WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Rodica Ilea

Case No. D2014-0016

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. of Torino, Italy, represented by Perani Pozzi Associati - Studio Legale, Italy.

The Respondent is Rodica Ilea of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo-com.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 January 8, 2014. On January 8, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On January 8, 2014, 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 January 15, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was February 4, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 5, 2014.

The Center appointed Alfred Meijboom as the sole panelist in this matter on February 10, 2014. 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 a leading banking group in Italy. The Complainant is the owner of several registered trademarks, including the international trademark INTESA SANPAOLO (registration number 920896) with designation – inter alia – United States, the Community trademark INTESA SANPAOLO (registration number 5301999) and the Italian trademark INTESA SANPAOLO (registration number 1042140).

The Complainant has registered several domain names containing the signs “intesa sanpaolo” and “intesa-sanpaolo” under different generic and country Top-Level Domains, all of these domain names are connected to the Complainant’s official website which is provided under the domain name <intesasanpaolo.com>.

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on July 15, 2013.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant provides its business throughout the world, having a strong presence in Central-Eastern Europe. The Complainant owns the aforementioned trademarks and domain names. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.

Furthermore, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, since he has not been authorized by the Complainant to use the disputed domain name and is not commonly known as “intesasanpaolo-com” and the use of the disputed domain name is not fair or noncommercial.

Lastly, the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant’s INTESA SANPAOLO trademark is distinctive and well known around the world. The disputed domain name would not have been registered if it were not for the Complainant’s trademark. The disputed domain name is connected to a website sponsoring, inter alia, banking and financial services, for which the Complainant’s trademarks are registered and being used. In addition, the disputed domain name is not used for the bona fide offering of goods or services. More particularly, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his website linked to the disputed domain name by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires that the Complainant demonstrates that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.

In the present case the Complainant has sufficiently demonstrated that it has rights in the aforementioned trademarks. The disputed domain name is highly similar to the Complainant’s word marks only adding “-com”, which cannot be regarded distinctive in this context. Therefore, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(a)(ii)of the Policy requires that the Complainant demonstrates that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

With respect to this requirement, a complainant is generally required to make a prima facie case that a respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Once such prima facie case is made, the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with appropriate allegations or evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), par. 2.1).

In the present case, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made such prima facie case, stating that the Complainant has not authorized the Respondent’s use of the trademark INTESA SANPAOLO. The burden of proof has therefore shifted to the Respondent. As the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, he has failed to demonstrate any rights and/or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

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

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant demonstrates that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Taking into account that the Complainant is a large Italian banking group that is also known outside Italy, as well as the fact that the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name which is nearly identical to the Complainant’s distinctive trademarks, the Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s INTESA SANPAOLO trademark and has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith. Moreover, the website connected to the disputed domain name displays sponsored links to, inter alia, financial services for which the Complainant’s trademarks have been registered and are being used. For these reasons, the Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).

Taking into account these circumstances, the Panel finds that there is sufficient evidence that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Considering the above, the Panel finds that the requirement under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied.

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 <intesasanpaolo-com.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Alfred Meijboom
Sole Panelist
Date: February 21, 2014