WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
BC Global Services Limited v. Mr. David Black
Case No. DTV2011-0004
1. The Parties
The Complainant is BC Global Services Limited of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by WH Law, Malta.
The Respondent is Mr. David Black of Sliema, Malta.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <betclic.tv> (the “Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with 1&1 Internet AG.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 13, 2011. On April 13, 2011, the Center transmitted by email to 1&1 Internet AG a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On May 15, 2011, 1&1 Internet AG. 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 28, 2011. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was May 18, 2011. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 19, 2011.
The Center appointed Alistair Payne as the sole panelist in this matter on May 24, 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.
The Panel issued a Panel Order on June 6, 2011 inviting the Complainant to file additional evidence as follows:
1. Setting out the Complainant's business activities and the extent of its business development by the date of registration of the Disputed Domain Name;
2. Demonstrating the Complainant's use of its name and trade mark by the date of registration of the Disputed Domain Name;
3. To support the Complainant's allegations as to the Respondent's motives for registration of the Disputed Domain Name.
The Complainant was afforded 5 calendar days to file its evidence with the Respondent being invited to file submissions strictly relating to the Complainant's new evidence within a further 5 calendar days.
The Complainant filed its additional submissions on Friday, June 10, 2011. No submissions were received from the Respondent.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is part of a group of companies based in Malta that operates an on-line gambling business in various countries throughout the world. The Complainant was formerly known as Betclick Limited upon its registration on July 25, 2005. It owns various registered trademarks for BETCLICK or BETCLIC including in particular Community trademark registrations for each of these marks respectively under registration numbers 9236233 and 9236167. The Complainant also owns various community trademark registrations for logos which incorporate either of these word marks, the earliest of which dates from 2005 under registration number 4606117. The Complainant registered the domain names <betclic.com> on June 1, 2005 and <betclick.com> on December 26, 2001.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on January 7, 2008.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it has used the BETCLICK mark as its mark or name since 2005 and uses its trade mark in a range of jurisdictions in Europe and in countries including Brazil and India and serves approximately 1.5 million customers each year. The Complainant says that it owns registered trade mark rights for the purposes of the Policy as noted above in both the BETCLICK and BETCLIC trademarks.
The Complainant submits that it has never given the Respondent permission to use its BETCLICK or BETCLIC mark and that the Respondent has no legitimate rights to these names or marks and registered the Disputed Domain Name for the purposes of preventing the Complainant from doing so or for causing confusion amongst the Complainant’s customers.
The Complainant submits as to bad faith that the Respondent either registered the Disputed Domain Name for the purpose of preventing it from doing so, or registered it for the purpose of impeding the Complainant’s business and preventing it from pursuing its legitimate business plans. The Complainant further says that the Respondent’s failure to use the Disputed Domain Name is indicative of its intention upon registration to either sell the Disputed Domain Name to a competitor of the Respondent or to sell it back to the Complainant at a profit. The Respondent’s submission of apparently bogus address details and a vacant telephone number and address suggests in the Complainant’s submission that the Respondent is attempting to cover up his true whereabouts and identity. The fact that he used a Maltese address for this purposes suggests according to the Complainant that the Respondent is well aware of the Complainant’s brand.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel finds that the Complainant has registered trademark rights in both its BETCLICK and BETCLIC marks as set out above and that the Disputed Domain Name is either identical or confusingly similar to these marks. As a result the Complaint succeeds in relation to the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence before the Panel to suggest that the Respondent has any right or legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name. The Panel notes that the Complainant has been actively using its BETCLICK mark and name since 2005, has registered trade mark rights in the jurisdiction in which the Respondent purports to have his address and operates a substantial Internet based business under this mark and in particular from the corresponding domain name <betclick.com>. In these circumstances and based on the Respondent’s failure to reply to the Complainant’s attempts to contact it or the communications sent to it in the course of these proceedings, it seems to the Panel that on the balance of probabilities it is reasonable to infer that the Respondent has no credible explanation or legitimate right or interest in the Disputed Domain Name.
Accordingly, the Complaint succeeds in relation to the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant operates a substantial Internet based international gambling business from its Malta base under the BETCLICK mark and has done so since 2005. It also owns, as noted above, various Community Trademark registrations for the BETCLICK or BETLIC marks.
The Complainant’s initial rights considerably pre-date the registration of the Disputed Domain Name for which the Respondent has offered no explanation. Neither has the Respondent used the Disputed Domain Name or responded to the Complainant’s attempts to contact him or to the communications sent to him in these proceedings. In fact it appears from the Complainant’s investigations that the listed address for the Respondent is incomplete and the telephone number is not operative, although there is no indication that the listed contact e-mail addresses are incorrect.
Taking into account the Complainant’s substantial business and suite of trademark registrations, the Respondent’s co-incidental base in Malta, the Respondent’s failure to provide valid contact details or to respond to any communications which leads to an inference that it does not wish to be contacted and its total failure to use the Disputed Domain Name, the Panel infers that the Respondent’s passive holding of the Disputed Domain Name amounts to bad faith registration and use for the purposes of the third element of the Policy. In the circumstances this decision is consistent with the approach taken by previous panels in the line of cases following, Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2003-0003.
As a consequence the Complaint succeeds under the third element 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 <betclic.tv> be transferred to the Complainant.
Dated: June 23, 2011