WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Park KyeongSook
Case No. D2016-0865
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 Park KyeongSook of Gimhae-Shi, Republic of Korea.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <banka-koper.com> is registered with Pheenix, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 29, 2016. On April 29, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 2, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the Respondent’s 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on May 6, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 26, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on May 27, 2016.
The Center appointed Thomas D. Halket as the sole panelist in this matter on June 2, 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 following facts are alleged by Complainant and not contested by Respondent. Complainant is a leading Italian banking group and among the larger banking groups in the Euro zone, with a market capitalization exceeding EUR 40,7 billion. One of the Complainant’s subsidiaries is named “Banka Koper d.d.”, a bank established in 1955, which is a bank in Slovenia. Banka Koper d.d. offers a wide range of financial services, such as commercial banking, investment banking, private banking, international operations and leasing. The Complainant is the owner of several registrations for the trademarks BANKA KOPER and KOPER which predate the registration of the disputed domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 21, 2015. The Respondent has no relationship with Complainant and has not been authorized by Complainant to use the trademarks “BANKA KOPER” and “KOPER”. Respondent is not commonly known as “BANKA-KOPER”, nor is it using the disputed domain name for any bone fide offerings. The disputed domain name is connected to a website which directs Internet users, while searching for information on the Complainant’s services, to the websites of inter alia the Complainant’s competitors.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends:
(a) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(c) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <banka-koper.com> is identical to Complainant’s registered trademark “BANKA KOPER” except for the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” and the addition of a hyphen. Such differences are not material or significant. Accordingly, the disputed domain name is confusingly similar, if not identical, to a registered trademark owned by Complainant.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant has alleged that it has never authorized Respondent to use its trademarks, that Respondent is not known by them and that the Respondent’s only use of the disputed domain name or of the “Banka Koper” trademark is that it uses the disputed domain name to refer visitors to its website, containing links to websites of competitors of Complainant. These allegations, supported by evidence submitted by the Complainant, have not been disputed by the Respondent and this Panel accordingly accepts them. Under these circumstances, the Panel finds the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides that for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy 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 you [respondent] have registered or you have 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 your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or (ii) you have 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 you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or (iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or (iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.”
It is undisputed that the Respondent’s only use of the disputed domain name is as a landing site to refer visitors to the websites of Complainant’s competitors. The Respondent is thereby using the disputed domain name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to websites, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of its websites. Although it has not been alleged or established whether the Respondent is actually deriving revenue from the page, that is not relevant to a determination of bad faith use. See Villeroy & Boch AG v. Mario Pingerna, WIPO Case No. D2007-1912. Since the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name thus violates paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. The Panel notes that many other panels have reached the same conclusion when faced with similar facts. See, e.g., Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. v. Shedon.com, WIPO Case No. D2000-0753.
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 <banka-koper.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Thomas D. Halket
Date: June 5, 2016