WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Cube Limited v. Limin Wu
Case No. D2014-1957
1. The Parties
Complainant is Cube Limited of Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("United Kingdom"), represented by Berwin Leighton Paisner, United Kingdom.
Respondent is Limin Wu of Daye, Hubei, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The disputed domain names <188bet01.com>, <188bet02.com>, <188bet03.com>, <188bet04.com>, <188bet05.com>, <188bet06.com>, <188bet07.com>, <188bet08.com> and <188bet09.com> are registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on November 5, 2014. On November 5, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On November 5, 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 November 11, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 1, 2014. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on December 2, 2014.
The Center appointed Francine Tan as the sole panelist in this matter on December 11, 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
Complainant is the registered owner of the trade mark 188BET in various jurisdictions throughout the world including the United Kingdom, the European Union and Hong Kong, China. Its Community trademark registration No. 8425324, for instance, was filed on July 14, 2009. Complainant operates its business from its website at "www.188bet.com" and provides a range of betting products and services under the 188BET trade mark. It also provides live casino and casino entertainment services online. Complainant's website achieves an average monthly visitor count of more than one million and a monthly average of more than thirty million page views.
Complainant's domain name <188bet.com> has been used since 2005. Complainant spends significant amounts in advertising and promoting its 188BET trade mark and website. One of these ways is through sponsorship and partnerships with the English Premier League football clubs, e.g. Manchester City Football Club, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Chelsea Football Club and Liverpool Football Club. Complainant was, for instance, the official betting partner of Chelsea Football Club in 2010. Its 188BET trade mark would feature prominently on football players' shirts and/or on perimeter advertising at football stadia. Complainant has also sponsored other sporting events in the United Kingdom and been active on social media websites.
The disputed domain names were registered on April 21, 2014. Respondent's websites at the disputed domain names are active betting and gaming websites which display the name and Complainant's 188BET logo. It also displays Complainant's name and company address, the logo of the betting and gaming licensing authority, and the logos of two English Premier League football clubs with whom Complainant has an association through partnership or sponsorship arrangements.
5. Parties' Contentions
(i) Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to Complainant's 188BET trade mark in which it has rights. The 188BET trade mark is recognizable in the disputed domain names and wholly incorporated therein. The mere addition of the numerals "01" to "09" in each of the respective disputed domain names does nothing to minimize the risk of confusion.
(ii) Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain names. Respondent has no permission or authorization from Complainant to use the 188BET trade mark or logo on his websites. Respondent is not a licensee of Complainant nor does he have any connection or affiliation with Complainant for the use of the 188BET trade mark or logo. The disputed domain names direct Internet users to active websites which purport to be operated by Complainant. The footers of Respondent's websites contain wording which states "188BET is owned by Cube Limited., Registered Office Address Company Clinch's House, Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 1JD". This shows Respondent has been aware of Complainant and has sought to give the false impression that it is Complainant or connected to it. Respondent could therefore never have put the disputed domain names to legitimate use.
(iii) Complainant asserts that the disputed domain names were registered and have been used in bad faith. The registration of the disputed domain names occurred about nine years after Complainant first used its 188BET mark. The said footers on Respondent's websites show that he knew of Complainant's prior rights in the 188BET trade marks and despite this knowledge, he registered multiple domain names incorporating the mark. Respondent's counterfeit websites purport to offer remote gaming services offered by Complainant. It shows Respondent's clear intention to mislead Internet users.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Policy requires Complainant to prove each of the following elements in order to obtain an order in its favour:
(i) that the disputed domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names; and
(iii) that the disputed domain names have been registered and are being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Complainant clearly has rights to the trade mark 188BET by virtue of its trademark registrations and by virtue of extensive use. The 188BET trade mark is clearly identifiable in the disputed domain names. The Panel is of the view that the addition of the numerals "01" to "09" in each of the disputed domain names is indeed of no effect in removing the confusing similarity with Complainant's mark.
The Panel therefore concludes, pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to Complainant's trade mark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence in this case to support a finding that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names. Respondent was not authorized or licensed by Complainant to use the 188BET trade mark or logo or to register domain names incorporating Complainant's mark. The footer appearing on Respondent's website also reflect that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names as it acknowledges Complainant's rights to the trade mark 188BET.
The Panel is satisfied that Complainant has established a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests. Having done so, the burden of production shifts to Respondent to offer evidence to the contrary. Respondent failed to respond or offer evidence of his rights or legitimate interests. In the circumstances, Complainant is deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy (see paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition, ("WIPO Overview 2.0")).
The Panel therefore concludes, pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, that Complainant has established that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The circumstances of this case which Complainant has established, in particular, Respondent's choice of Complainant's well-known trade mark for use in connection with a website offering the kind of services Complainant is known for, the deliberate registration of a string of domain names incorporating the 188BET mark, the use of the disputed domain names in connection with a counterfeit website to falsely represent Respondent's website to be that of Complainant or to be associated with or endorsed by Complainant, and the aforementioned footer appearing on Respondent's websites, clearly demonstrate that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.
Respondent's intention in registering and using the disputed domain names was undoubtedly for the purpose of disrupting Complainant's business and to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his websites by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant's 188BET mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent's websites. Respondent has not rebutted this with any response.
The Panel therefore has no difficulty in concluding, pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith.
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 names <188bet01.com>, <188bet02.com>,<188bet03.com>, <188bet04.com>, <188bet05.com>, <188bet06.com>, <188bet07.com>, <188bet08.com> and <188bet09.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: December 14, 2014