WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. zhang yin

Case No. D2016-1914

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 zhang yin of Xianning, Hubei, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <intesasanpaolo.club> is registered with Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed in English with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 20, 2016. On September 20, 2016, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 21, 2016, 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.

On September 23, 2016, the Center sent an email communication to the Parties in both Chinese and English regarding the language of the proceeding. On the same day, the Complainant submitted a request that English be the language of the proceeding. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding by the specified due date.

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 in both Chinese and English of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 30, 2016. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 20, 2016. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 21, 2016.

The Center appointed Sok Ling MOI as the sole panelist in this matter on October 27, 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 an Italian banking group with a market capitalisation exceeding EUR 35 billion. It offers its retail, corporate and wealth management services to some 11 million customers. Its international network specialised in supporting corporate customers is present in 29 countries including the United States of America, the Russian Federation, China and India.

The Complainant is the owner of the following trade mark registrations for INTESA SANPAOLO:

- International Trade Mark Registration No. 920896 in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42, covering China (granted on March 7, 2007);

- European Union Trade Mark Registration No. 5301999 for in classes 35, 36 and 38, (granted on June 18, 2007).

The Complainant is also the registered owner of the following domain names consisting of its trade mark INTESA SANPAOLO, all of which are connected to its official website at “www.intesasanpaolo.com”:

- <intesasanpaolo.com>;

- <intesasanpaolo.org>;

- <intesasanpaolo.eu>;

- <intesasanpaolo.info>;

- <intesasanpaolo.net>; and

- <intesasanpaolo.biz>.

The disputed domain name was registered on June 26, 2016, long after the Complainant has used and registered its trade mark INTESA SANPAOLO. According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant and at the date of this decision1 , the disputed domain name resolves to a parking page with commercial links relating to a variety of goods and services, including financial and banking services.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to its trade mark INTESA SANPAOLO, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name, and the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

The Complainant requests for the transfer of the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

6.1 Language of the Proceeding

Pursuant to paragraph 11(a) of the Rules, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, or specified otherwise in the Registration Agreement, the language of the administrative proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement, subject to the authority of the Panel to determine otherwise, having regard to the circumstances of the administrative proceeding.

Paragraphs 10(b) and (c) of the Rules require the Panel to ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition and that the Parties are treated equitably and given a fair opportunity to present their respective cases.

The language of the Registration Agreement for the disputed domain name is Chinese. From the evidence on record, no agreement appears to have been entered into between the Complainant and the Respondent regarding the language issue. The Respondent is presumably a Chinese individual residing in China. The Complainant filed its Complaint in English and has requested that English be the language of the proceeding.

The Panel finds persuasive evidence in the present proceeding to suggest that the Respondent has sufficient knowledge of English. In particular, the Panel notes that:

(a) the disputed domain name is registered in Latin characters, rather than Chinese script; and

(b) the disputed domain name resolves to a website with content and commercial links in English.

Additionally, the Panel notes that:

(a) the Center has notified the Respondent of the proceeding in both Chinese and English;

(b) the Respondent has been given the opportunity to present its case in this proceeding and to respond to the issue of the language of the proceeding but failed to do so; and

(c) the Center has informed the Respondent that it would accept a Response in either English or Chinese.

Considering the above circumstances, the Panel finds that the choice of English as the language of the present proceeding is fair to both Parties and is not prejudicial to either one of the Parties in its ability to articulate the arguments for this case.

The Panel has taken into consideration the fact that to require the Complaint and all supporting documents to be translated into Chinese would, in the circumstances of this case, cause an unnecessary cost burden to the Complainant and would unnecessarily delay the proceeding.

Having considered all the matters above, the Panel determines under paragraph 11(a) of the Rules that it shall accept the Complaint and all supporting materials as filed in English, that English shall be the language of the proceeding, and that the decision will be rendered in English.

6.2 Substantive Issues

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following three elements to obtain an order for the disputed domain name to be cancelled or transferred:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights;

(ii) the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

On the basis of the arguments and evidence introduced by the Complainant, the Panel concludes as follows:

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel accepts that the Complainant has rights in INTESA SANPAOLO by virtue of its use and registration of the same as a trade mark.

The disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trade mark INTESA SANPAOLO in its entirety. The addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.club” does not impact the analysis of whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trade mark.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the first element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the Complainant bears the burden of establishing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. However, once the Complainant makes a prima facie showing under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy, the burden shifts to the Respondent to establish its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name by demonstrating any of the following, without limitation, under paragraph 4(c) of the Policy:

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

(ii) the Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name, even if it has acquired no trade mark or service mark rights; or

(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trade mark or service mark at issue.

(See Taylor Wimpey PLC, Taylor Wimpey Holdings Limited v. honghao internet foshan co, ltd, WIPO Case No. D2013-0974.)

The Complainant has confirmed that the Respondent is not in any way related to or affiliated with the Complainant or otherwise authorized or licensed to use the INTESA SANPAOLO trade mark or to seek registration of any domain name incorporating the trade mark.

The disputed domain name resolves to an active website which appears to be a parking page with commercial links to variety of goods and services, two of which are links entitled “Banca Deutsche Barik” and “Unicrediti Banca” which in turn generate sponsored links in the banking and financial fields.

The consensus view of previous UDRP panels is that use of a domain name to post parking and landing pages or pay-per-click links may be permissible in some circumstances, but would not of itself confer rights or legitimate interests arising from a “bona fide offering of goods or services” or from “legitimate noncommercial or fair use” of the domain name. This is especially so where such links result in a connection to goods or services competitive with those of the Complainant. Such use of the disputed domain name is neither legitimate nor fair. As discussed below, the Respondent is deemed responsible for the content that appears at the disputed domain name.

The Panel is therefore satisfied that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The burden of production thus shifts to the Respondent to establish its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Since the Respondent has failed to respond, the prima facie case has not been rebutted.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the second element under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out four circumstances which, without limitation, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith, namely:

(i) circumstances indicating that the Respondent has registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registrations to the Complainant who is the owner of the trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the Respondent’s documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the disputed domain name; or

(ii) the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trade mark 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 disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s websites 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 the Respondent’s websites or location or of a product.

The disputed domain name resolves to an active website which appears to be a parking page with commercial links to variety of goods and services, two of which are links entitled “Banca Deutsche Barik” and “Unicrediti Banca” which in turn generate sponsored links in the banking and financial fields. The consensus view of previous UDRP panels is that a domain name registrant is normally deemed responsible for content appearing on a website at its domain name, even if such registrant may not be exercising direct control over such content - for example, in the case of advertising links appearing on an “automatically” generated basis.

The Panel notes the presumption that the Respondent or a third party stands to profit or make a “commercial gain” from advertising revenue by such an arrangement trading on third party trade marks. In the Panel’s opinion, such links clearly seek to capitalise on the trade mark value of the Complainant’s INTESA SANPAOLO trade mark resulting in misleading diversion.

The Panel therefore determines that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. As such, the Panel finds that the circumstances referred to in paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy are applicable to the present case.

The Panel further notes that there is a notice (in Chinese) at the top right hand corner of the said website, offering to sell the disputed domain name. This is prima facie evidence that the Respondent had registered or acquired the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling it for valuable consideration. As such, the circumstances referred to in paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy are also applicable to the present case.

The Respondent has not denied the Complainant’s allegations of bad faith. In view of the above finding that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and taking into account all the circumstances, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the third element under paragraph 4(a) 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.club> be transferred to the Complainant.

Sok Ling MOI
Sole Panelist
Date: November 21, 2016


1 The Panel has conducted independent checks of the website at the disputed domain name.