WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
UniCredit S.p.A v. Syed Hussain / IBN7 Media Group
Case No. D2017-1020
1. The Parties
The Complainant is UniCredit S.p.A of Rome, Italy, represented by Array, Italy.
The Respondent is Syed Hussain / IBN7 Media Group of Closter, New Jersey, United States of America (“United States”).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <unicreditglobal.com> is registered with Name.com, Inc. (Name.com LLC) (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on May 24, 2017. On May 24, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On May 24, 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 June 9, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 29, 2017. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 30, 2017.
The Center appointed Anthony R. Connerty as the sole panelist in this matter on July 3, 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 is the third largest banking group in Europe. In the Annexes to its Complaint, the Complainant has provided evidence of ownership of trademark registrations for UNICREDIT dating to November, 2002.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <unicreditglobal.com> on June 26, 2016.
The disputed domain name resolves to a website with pay-per-click (“PPC”) links and with an offer to sell the disputed domain name for USD 1,500.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name incorporates its trademark UNICREDIT in its entirety and is confusingly similar to its trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant seeks the transfer of the disputed domain name to itself.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
The Rules state that the Panel is required 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 appropriate: paragraph 15 of the Rules. Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy requires the Complainant to prove all three of the following elements in order to be entitled to the relief sought:
(i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and
(iii) that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy sets out various circumstances which, if found by the Panel to be proved based on the evaluation of all the evidence presented, shall demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name for the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. The list of circumstances is non-exhaustive.
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, paragraph 4(b) of the Policy sets out a
non-exhaustive list of circumstances that shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant submits that the addition of a generic suffix such as “global” is not sufficient to make a domain name “not confusingly similar when the same domain name for the remaining part is made of the full trademarked name”.
In Hugo Boss Trade Mark Management GmbH & Co. KG and Hugo Boss AG v. Cheng Yong, WIPO Case No. D2016-0160, the panel stated that the domain name consisted of the Complainants’ HUGO BOSS mark, the generic words “store”, “shop” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com” and said that“It is well-established that where the distinctive and prominent element of a disputed domain name is the complainant’s mark and the only deviation is the inclusion of numbers, letters or a generic term or the gTLD, as prefix or suffix, such prefix or suffix does not negate the confusing similarity between the domain name and the mark”.
Here, the disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark UNICREDIT in its entirety and the addition of the word “global” does not affect the confusing similarity between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademark.
The Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the Complainant’s mark, and is satisfied that the Complainant has brought itself within the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant submits that it is a well-known European banking group“(the third largest in Europe) that offer many different bank and financial services”; that the Respondent has no possible rights or reasonable commercial interest in the disputed domain name; and that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Complainant adds that “Unicredit is an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League of football [...] Therefore, the name of UniCredit is widely recognized by the general public…”
It was open to the Respondent to reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The Respondent has not done so.
The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has proved the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant submits:
- That the disputed domain name “has been registered with the primary scope of selling it (a price tag of USD 1500 is attached to it)”.
- That by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent “published a single placeholder web page that intentionally attempted to attract for commercial gain, Internet users to the Respondent’s web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark …”
- The disputed domain name uses the traffic generated by it“to display advertisements generically similar to the business of the Complainant, and likely to bring it to competitors of UniCredit”.
Further, the Complainant says that the Respondent is currently using the domain name in a “link farm” web page for the purposes of “directing potential Unicredit customers to its website to gain referrals from competing institutions, which it advertises. The domain is also offered for sale on that page”.
In Donald J. Trump v. Mediaking LLC d/b/a Mediaking Corporation and Aaftek Domain Corp., WIPO Case No. D2010-1404, the panel stated that the Respondent “has used the disputed domain name, first, to direct Internet users to a link farm parking page offering goods and services competitive with those of Complainant and second, to direct Internet users to a website offering goods and services directly competitive with those of Complainant [. . .]. This constitutes bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name”.
Again, the position is that the Respondent had the opportunity to answer the Complainant’s case by submitting a response, but has not done so. The Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has proved the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
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 <unicreditglobal.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Anthony R. Connerty
Date: July 16, 2017