World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Kamagames Ltd. v. Jack Won

Case No. D2012-2535

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Kamagames Ltd. of Limassol, Cyprus, internally represented.

The Respondent is Jack Won of Vietnam.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <pokeriststore.com> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 24, 2012. On December 24, 2012, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On December 26, 2012, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Disputed Domain Name which differed from “Proxy, LLC”, the named respondent in the Complaint and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 28, 2012 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. However, the Complainant did not file an amendment to the Complaint or an amended Complaint by the deadline. On December 28, 2012, the registrant of the Disputed Domain Name disclosed by the Registrar sent an informal email to the Center.

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 and “Proxy, LLC” of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 9, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 29, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 30, 2013.

The Center appointed Gabriela Kennedy as the sole panelist in this matter on February 4, 2013. 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.

On February 8, 2012, the Panel issued Administrative Panel Procedural Order No. 1 (the “Order”), requesting the Complainant to file an amended Complaint naming the registrant disclosed by the Registrar as the Respondent by no later than February 15, 2013. The Panel invited supplemental submissions in response from the Respondent on or before February 22, 2013. The Center received an amended Complaint on February 12, 2013. The Respondent failed to submit further submissions in response by the deadline.

4. Factual Background

The Complainant is a video game developer incorporated in Cyprus. It develops social games which can be played through an Internet browser as well as on mobile platforms such as iOS, Android and Samsung Bada. In particular, the Complainant operates an online poker website at “www.pokerist.com”, which allows players to utilize their social network accounts to participate in online games of Texas poker (the “Pokerist Website”). At the time the Disputed Domain Name was registered, the Pokerist Website had more than 600,000 daily active users.

According to the WhoIs records for the Disputed Domain Name, the Respondent is an individual based in Vietnam. The Disputed Domain Name was created on September 15, 2012 through the privacy service “Proxy LLC”, which was the named respondent prior to the Complaint being amended.

The website under the Disputed Domain Name (the “Website”) previously offered for sale “virtual chips”, the in-game currency used exclusively for the Pokerist Website (the “In-Game Currency”), and made reference to the Complainant’s Pokerist Website. As at the date of this decision, the Panel notes that the Disputed Domain Name resolves to a website which does not make reference to the Pokerist Website. However, the Website contains a link to <pokerstore365.com> which appears to offer for sale In-Game Currency, and also contains an order form for unspecified goods or services.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant’s contentions can be summarised as follows:

(a) The Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights:

(i) the Complainant is the proprietor of a number of trade marks for POKERIST, including United States of America trade mark No. 4009073, registered on February 14, 2012 with a first use date of May 27, 2010;

(ii) the Complainant has operated the Pokerist Website since May 27, 2010, and has been the registrant of the <pokerist.com> domain name since June 25, 2004; and

(iii) the addition of the generic term “store” is not sufficient to negate the similarity of the POKERIST trade mark as the Disputed Domain Name refers to one of the Complainant’s more popular offerings at the Pokerist Website, namely the sale of In-Game Currency.

(b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name:

(i) the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name seven (7) months after the Complainant had registered the POKERIST trade mark in the United States of America, and more than eight (8) years after the Complainant had registered the <pokerist.com> domain name;

(ii) the Respondent is not using the Disputed Domain Name in a bona fide manner as the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name without authorisation in connection with the business of the Complainant; and

(iii) the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to the Website for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s POKERIST trade mark.

(c) The Disputed Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith:

(i) the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name after becoming aware of the goodwill associated with the Complainant’s POKERIST trade mark; and

(ii) the Respondent is using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith as the terms of use for the Pokerist Website prohibits the sale/transfer of In-Game currency to third parties without the Complainant’s written consent.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions. While the Respondent submitted an informal email to the Center on December 28, 2012, the email contained no substantive arguments and was merely an inquiry into the Complaint filed against him.

The fact that the Respondent has not submitted a response does not automatically result in a decision in favour of the Complainant. However, this may result in the Panel drawing certain inferences from the Complainant’s evidence. The Panel may accept all reasonable and supported allegations and inferences following from the Complaint as true (see Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, WIPO Case No. D2000-0403; Entertainment Shopping AG v. Nischal Soni, Sonik Technologies, WIPO Case No. D2009-1437).

6. Discussion and Findings

Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the burden of proof lies with the Complainant to show each of the following three elements:

i) the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Name; and

iii) the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith.

Preliminary Issue: Respondent Identity

Under the specific circumstances of this case involving a privacy service, the Panel fins that the proper Respondent of this case is Jack Won.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has rights in respect of the POKERIST trade mark on the basis of the trade marks owned by the Complainant for POKERIST, including United States of America trade mark No. 4009073, which was registered on February 14, 2012 and indicates a first use date of May 27, 2010.

It is a well-established rule under the Policy that in making an enquiry as to whether a trade mark is identical or confusingly similar to a domain name, the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) extension, in this case <.com> should be disregarded (see Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG v. Pertshire Marketing, Ltd, WIPO Case No. D2006-0762).

The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s POKERIST trade mark in its entirety. The only difference between the Disputed Domain Name and the Complainant’s mark is the inclusion of the generic term “store”. It is well established that in cases where the distinctive and prominent element of a disputed domain name is the complainant’s mark and the only addition is a generic term that adds no distinctive element, such an addition does not negate the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the mark (see Oakley, Inc. v. Joel Wong/BlueHost.com- INC, WIPO Case No. D2010-0100; Diageo Ireland v. Guinnessclaim, WIPO Case No. D2009-0679; and The Coca-Cola Company v. Whois Privacy Service, WIPO Case No. D2010-0088).

The Panel finds that POKERIST is the distinctive and prominent component of the Disputed Domain Name and the addition of the generic term “store” does nothing to distinguish the Disputed Domain Name from the Complainant’s trade mark.

The Panel accordingly finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the POKERIST trade mark in which the Complainant has rights, and that element 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”) states that once a complainant makes a prima facie case in respect of the lack of rights or legitimate interests of the respondent, the respondent carries the burden of production to demonstrate it has rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. Where the respondent fails to do so, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

The Complainant contends that the Respondent is not connected or associated with the Complainant’s business and is not on any other basis licensed or authorised to use its POKERIST trade mark. Further, the Complainant submits that the Respondent is not commonly known by the Pokerist name. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name and therefore the Respondent now has the burden of demonstrating that he does possess such rights or legitimate interests. As no response has been submitted by the Respondent, the Panel will base its findings in this respect, on inferences that can be reasonably drawn from the Complainant’s evidence.

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorised the Respondent to use the POKERIST trade mark. The Panel also notes that there is no evidence that the Respondent has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name and finds that the use of the Website to sell In-Game Currency for use in the Pokerist Website precludes any argument that the Disputed Domain Name is being used for noncommercial purposes. As such, the Respondent (at least if he wishes to bring itself within the express circumstances described in paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy) needs to demonstrate that he acquired rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy through use of the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Under the terms of use for the Pokerist Website, users are prohibited from selling or transferring In-Game Currency to third parties without the Complainant’s written consent. Given that there is no evidence to suggest that the Respondent had obtained such consent from the Complainant, the Panel finds that the Respondent cannot have used the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

Further, the price of the In-Game Currency offered on the Website is cheaper than that listed on the Pokerist Website. The use of a domain name containing a well-known trade mark for the purpose of disrupting the Complainant’s business for commercial gain has been consistently held not to be a bona fide offering of goods and services. (see Cloer Elektrogeräte GmbH v. Motohisa Ohno, WIPO Case No. D2006-0026; Villeroy & Boch AG v. Mario Pingerna, WIPO Case No. D2007-1912).

Accordingly, the Panel finds that there is no evidence whereby the Respondent could assert rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name and therefore finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires the Complainant to establish that the Respondent registered and uses the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.

Evidence of bad faith includes actual or constructive notice of a well-known trade mark at the time of registration of a domain name by a respondent (see Samsonite Corporation v. Colony Holding, NAF Claim No. FA0094313). The Panel accepts that the Complainant’s POKERIST trade mark was well-known in many jurisdictions in connection with the Pokerist Website operated by the Complainant. In addition, the Panel accepts that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s POKERIST trade mark at the time of registering the Disputed Domain Name, based on the fame of the POKERIST trade mark, and the following:

(i) the Disputed Domain Name was created on September 15, 2012, more than two (2) years after the Complainant had launched the Pokerist Website and seven (7) months after the Complainant had registered the POKERIST trade mark in the United States;

(ii) the Website was used to sell In-Game Currency, which can only be used in connection with the Complainant’s Pokerist Website; and

(iii) the Website referred to the Pokerist Website and used a similar colour scheme to the Pokerist Website. This is sufficient for the Panel to conclude that at the time of registration of the Disputed Domain Name, the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its POKERIST trade mark (see Johnson & Johnson v. Ryan Rupke, WIPO Case No. D2011-1196, Altenloh, Brinck & Co. GmbH & Co. KG v. Steve Cree, WIPO Case No. D2005-0046, and Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba d/b/a Toshiba Corporation v. ICN-Toshiba, WIPO Case No. D2004-0941).

The incorporation of the generic word “store” in the Disputed Domain Name is a clear reference to the Complainant’s business of selling In-Game Currency for use in connection with the Pokerist Website and further evidence that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its rights in the POKERIST trade mark at the time he registered the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel finds that there is no plausible explanation for the Respondent’s use of the POKERIST trade mark other than to trade on the Complainant’s goodwill in the trade mark (see RRI Financial, Inc. v Ray Chen, WIPO Case No. D2001-1242). In these circumstances the Panel finds that there is no basis on which to infer that the Respondent registered and has used the Disputed Domain Name in any manner or for any purpose otherwise than in bad faith.

Further, under the Pokerist Website’s terms of use, all users (including the Respondent) are prohibited from selling or transferring In-Game Currency to a third party without the Complainant’s written consent. The undisputed fact that the Respondent did not obtain such consent from the Complainant is further evidence of bad faith registration and use.

The Panel notes that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name using a privacy service. While there are legitimate purposes for using a privacy service and such use is not, of itself, indicative of bad faith, the use of a privacy service to shield the Respondent’s identity may be further support an inference of bad faith where there is evidence of other improper behaviour on the part of the Repsondent (see Villeroy & Boch AG v. Whois Data Shield/Hong Kong Names LLC., WIPO Case No. D2008-1300 and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Secure Whois Information Service, WIPO Case No. D2006-0696).

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy in respect of the Disputed Domain Name.

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 Disputed Domain Name, <pokeriststore.com>, be transferred to the Complainant.

Gabriela Kennedy
Sole Panelist
Date: March 1, 2013

 

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