World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Yemin Dong

Case No. DCO2011-0033

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. of Torino, Italy, represented by Perani Pozzi Tavella, Italy.

The Respondent is Yemin Dong of Woodlands Drive, Singapore.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <bancaintesa.co> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 3, 2011. On June 6, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc (the “Registrar”) a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 7, 2011, the Registrar 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 June 17, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was July 7, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on July 12, 2011.

The Center appointed Eduardo Machado as the sole panelist in this matter on July 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 an Italian Bank group that resulted from the fusion between two major banks Banca Intesa S.p.A. and Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A., both from Italy. Together, these banks acquired a market capitalization that exceeds EUR 30 billion, and has approximately 5,900 branches spread over Italy.

Moreover, the Complainant alleges having a strong presence in Central-Eastern Europe with a network of approximately 2,000 branches with over 8.5 million customers.

Regarding trademark rights, the Complainant owns the following trademarks: (i) Columbian trademark registration no. 345497 BANCA INTESA & device, applied on June 23, 2004 and granted on May 31, 2007, in connection with the class 36, (ii) Columbian trademark registration no. 360301 BANCA INTESA, applied on June 23, 2004 and granted on May 31, 2007, in connection with the class 36, (iii) Community trademark registration no. 000779793 BANCA INTESA, applied on March 24, 1998 and granted on November 15, 1999, in connection with the classes 9, 16, 36, 38, 41 and 42 and properly renewed on March 24, 2008, and (iv) International trademark registration no. 831572 BANCA INTESA, granted on June 24, 2004, in connection with the services of class 36.

The disputed domain name <bancaintesa.co> was registered by the Respondent on October 16, 2010.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name exactly reproduces its trademark BANCA INTESA. Moreover, Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s domain name <bancaintesa.com>, except for the last letter. The Complainant contends that the circumstances show that the Respondent attempted to create a likelihood of confusion between Internet users, by taking an advantage of possible typo mistakes.

The Complainant affirms the inexistence of any relation with the Respondent, and reinforces that the usage of the trademark BANCA INTESA must have the Complainant’s approval, which was not granted in this case.

Further, the Complainant alleges that the disputed domain name <bancaintesa.co> does not correspond to any of the Respondent’s names, and that the Respondent is not commonly known nor referred to by the trademark BANCA INTESA. Furthermore, the Complainant affirms that the Respondent is not making any fair or noncommercial use of the disputed domain name.

Moreover, the Complainant asserts that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, in accordance with paragraph 4(b) of the Policy. According to the Complainant, the fact that it filed all its trademark applications before the registration of the disputed domain name makes it impossible that the Respondent did not know of the trademark BANCA INTESA when it registered the disputed domain name.

Therefore, the Complainant argues that the disputed domain name was registered with the intention of diverting consumers, since the Complainant’s trademarks are widely known throughout the world.

The Complainant also informs that a cease and desist letter was sent to the Respondent (Annex H of the Complaint). Regarding the reply (Annex I of the Complaint), the Respondent informed that the Complainant could purchase the disputed domain name, in order to meet the expenses incurred with the registration of <bancaintesa.co>, and other expenses not specified.

The Respondent stated in further correspondence to Complainant that he was not willing to propose any money to Complainant, once it would be considered evidence for the UDRP, suggesting the Complainant to make a reasonable proposal (Annex L of the Complaint).

Hence, the Complainant affirms that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling it at a much higher price, overcoming the costs for registration, which evidences bad faith, in accordance with paragraph 4(b)(i) of the UDRP.

The Complainant affirms that the disputed domain name is not used to offer any goods or services, therefore, lacks bona fide, since it is uniquely used as a sponsoring website, that among others, includes banking and financial services, for which the Complainant’s trademarks are registered and used.

The Complainant affirms that consumers may be lead to confusion when searching for services, goods or even online advices that the Complainant provides on its website.

The Complainant further contends that the disputed domain name is used to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users by trading on the goodwill associated with Complainant’s trademark.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Pursuant to the Policy, the Complainant is required to prove the presence of each of the following three elements to obtain the remedy it has requested: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark 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 in bad faith, Policy, paragraph 4(a).

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that registered trademarks of the Complainant are highly distinctive in the banking and financial area and have a strong reputation in many countries. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name <bancaintesa.co> is identical to its BANCA INTESA registered trademarks (and additionally to the Complainant’s domain name <bancaintesa.com>).

The Panel finds that this identity can mislead Internet users who search for the Complainant’s services and divert them to the disputed domain name, especially because the difference between the gtld ”.com” and the cctld “.co” is only one letter, “m”.

The Panel, therefore, finds that Complainant has established the first condition of the paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Complainant has alleged that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name that contains in its entirety the Complainant’s mark BANCA INTESA. Taking into consideration the Complainant’s prima facie satisfaction that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests and that the Respondent has failed to respond to the Complaint, the Panel finds on the record before it that the Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

As a matter of a fact, the Complainant has made a prima facie case in support of its allegations and, due to this, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, according to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy, there is no evidence that the Respondent, before any notice of the dispute, used or prepared to use the disputed domain name or a name corresponding to the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(ii) of the Policy, there is no evidence that indicates that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

With respect to paragraph 4(c)(iii) of the Policy, the Respondent has not made and is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name and has not used the disputed domain name, or a name corresponding to it, in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services.

At the time the Complaint was filed, the website at the disputed domain name provided, in part, pay-per-click advertisings.

Moreover, the website at the disputed domain name, as of the date of this decision, still resolves to a page that displays pay-per-click ads. This is not a bona fide use. TM Acquisition Corp. v. Sign Guards a/k/a William Moore, NAF Claim No. FA132439, (finding that the respondent’s use of complainant’s marks to divert Internet users to a web site which displayed a series of links, some of which were links to sites of complainant’s competitors, was not a bona fide offering of goods or services).

So, in view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established the second condition of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Under paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, a respondent has used and registered a domain name in bad faith if, inter alia, the respondent has used the domain name intentionally to attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the respondent’s website or other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the respondent’s site or of a product or service offered on the respondent’s site. (Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv)).

The Panel finds that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name in bad faith.

The Respondent has intentionally registered the disputed domain name which totally reproduces the Complainant’s well-known trademark BANCA INTESA. By the time the disputed domain name was registered, the Respondent was likely aware of the Complainant’s rights on the trademark BANCA INTESA.

The Complainant’s allegations of bad faith are not contested. The evidence provided by the Complainant confirms that it had long been using its BANCA INTESA registered trademark when the disputed domain name was registered. Moreover, the Complainant submitted consistent evidence that its trademark is widely-known. The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s rights in the mark and, further, that the Respondent knowingly infringed the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name.

Also, under the Policy, it is evidence of bad faith that, “by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.” (Policy paragraph 4(b)(iv)). The Respondent used the Complainant’s widely-known trademark to attract users to Respondent’s website where pay-per-click ads are displayed. This is evidence of the intention by the Respondent to attract Internet users for commercial gain, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s marks as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website or of a product or service on the Respondent’s website.

At the time the Complaint was filed and at the time of this decision, the disputed domain name resolves to a webpage that offers visitors pay-per-click ads.

Finally, it is also a evidence of bad faith if “you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name”. The Complainant has submitted consistent evidence that Respondent has acted in such way. Moreover, the Respondent has tried to force the Complainant to make an offer to buy the disputed domain name, in an attempt to escape a finding of bad faith under the Policy. The Panel finds that the Respondent was fully aware that his acts represented a violation of the Policy.

In light of these, the Panel finds that the Complainant has established the third element of the paragraph 4(a) of 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 name <bancaintesa.co> be transferred to the Complainant.

Eduardo Machado
Sole Panelist
Dated: August 4, 2011

 

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