Italian registrations for PROGEDIL90 (&design), Reg. No. 00901045, granted on March 23, 2005, in classes 35 and 36, and Reg. No. 0001095164, granted on February 19, 2008, in classes 35 and 36.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> on January 22, 2011 and January 26, 2011, respectively.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complaint contends the following:

The Complainant contends that it is an Italian construction company that was established 20 years ago and its reputation in the construction business has been growing over the years up to become well know in Rome and Province for the real estate business.

Moreover, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> were registered on January 22, 2011 and January 26, 2011, respectively.

The Complainant also contends that it owns trademark registrations for PRODEGIL90, which have been registered before the Respondent registered the disputed domain names. Particularly, it contends that it owns Italian registrations for PROGEDIL90 (&design), Reg. No. 00901045, granted on March 23, 2005, in classes 35 and 36, and Reg. No. 0001095164, granted on February 19, 2008, in classes 35 and 36.

In this connection, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> are identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

Furthermore, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and that the Complainant has not licensed or given any authorization to the Respondent to use the trademark PROGEDIL90.

In addition, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services as the website to which the disputed domain name <progedil90.com> resolves contains a forum through which the Complainant is criticized, and the website to which the disputed domain name <progedil90.net> resolves contains sponsored links which offer competing goods and services to those offered by the Complainant.

Additionally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not commonly known as or identified by “Prodegil90”, nor has any rights in it.

The Complainant also contends that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain names in bad faith as it was or should have been aware of the Complainant and its trademark PRODEGIL90 at the time of registering the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net>.

In that connection, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <prodegil90.com> resolves to a website containing pay-per-click links, which means that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website and other online locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website.

In light of the foregoing, the Complainant requests that the dispute domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> be transferred to it.

B. Respondent

The Respondent contends the following:

The Respondent, a Romanian entity, contends that it is engaged is the development of websites for third parties and the development of software.

Moreover, the Respondent contends that the Complainant does not own a Community trademark registration for PRODEGIL90 (&design), but acknowledges that the Complainant owns Italian trademark registrations for same.

In that connection, the Respondent contends that it was not aware of either the Complainant nor its trademark PRODEGIL90 when it registered the disputes domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net>, as they would only be well know in Rome and Province.

Furthermore, the Respondent contends that the disputed domain name <progedil90.com> was used as a testing forum platform, and that the critic statements mentioned by the Complainant were posted by a user and not by the Respondent itself, and that the Respondent immediately shut down such testing forum platform when it became aware of said comments.

Moreover, the Respondent denies having placed sponsored links in the website to which the disputed domain name <prodegil90.net> resolves. The Respondent argues that said links were, in any case, automatically inserted by the Registrar.

Additionally, the Respondent contends that the term PRODEGIL90 would refer to the Romanian terms “program” (which stands for “software”) and “edil” (which stands for property/estate) and that the number 90 would have been added to promote its 9.0 version of software he is developing, to be sponsored through the domain name <prodegil90.com>.

Moreover, the Respondent contends that it is making a legitimate fair use of the disputed domain names without intent to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website and other online locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website.

For the above-mentioned reasons, the Respondent requests that the Complaint is to be denied.

6. Discussion and Findings

For the Complainant to succeed in a UDRP proceeding, under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that:

(i) The disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(ii) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names; and

(iii) The disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.

In accordance with paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel shall decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules, and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns Italian registrations for PRODEGIL90 (&design), as noted under Section 4, “Factual Background” above.

The disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> incorporate PRODEGIL90 in its entirety.

In view of the foregoing, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> are confusingly similar to the trademark in which the Complainant has rights, and therefore, the Complainant has succeeded on this first element under the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

According to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the second element that the Complainant must prove is that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out various ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name.

Although the Policy states that a complainant must prove each of the elements in paragraph 4(a), it is often observed that it is difficult for a complainant to prove a negative, i.e., that a respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of a domain name. It has therefore become generally accepted under the Policy that, once a complainant has presented a clear prima facie showing of a respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, the burden of submitting evidence therefore shifts to the respondent. The respondent must then demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name with concrete evidence in order to refute the prima facie case.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests, so the burden of proof has effectively been shifted to the Respondent.

In that connection, the Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names and that the Complainant has not licensed or given any authorization to the Respondent to use the trademark PROGEDIL90. Moreover, it contends that the Respondent is not using the disputed domain names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services as the website, (on the basis of the statements of the Complainant, which were not rebutted by the Respondent) to which the disputed domain name <progedil90.com> resolves contains a forum through which the Complainant is criticized, and the website to which the disputed domain name <progedil90.net> resolves contains sponsored links which offer competing goods and services to those offered by the Complainant.

Additionally, the Complainant contends that the Respondent is not commonly known as or identified by “Prodegil90, nor has any rights in it.

In turn, the Respondent contends that the term PRODEGIL90 would refer to the Romanian terms “program” (which stands for “software”) and “edil” (which stands for property/estate) and that the number 90 would have been added to promote its 9.0 version of software he is developing, to be sponsored through the domain name <prodegil.com>.

In the first place, the Respondent expressly acknowledged what the Complainant has affirmed in connection with the contents of the websites to which the disputed domain names resolve (i.e. the existence of a criticism forum and pay-per-click links what would resolve to other websites offering competing services to those offered by the Complainant).

Additionally, there is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known as or identified by “prodegil90” or that it has any right in it. Furthermore, there is no evidence showing that the Respondent operates a business or any other organization under the disputed domain names.

In the circumstances, the explanation provided by the Respondent in connection with its choice of the disputed domain names appears as unfounded. The Respondent has failed to file evidence to prove its statements.

For these reasons, and in the absence of a plausible explanation from the Respondent, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

According to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, the third element that a complainant must prove is that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Policy in paragraph 4(b) sets out various circumstances, which may be treated by the Panel as evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.

The Complainant has identified itself as an Italian construction company that was established 20 years ago and its reputation in the construction business has been growing over the years up to become well known in Rome and Province for the real estate business.

Moreover, as previously noted, the Complainant has filed relevant evidence to the Panel’s satisfaction showing that it owns Italian registrations for PRODEGIL90 (&design), which were registered before the Respondent registered the disputed domain names.

In view of the foregoing, and on the basis of the subsequent use of the disputed domain names (as described in Section B above), the Panel finds that the Respondent was aware or must have been aware of the trademark of the Complainant before registering the disputed domain names <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net>, which evidences bad faith registration.

Moreover, on the basis of the statements of the Complainant in connection with the contents of the websites to which the disputed domains resolve, which were not rebutted by the Respondent, the Panel finds that by using the disputed domain names the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other on-line locations, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement.

For these reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent both registered and is using the disputed domain names in bad faith and that the Complainant has therefore made out the third element of the case.

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 names, <progedil90.com> and <progedil90.net> be transferred to the Complainant.

Miguel B. O'Farrell
Sole Panelist
Dated: April 4, 2011

 

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