WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. PrivacyDotLink Customer 2413949 / Cameron Jackson

Case No. D2016-1640

1. The Parties

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

The Respondents are PrivacyDotLink Customer 2413949 of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Cameron Jackson of Kingston, New South Wales, Australia.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> is registered with Uniregistrar Corp (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 12, 2016. On August 12, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 12, 2016, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification 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 August 16, 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 amendment to the Complaint on August 17, 2016.

The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to 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 August 18, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 7, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 9, 2016.

The Center appointed Benoit Van Asbroeck as the sole panelist in this matter on September 19, 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 a leading Italian banking group. It resulted from the merger of Banca Intesa SpA and Sanpaolo IMI SpA. The Complainant has a market capitalization exceeding EUR 38.6 billion, with 4,100 branches and 11.1 million customers in Italy, and 1,300 branches and over 8.1 million customers in Central-Eastern Europe, as well as an international network in 29 countries.

The Complainant submitted evidence that it holds trademark rights for INTESA SANPAOLO including international trademark and Community trademarks for several classes, all granted in 2007 (the “Trademarks”).

The Complainant indicates it has also registered the following domain names <intesasanpaolo.com>, <intesasanpaolo.org>, <intesasanpaolo.eu>, <intesasanpaolo.info>, <intesasanpaolo.net>, <intesasanpaolo.biz>, <intesa-sanpaolo.com>, <intesa-sanpaolo.org>, <intesa-sanpaolo.eu>, <Intesa-sanpaolo.info>, <intesa-sanpaolo.biz>, and <intesa-sanpaolo.net>, all of which are now redirected to the official website of the Complainant "www.intesasanpaolo.com".

The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> on August 8, 2016, well after the Complainant secured rights to the Trademarks. This domain name does not resolve to a website or other on-line presence.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that each of the three elements specified in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are satisfied in the present case, as follows:

(a) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights.

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> is obviously identical to the Trademarks, since it reproduces the word element "intesa sanpaolo" used in the Trademarks in its entirety.

(b) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant asserts that it has rights in the name and Trademarks INTESA SANPAOLO and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant also affirms that the Respondent has not been licensed, permitted or authorized by the Complainant to use its Trademarks, or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating said Trademarks.

In addition, the Complainant contends that the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> does not correspond to the name of the Respondent, and that, to the best knowledge of the Complainant, the Respondent is not commonly known as "intesasanpaolo".

Finally, the Complainant claims that it did not find any fair or noncommercial use of the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol>.

(c) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and used in bad faith by the Respondent.

The Complainant contends that since the Trademarks are distinctive and well-known, the fact that the Respondent has registered a domain name that is confusingly similar to them indicates that the Respondent had knowledge of the Trademarks at the time of registration. The Complainant also stresses that it sufficed for the Respondent to run a simple search on the Internet to realize that the words "intesa sanpaolo" clearly refer to the Complainant. In the Complainant's view the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> would not have been registered if it were not for its resemblance to the Trademarks.

The Complainant also contends that the disputed domain name is not used for any bona fide offerings, since there are circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the disputed domain name registration to the Complainant or the Complainant's competitors, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name.

The Complainant indicates that the disputed domain name is not used for any bona fide offerings even if it is not yet connected to any website. The Complainant explains that according to numerous UDRP decisions (quoting in particular Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, and Comerica Inc. v. Horoshiy, Inc. WIPO Case No. D2004-0615) passive holding of a domain name in appropriate circumstances constitute evidence of bad faith registration and use. The Complainant further explains that the UDRP panels tended to make such findings in circumstances where, e.g., a complainant's mark was well-known, and there was no plausible actual or contemplated use of the domain name that would be legitimate. The Complainant contends that both these circumstances occurred in the present case.

Finally, the Complainant indicates that it requested the Respondent to voluntary transfer the disputed domain name by sending the Respondent a cease and desist letter on August 10, 2016. The Respondent answered the Complainant's communication informing the latter that he would be able to transfer the domain name for EUR 250, which in the Complainant’s view was an amount excessing the out-of-pocket costs directly related to a domain name registered only 48 hours before.

In addition, the Respondent decided to hide its identity using a privacy protection service, what according to the Complainant should be further bad faith evidence in view of the relevant WIPO UDRP case law.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant is required to establish the two following elements: (1) that it has trademark rights, and, if so, (2) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to its trademark(s).

First of all, this Panel finds that the Complainant has clearly evidenced that it has registered trademark rights to INTESA SANPAOLO, including international trademarks.

Secondly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.lol> fully incorporates the word element of the Complainant’s INTESA SANPAOLO Trademarks, in which the Complainant has exclusive rights.

The generic Top Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.lol” (which is the acronym for “laugh out loud”) is typically disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test.

On the basis of the foregoing findings, and according to paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant's Trademarks.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy lists circumstances, in particular but without limitation, which, if found by the Panel to be proved, demonstrate the Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy reads:

Any of the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interests to the domain name for purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii):

(i) before any notice to you of the dispute, your use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) you (as an individual, business, or other organization) have been commonly known by the domain name, even if you have acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) you are making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.”

This Panel finds that there is no evidence that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name “intesasanpaolo” or is in any way affiliated with the Complainant or authorized or licensed to use the Trademarks or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating the Trademarks.

After having examined the website operating under the disputed domain name, as evidenced by the Complainant and the Panel's own research and findings, the Panel finds that the website does not show any activities.

Therefore, and in view of the evidence of the Complainant, the Panel finds that there is no evidence showing that the Respondent has used, or undertaken any demonstrable preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services.

For all the foregoing reasons, this Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name according to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy identifies, in particular but without limitation, four circumstances which, if found by this Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy reads:

“For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii), 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 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 the 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 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 your website or location or of a product or service on your website or location.”

Each of the four circumstances in paragraph 4(b) of the Policy, if found, would be an instance of “registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.”

First of all, with regard to the Respondent’s registration of the disputed domain name, after reviewing the evidence presented by the Complainant, this Panel believes that the Respondent must have known and been aware of the Complainant’s rights on the prior INTESA SANPAOLO Trademarks and the associated products and services at the time of registration of the disputed domain name.

Furthermore, this Panel has considered the Complainant’s assertions and evidence with regard to the Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name. As asserted by the Complainant, and supported in the provided evidence, the Respondent appears to have made no use of the disputed domain name.

The Panel has also considered whether, in the circumstances of this particular Complaint as set out above under Section 5(A)(c), the passive holding of the disputed domain name by the Respondent amounts to the Respondent acting in bad faith. It concludes that it does.

Finally, the Panel finds that the Respondent's reply to the Complainant's cease and desist letter, through which the Respondent demands EUR 250 for transferring the disputed domain name after only 48 hours from its registration, proves that the Respondent registered and passively holds the disputed domain name in bad faith according with paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy.

In light of the foregoing, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used by the Respondent in bad faith under paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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.lol> be transferred to the Complainant.

Benoit Van Asbroeck
Sole Panelist
Date: September 29, 2016