WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Cube Limited v. Wei Dong Chen

Case No. D2017-0212

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 LLP, United Kingdom.

The Respondent is Wei Dong Chen of Xiamen, Fujian, China.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <118bet.com> is 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 3, 2017. On February 3, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 6, 2017, 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 and 4, the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on February 10, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 2, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s fault on March 3, 2017.

The Center appointed Andrew J. Park as the sole panelist in this matter on March 14, 2017. 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, Cube Limited, is an Internet gaming supplier involved with sportsbook software, and mobile gaming. Cube Limited is located in Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom, and operates its business at its website “www.188bet.com”, where the Complainant provides consumers with an extensive range of betting products and services under the 188BET trademarks. It also specializes in live casino and traditional casino entertainment services provided online. The Complainant’s website is available to its end users in a number of languages including English and Chinese. The Complainant first started using its 188BET trademarks on its website in 2005 and has a significant global customer base, especially in Asia. The 188BET trademark is a prominent and distinctive element of the Complainant’s branding and holds significant goodwill since its first use in 2005.

The Complainant is the exclusive owner of a number of registered trademarks consisting of the numerals and wording “188bet” in various jurisdictions throughout the world, including, inter alia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Hong Kong, China.

- The word trademark 188BET registered as a European Union Trade Mark (“EUTM”) with a filing date of July 14, 2009, with Registration No. 8425324 for goods and services in International Classes 9, 28, 41, and 42, registered on March 22, 2010;

- The word trademark 188BET registered in the United Kingdom with a filing date of August 8, 2013, with Registration No. 3017215 in Classes 9, 28, 41 and 42, registered on November 8, 2013; and

- The word trademark 188BET registered in Hong Kong on August 12, 2013, with Registration No. 302702655 in Classes 9, 28, 41, and 42.

The disputed domain name was registered by the Respondent on December 14, 2010. The disputed domain name resolves to a website offering services competing with those of the Complainant.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name should be transferred to the Complainant because:

1) The disputed domain name is identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s 188BET trademark and infringes upon the Complainant’s exclusive and undisputable rights in and to the marks. The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name <118bet.com> is just an alteration of the Complainant’s trademark 188BET by one number and that it is strongly indicative of typosquatting. The Complainant further claims that the use of typosquatting by the Respondent is an attempt to divert Internet users who are trying to reach the Complainant’s website to its website, and that the alteration of the one number does nothing to minimize the risk of confusion to potential customers looking for the Complainant’s website.

2) The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant has no relationship whatsoever with the Respondent and has never authorized the Respondent to use the mark 188BET. The Respondent shows no evidence that it has made use of or intends to make use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Further, the Respondent’s website uses the Complainant’s name and company address, and also displays the logo of the betting and gaming licensing authority which regulates the Complainant. It also displays the logos of two English Premier League football clubs with whom the 188BET brand has or has had an association through sponsoring or partnering arrangements, creating confusion to Internet users. This means that the disputed domain name must have been registered to commercially profit from misleading consumers searching for information about the products and services promoted under the Complainant’s trademark, 188BET.

3) The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant’s trademark 188BET was registered before the Respondent became the owner of the disputed domain name <118bet.com> and the Complainant has a long-established reputation in the use of the trademark 188BET in relation to the provision of online sports book and gaming services offered by the Complainant from its website since 2005. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name without the Complainant’s authorization despite being aware of the Complainant’s exclusive rights to the marks and its global reputation. Further, the Respondent is attempting to direct Internet users to its website purporting to be that of the Complainant, and or sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with the Complainant.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy sets forth three requirements which have to be met for the Panel to order the transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant. Those requirements are: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark 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.

The Panel has to decide the Complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable, pursuant to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules. In accordance with paragraphs 5(f) and 14(b) of the Rules, if the Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel shall decide the dispute based upon the Complaint, and shall draw such inferences from the Respondent’s default as it considers appropriate.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

This element consists of two parts; first, whether the Complainant has rights in a relevant trademark and, second, whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that trademark.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has established registered rights in the marks 188BET and that the disputed domain name is nearly identical to the Complainant’s trademark 188BET. The alteration of one number in the disputed domain name does not dispel the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s 188BET trademark (see Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. Domain Administrator, Private Registration/Scott Elliot, Transscom Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2015-1404).

For these reasons, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i), the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, the Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Once such a prima facie case is made, the Respondent carries the burden of producing evidence in support of its rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. If the Respondent fails to do so, the Complainant may be deemed to have satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions Second Edition (“WIPO” Overview 2.0”), paragraph 2.1.

The Respondent, in not responding to the Complaint, has failed to invoke any of the circumstances, which could demonstrate, pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the Policy, any rights to and/or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. This entitles the Panel to draw any such inferences from such default as it considers appropriate pursuant to paragraph 14(b) of the Rules (see, e.g., Talk City, Inc. v. Michael Robertson, WIPO Case No. D2000-0009; Isabelle Adjani v. Second Orbit Communications, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2000-0867). The Complainant should nevertheless make out a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests (see Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455; Belupo d.d. v. WACHEM d.o.o., WIPO Case No. D2004-0110).

Here, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case.

The Complainant has asserted that the Respondent has no relationship with or authorization from the Complainant to use its trademarks. There is nothing in the record to suggest that the Respondent has made a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name or has been commonly known by the disputed domain name. Also, there is no evidence that the Respondent has an intention to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. The Panel’s view is that these facts may be taken as true in the circumstances of this case provided that they have not been rebutted by the Respondent.

The evidence, which is not rebutted by the Respondent, shows that the Respondent knew of and has sought to take unfair advantage of the similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks in order to profit by directing Internet users to its website which is not endorsed, affiliated or connected to the Complainant in any way. The Panel finds that this conduct is evidence of typo-squatting and does not provide a right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy (see, e.g., Thomson Broadcast and Media Solution, Inc., Thomson v. Alvaro Collazo, WIPO Case No. D2004-0746).

The Panel agrees with the Complainant that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Respondent is currently using or commonly known by, has used or has been commonly known by, or has a bona fide intent to use the name “188bet.”

Accordingly, the Panel holds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name pursuant to paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy provides a non-exclusive list of circumstances that evidence registration and use of a domain name in bad faith. Any one of the following is sufficient to support a finding of bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or 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 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 of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its 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.

The Complainant claims that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith in violation of the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii). Specifically, the Complainant claims that the Respondent violated the Policy, paragraph 4(b)(iv), by using the disputed domain name to intentionally attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website.

As already mentioned, the Respondent did not file any response to the Complaint, failing thereby to rebut the Complainant’s allegations of the Respondent’s bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name.

Nevertheless, the Panel still has the responsibility of determining which of the Complainant’s assertions are established as facts, and whether the conclusions asserted by the Complainant can be drawn from the established facts (see Harvey Norman Retailing Pty Ltd v. Oxford-University, WIPO Case No. D2000-0944).

The Panel finds that the Complainant’s registered trademark, 188BET is widely known, that it has been used for almost 10 years, and that it was registered before the Respondent registered the disputed domain name <118bet.com>. The disputed domain name is nearly identical to the Complainant’s trademark and the website at the disputed domain name contains not only the Complainant’s name and company address but also Complainant’s logo and associated branding and is offering services competing with those provided by the Complainant. It is therefore very unlikely that the Respondent, at the time of registration or acquisition of the disputed domain name, was not aware of the Complainant’s trademark and its business.

Bad faith can be inferred based on the fame of the Complainant’s mark, such that the Respondent was aware or should have been aware of the Complainant’s marks and claims of rights thereto (particularly in view of the Complainant’s use of its marks on the Internet). The Panel finds it highly doubtful that the Respondent would have registered the disputed domain name without having knowledge of the Complainant. The registration of a domain name that is similar to a distinctive trademark by the respondent, when the respondent has no relationship to that mark, may be suggestive of bad faith (see Charles Jourdan Holding AG v. AAIM, WIPO Case No. D2000-0403).

Accordingly, the evidence, which is not rebutted by the Respondent, shows that the Respondent likely knew of and has sought to take unfair advantage of the similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks in order to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain.

The conduct described above falls squarely within paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy and accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).

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 <118bet.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Andrew J. Park
Sole Panelist
Date: March 28, 2017