WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Cube Limited v. Limin Wu
Case No. D2015-0249
1. The Parties
The 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.
The Respondent is Limin Wu of Daye, China.
2. The Domain Names and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Names <188bet000.com>, <188bet111.com>, <188bet222.com>, <188bet333.com>, <188bet444.com>, <188bet555.com>, <188bet666.com>, <188bet777.com> and <188bet999.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 February 17, 2015. On February 17, 2015, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Names. On February 18, 2015, 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 February 20, 2015. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 12, 2015. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 13, 2015.
The Center appointed Kar Liang Soh as the sole panelist in this matter on March 20, 2015. 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 has been in the business of online betting and casino entertainment services since 2005 and has a majority of customers based in Asia. The Complainant operates its business from the website “www.188bet.com” under the trademark 188BET and only accepts account requests from individuals in countries where gambling is not restricted by legislation.
To promote the trademark 188BET, the Complainant engaged in sponsorship and partnering activities with recognized football teams including English Premier League football clubs like Manchester City Football Club, the Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Wigan Athletic, the Liverpool Football Club and the Chelsea Football Club. The English Premier League and its clubs provided the Complainant with exposure to a global TV audience and stadia perimeter advertising. The Complainant also sponsored other sports events including horse racing events at Windsor and Doncaster race courses in the United Kingdom. The Complainant has been participating on social media platforms including Facebook and Youtube for some years.
The Complainant has registered the trademark 188BET in various jurisdictions including the following:
July 14, 2009
August 8, 2013
Hong Kong, China
August 12, 2013
A number of the registrations for the trademark 188BET feature the number “188” within an irregular pentagonal figure (the “188 Device”). The advertising and promotional materials of the Complainant display the 188 Device with the pentagonal figure in orange.
The Complainant is also the registrant of the domain name <188bet.com>.
The Respondent appears to be an individual based in China. Little information is available beyond the Whois details of the Disputed Domain Names. The parties were previously parties of a prior domain name dispute relating to the domain names <188bet01.com> and <188bet09.com> (Cube Limited v Limin Wu, WIPO Case No. D2014-1957) which was decided in the Complainant’s favour.
The Disputed Domain Names were all registered on April 22, 2014. All Disputed Domain Names resolve to websites with essentially the same content featuring prominently the words “188金宝博” (pronounced “188 jin bao bo”), a user login facility and links with words suggestive of gaming. The number “188” is represented in a manner similar to the 188 Device with an irregular orange pentagonal figure. The websites also contained a statement that they belong to “Cube有限公司” (which essentially means “Cube Limited Company”), having an address in Douglas, Isle of Man, the same city indicated in the Complainant’s address. The websites further display two logos of the English Premier League football clubs and the coat of arms of the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contents that:
a) The Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark 188BET. The dominant part of the Disputed Domain Names is the trademark 188BET. The mere addition of the numerals “000” to “999” in each of the Disputed Domain Names does not minimize the risk of confusion;
b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Disputed Domain Names. The Respondent is neither a licensee of the Complainant nor does it have any connection or affiliation to the Complainant for the use of the trademark 188BET. The Respondent has not received any express or implied consent to do so. The Disputed Domain Names are not used by the Respondent in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The websites resolved from the Disputed Domain Names attempt to take advantage of the reputation in the trademark 188BET for commercial gain. The Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Names. The Respondent is not commonly known by the Disputed Domain Names; and
c) The Disputed Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The Complainant has a long reputation in the trademark 188BET. The Respondent knew of the Complainant’s rights in the trademark 188BET before registering the Disputed Domain Names. The websites resolved from the Disputed Domain Names attempt to demonstrate the endorsement of or affiliation with the Complainant and purported to offer remote gaming services. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain consumers by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademark 188BET as to the source, affiliation or endorsement of the Respondent’s websites and services on those websites.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Complainant is required to satisfy the Panel that the circumstances of each Disputed Domain Name fall within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, which states:
“(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.”
The Panel will consider each of the above limbs of paragraph 4(a) in turn.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has shown on the evidence that it owns trademark registrations in relation to the trademark 188BET. The Panel also notes that the Disputed Domain Names all incorporate the trademark 188BET in its entirety. The only difference between each of the Disputed Domain Names with the trademark 188BET are the numerical suffixes “000”, “111”, “222”, “333”, “444”, “555”, “666”, “777” and “999” respectively. The Panel is of the view that the addition of these numerical suffixes do not change the identity of the trademark 188BET incorporated entirely in the Disputed Domain Names. Therefore, the Panel accepts that the Disputed Domain Names are confusingly similar to the trademark 188BET in accordance with the first limb of paragraph 4(a).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has confirmed that the Respondent is neither a licensee of the Complainant nor does it have any connection or affiliation to the Complainant. There is no evidence before the panel to suggest that the Respondent is commonly known by any of the Disputed Domain Names. There is also not evidence to suggest that the Respondent has any rights to the various Disputed Domain Names. Instead, the evidence shows that the Disputed Domain Names are being used to resolve to websites which are associated with gaming activities and services which on the face can hardly be considered noncommercial in nature. Therefore, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has demonstrated a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests all of the Disputed Domain Names. In the absence of any rebuttal by the Respondent by way of a Response, the prima facie finding stands. The Panel accordingly holds that the second limb of paragraph 4(a) is also established.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
From the evidence tendered, the Panel is convinced that the Respondent must have been aware of the trademark 188BET at the time of registering the Disputed Domain Names. The calculated incorporation of the Complainant’s 188 Device as part of the prominent sign “188金宝博”, the use of the English Premier League and Isle of Man coat of arms, and the blatant claim that the websites resolved from the Disputed Domain Names belong to the Complainant, leaves no doubt to the Panel that the Respondent has every intention to use the Disputed Domain Names to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the associated websites by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademark 188BET as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of these websites and the service offered thereon. Such behaviour clearly falls afoul of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy and exhibits the bad faith registration and use described therein.
In the circumstances, the Panel holds that the Complainant has established that the Respondent has registered and used each of 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 <188bet000.com>, <188bet111.com>, <188bet222.com>, <188bet333.com>, <188bet444.com>, <188bet555.com>, <188bet666.com>, <188bet777.com> and <188bet999.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Kar Liang Soh
Date: April 20, 2015