World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

La Francaise des Jeux v. IM SARL

Case No. D2011-0592

1. The Parties

The Complainant is La Francaise des Jeux of Boulogne-Billancourt, France, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.

The Respondent is IM SARL of Kessrouan, Lebanon.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names

<parionsport.org>

<parionssports.info>

<parionssports.org>

<parionsweb.biz>

<parionsweb.org>

<parionswebs.com>

<parionswebsite.com>

<webparions.com>

<webparions.info>

<webparions.net>

<webparions.org>

are registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 1, 2011. On April 1, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On April 3, 2011, GoDaddy.com, 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 April 11, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 1, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 2, 2011.

The Center appointed Christopher J. Pibus as the sole panelist in this matter on May 16, 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, La Francaise des Jeux, is the French State lottery which creates, develops and markets lottery and sports-betting games throughout France and in the French overseas departments and territories. The Complainant has the monopoly on the rights to host and market lottery games in France.

The Complainant owns several trademark registrations for the trademarks PARIONS SPORTS, and PARIONS WEB including:

French trademark for PARIONS WEB No. 09 3649160 filed on May 9, 2009;

Community trademark for PARIONS WEB No. 008563678 filed on September 3, 2009;

French trademark for PARIONS SPORT & Design, Registration No. 09 3 660 471 registered on June 26, 2009;

Community Trademark Registration No. 008761405 for PARIONS SPORT & Design registered on December 16, 2009; and

International Trademark Registration No. 1029865 for PARIONS SPORT & Design registered on August 17, 2009.

The Complainant also owns several domain name registrations, including the following:

<parionsweb.fr>

<parionsweb.com>

<parions-web.fr>

All registered on May 5, 2009.

The Complainant launched a new sport-betting game entitled “parionsweb” at <parionsweb.com> on November 3, 2009. On November 17, 2009, the Complainant launched an additional new game dedicated to sporting bets offline called “parions sport”. The launch of these games was announced on the Complainant’s official websites on November 3 and 17, 2009 respectively.

The Respondent registered the following domain names on November 3, 2009 at 19:50 (GMT):

<parionsweb.biz>

<parionsweb.org>

<parionswebs.com>

<parionswebsite.com>

<webparions.com>

<webparions.net>

<webparions.org>.

The Respondent registered the following domain names on February 4, 2011:

<parionssports.org>

<parionsports.info>

<parionssport.org>.

At the time the Complainant was filed, the disputed domain names reverted to a website which provided links to other sports-betting and online gaming sites, which are competitors of the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant owns the trademark PARIONS SPORT registered as Community Trademark Registration No. 008761405; International Trademark Registration No. 1029865; French Trademark Registration No. 09 3 660 471; and the trademark PARIONS WEB registered as French Trademark Registration No. 093649160 and Community Trademark Registration No. 008563678. The Respondent has registered eleven domain names, namely: <parionsweb.biz>; <parionsweb.org>; <parionswebs.com>; <parionswebsite.com>; <webparions.com>; <webparions.net>; <webparions.org>; <parionssports.org>; <parionsports.info>; and <parionssport.org>. Each of these disputed domain names is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademark for PARIONS SPORT.

The <parionsweb.biz> and <parionsweb.org> domain names are identical to the Complainant’s trademark PARIONS WEB except for the “.biz” and “.org” designation. The Complainant contends that the addition of a url designation does not distinguish the disputed domain names from the Complainant’s trademarks.

The <parionswebs.com> domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark PARIONS WEB except for the addition of the letter “s” after the word “web”. The Complainant submits that the pluralizing of a word (through the addition of the letter “s”) does not distinguish the disputed domain from the Complainant’s trademark.

The domain name <parionswebsite.com> is identical to the Complainant’s trademark PARIONS WEB except for the addition of the word “site” after the word “web”. The Complainant submits that the addition of the word “site” to form the common word “website” does not distinguish the dispute domain name from the Complainant’s trademark.

The domain names <webparions.com>; <webparions.net> and <webparions.org> are identical to the Complainant’s trademark and domain name <parionsweb.com> except for the reversal of the order of the words, namely that the word “web” is positioned before the word “parions”. The Complainant contends that the reversal of the order of the main elements of the Complainant’s trademark does not distinguish the disputed domain names from the Complainant’s trademark.

The domain names <parionssports.org> and <parionsports.info> are identical to the Complainant’s trademark except for the addition of the letter “s” after “sport” or the absence of the letter “s” in the word “parions”. The Complainant’s submits that the addition or deletion of the letter “s” does not distinguish the disputed domain names from the Complainant’s trademark.

Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Respondent is not publicly known by the PARIONS SPORT or PARIONS WEB name, and the Complainant submits that the Respondent cannot have any rights or legitimate interest in the domain names, because the Complainant has exclusive rights to the trademark PARIONS SPORT and PARIONS WEB. The Respondent has no past or current business relationship with the Complainant, and the Respondent was never licensed or otherwise authorized to use the Complainant’s trademark. Further, the Respondent is not making a bona fide use of the disputed domain names, and has used the domain names in connection with a website which provides links to third party websites which are direct competitors of the Complainant.

Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Complainant contends that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain names in bad faith for the following reasons: (i) the Respondent must have known about the Complainant’s rights in the trademark PARIONS SPORT and PARIONS WEB when it registered the confusingly similar domain names; (ii) the Respondent did not respond to cease and desist letters sent by the Complainant; (iii) the Respondent is using a false postal and e-mail address to hide its real identity, as evidenced by the return of undelivered mail; (iv) the Respondent registered the disputed domain names on the same day that the Complainant launched its website at <parionsweb.com> at 19:50 (GMT), suggesting that the Respondent heard or saw the announcement of the new website and game operated by the Complainant; and (v) the Respondent registered and is using the confusingly similar domain names which revert to a website which provides links to website of direct competitors of the Complainant.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, the Complainant must establish each of the following elements:

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

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

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

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant does have trademark rights in the marks PARIONS SPORT and PARIONS WEB by virtue of Community Trademark Registration No. 008761405; International Trademark Registration No. 1029865; French Registration No. 09 3 660 471; French Registration No. 093649160 and Community Trademark Registration No. 008563678.

The Panel finds that none of the various additions, deletions or modifications that the Respondent has employed sufficiently distinguish the disputed domain names from the Complainant’s registered trademarks for PARIONS SPORTS and PARIONS WEB. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar with the Complainant’s registered trademarks.

The Panel therefore finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirement under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel notes that the Respondent did not file any response to the Complaint and accordingly did not contest any of the facts stated in the Complaint. The Panel is therefore prepared to accept the Complainant’s contention that its PARIONS SPORT and PARIONS WEB trademarks and its sports betting services are known in France and French territories and has developed a significant reputation in respect of off-line and on-line sports betting.

Therefore, the Panel is prepared to infer that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademarks and sports betting services when the Respondent registered the disputed domain names on November 3, 2009 and again on February 4, 2011. In fact, the Panel finds very compelling the evidence that the Respondent registered several of the disputed domain names at the end of the same day that the Complainant launched its new on-line gaming site at ”www.parionsweb.com“. In the absence of a response to these contentions made by the Complainant, the Panel is prepared to agree with the Complainant on this point.

The Panel finds no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name PARIONS SPORT or PARIONS WEB, or that it was licensed or authorized by the Complainant to use these trademarks, or has any other form of legitimate interest in the various names.

The Complainant has therefore satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel, upon review of the evidence filed in the Complaint, and taking into consideration that the Respondent did not file any response contesting the facts contained therein, finds that the Respondent registered and has used the disputed domain names in bad faith.

The Panel finds that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights when it registered the confusingly similar domain names, and when it began operating a website in connection with those confusingly similar domain names which provide links to other websites operated by direct competitors of the Complainant. The Panel finds that the use of confusingly similar domain names in association with a website that provides links to a Complainant’s competitors’ websites for the purposes of monetary gain to be evidence of bad faith under the Policy.

The Panel notes that the registration of 11 domain names which vary in very small ways, such as the addition or deletion of a single letter, the reversal of the order of two words, or the multiple registration of identical domain names with different url designations, to be compelling evidence of bad faith. The Panel is prepared in these circumstances to conclude that the Respondent attempted to use the Complainant’s trademarks in as many different forms as possible to divert internet users who have the misfortune of mistyping the Complainant’s domain name or trademarks away from the Complainant’s website to the Respondent’s website. The Panel finds that this conduct is strong evidence of bad faith under the Policy.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements under paragraph 4(c) under the Policy.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain names,

<parionsport.org>

<parionssports.info>

<parionssports.org>

<parionsweb.biz>

<parionsweb.org>

<parionswebs.com>

<parionswebsite.com>

<webparions.com>

<webparions.info>

<webparions.net>

<webparions.org>

be transferred to the Complainant.

Christopher J. Pibus
Sole Panelist
Dated: May 24, 2011

 

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