WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) v. Identity Protection Service, Identity Protect Limited / Adam Allen, Adam Allen
Case No. D2016-0502
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) of Nyon, Switzerland, represented by Nameshield, France.
The Respondent is Identity Protection Service, Identity Protect Limited of Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“United Kingdom”) / Adam Allen, Adam Allen of Slough, United Kingdom.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <selleuro2016tickets.com> is registered with 123-Reg Limited (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 15, 2016. On March 15, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On March 17, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 21, 2016 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 21, 2016. The Complainant filed a second amended Complaint on March 23, 2016.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended Complaints 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 24, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 13, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 14, 2016.
The Center appointed Tuukka Airaksinen as the sole panelist in this matter on April 21, 2016. 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 the administrative body for association football in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of the six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 54 national association members.
The main European football competition for men's national teams is the UEFA European Football Championship, started in 1958, with the first finals in 1960, and known as the European Nations Cup until 1964. It is also called UEFA or the EURO.
The Complainant is the proprietor of, amongst others, the trademark EURO 2016, registered on June 30, 2010 as an international registration No. 1049533 in classes 9, 16, 28, 33, 35, 39 and 41 and designating, inter alia, Germany.
The disputed domain name was registered on August 19, 2015. The disputed domain name is currently inactive.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The disputed domain name includes the Complainant’s trademark EURO 2016 in its entirety. The website to which the disputed domain names resolves displayed the Complainant’s logos and offered the sale of tickets to the EURO 2016 championship.
The Complainant contends that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name and he is not related in any way with the Complainant. The Complainant does not carry out any activity for, nor has any business with the Respondent.
The Respondent has tried to create confusion with the Complainant in order to sell unofficial tickets for the EURO 2016 championships.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to obtain the transfer of a domain name, the Policy states that a complainant must prove three elements, regardless of whether the respondent files a response to the complaint. The first element is that the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. Under the second element a complainant must prove is that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. According to the third element a complainant must establish that the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establishes that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights. Consequently, the Complainant must prove that it has rights to a trademark, and that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to this trademark.
The Complainant has shown that it is the proprietor of, inter alia, the registered trademark EURO 2016. The disputed domain name includes the Complainant's trademark in its entirety and combines it with two generic words, “sell” and “tickets”.
In accordance with paragraph 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition (“WIPO Overview 2.0”), noting that the disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s trademark along with descriptive words, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark and hence the first element of the Policy has been fulfilled.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establish that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to the disputed domain name.
The consensus view among UDRP panels is that once a complainant has made a prima facie showing indicating the absence of the respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in a disputed domain name the burden of production shifts to the respondent to come forward with evidence of such rights or legitimate interests. See, e.g., Document Technologies, Inc. v. International Electronic Communications Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0270 and paragraph 2.1 of the WIPO Overview 2.0.
The Complainant has submitted that it is not affiliated with the Respondent, it has not authorized the Respondent to use the trademark EURO 2016 or the disputed domain name, and that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Respondent has not rebutted these arguments.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that has not been rebutted by the Respondent. In light of the Panel’s findings below, the Panel finds there are no other circumstances which provide the Respondent with any rights or legitimate interests. Therefore, the Panel finds that the second element of the Policy is fulfilled.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy requires that the Complainant establishes that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
"(i) circumstances indicating that [the respondent has] registered or has 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 [the respondent’s] documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) [the respondent has] registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that [the respondent has] engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) [the respondent has] registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business or competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, [the respondent has] intentionally attempted 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] website or location or of a product or service on [the respondent’s] website or location."
Considering that the Complainant’s services, namely the UEFA European Football Championship attracts great attention all over Europe, it is unlikely that the Respondent would not have been aware of the upcoming championships when registering the disputed domain name.
Indeed, the Complainant has provided evidence which shows that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to redirect to a website to sell tickets to the Complainant’s football tournament which will take place in France and has also used the Complainant’s logo on the website. Use of the Complainant’s trademark and logo in such a way without any disclaimer likely misleads Internet users as to the affiliation or sponsorship of the Respondent’s website.
This means that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The fact that the domain name is currently inactive does not alter this finding.
Based on the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Therefore, the Panel finds that the third element of the Policy has been fulfilled.
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 <selleuro2016tickets.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: May 5, 2016