WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
IG Group Limited v. Baluga Holdings
Case No. D2013-0233
1. The Parties
Complainant is IG Group Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the “United Kingdom”), represented by Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, Sweden.
Respondent is Baluga Holdings of Manila, Philippines.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <igindexbinary.com> 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 February 1, 2013. On February 1, 2013, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 1, 2013, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 7, 2013. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 27, 2013. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent of its default on February 28, 2013.
The Center appointed James W. Dabney as the sole panelist in this matter on March 15, 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.
4. Factual Background
Complainant, IG Group Limited, is a private company organized and existing under the laws of England and Wales. Complainant provides financial spread betting services via a website associated with the domain name <igindex.co.uk>. Complainant is the owner of the Community Trade Mark Reg. No. 6366348 for IG INDEX issued on February 6, 2009 for a broad range of financial services including “[b]etting” and “off shore betting, gambling, gaming and lottery services”. Since 2003, Complainant has provided its clients with the opportunity to place a type of bet known as a “binary” bet, in which a person bets that a certain defined event will (“yes”) or will not (“no”) occur. Such “binary” bet opportunities are made available by Complainant via the “www.igindex.co.uk” website.
Complainant alleges without contradiction that it has offices in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United States of America. Complainant alleges without contradiction that in the first five months of 2012, Complainant had turnover of GBP 366.8 million.
On June 23, 2012, Respondent registered the disputed domain name <igindexbinary.com>. Shortly thereafter Complainant transmitted an email to Respondent, addressed to the email address that Respondent had used when registering the disputed domain name, demanding that Respondent relinquish the disputed domain name. Complainant alleges without contradiction that Respondent did not reply to this email in any way. Complainant has submitted copies of multiple follow-up emails sent to the same email address in July, September, and October 2012. Complainant alleges without contradiction that Respondent did not reply to any of these follow up emails.
As of the date Complainant initiated this proceeding, the disputed domain name was associated with web pages displaying pay-per-click site advertising for, among other things, binary bets and binary options trading – which is to say, services of the same type offered by Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <igindexbinary.com> is confusingly similar to the mark IG INDEX, in which Complainant has prior rights. The disputed domain name comprises the registered service mark IG INDEX conjoined with the word “binary” , which is an established category of bet that Complainant offers on its “www.igindex.co.uk” website.
Complainant further contends that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name <igindexbinary.com>. As applied to betting services recited in Complainant’s CTM Reg. No. 6366348, IG INDEX is an arbitrary and inherently strong mark. Complainant has further submitted evidence that IG INDEX had commercial strength long prior to June 23, 2012, when <igindexbinary.com> was registered to Respondent. Complainant alleges without contradiction that Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant in any way and has no license to use Complainant’s registered service mark.
Finally, Complainant contends that <igindexbinary.com> was registered and is being used in bad faith. As noted above, at the time this proceeding was commenced the disputed domain name was associated with web pages displaying pay-per-click site advertising for, among other things, services of the same type as Complainant offers.
Respondent submitted no response to the Complaint. On the record of this case, the Panel is satisfied that Respondent received actual notice of this proceeding and deliberately chose to default.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, Complainant bears the burden of proving each of the following by a preponderance of the evidence:
(i) the disputed domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or a service in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Panel is satisfied that Complainant has carried its burden with respect to each of these elements.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
As noted above, the disputed domain name comprises Complainant’s registered service mark IG INDEX conjoined with the word “binary” which is an established category of bet that Complainant offers on its “www.igindex.co.uk” website. Respondent has not denied that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s registered service mark. The Panel finds the disputed domain name suggests a connection with IG INDEX, and is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The record evidence supports an inference that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent’s purported company name, “Baluga Holdings”, bears no resemblance to <igindexbinary.com>. The sole use of the disputed domain name has been in association with pay-per-click site advertising for betting and financial services competitive, to a greater or lesser degree, with those of Complainant. The Panel finds that none of the circumstances of paragraph 4(c) of the Policy apply and that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
On the record of this case, the Panel is satisfied that Respondent registered and has been using the disputed domain name in bad faith, and in particular, with bad faith intent to profit from pre-existing public familiarity with Complainant’s mark IG INDEX and Complainant’s offering of “binary” betting services, within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
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 <igindexbinary.com> be transferred to Complainant.
James W. Dabney
Date: March 21, 2013