WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Realm Entertainment Limited v. Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) / Burak Arac
Case No. D2017-1481
1. The Parties
Complainant is Realm Entertainment Limited of Ta’ Xbiex, Malta, represented by Ports Group AB, Sweden.
Respondent is Domain Admin, Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) of Burlington, Massachusetts, United States of America (“United States”) / Burak Arac of Istanbul, Turkey.1
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bets10gir.com> is registered with PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on July 31, 2017. On July 31, 2017, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 1, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. In response to a notification by the Center that the Complaint was administratively deficient, Complainant filed an amended Complaint on August 3, 2017.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amended 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on August 9, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was August 29, 2017. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on August 30, 2017.
The Center appointed Stephanie G. Hartung as the sole panelist in this matter on September 1, 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
Complainant is a company organized under the laws of Malta that runs a game site at “www.bets10.com”, offering a wide range of online gambling products and games.
Complainant has provided evidence that it is the registered owner of the following trademarks relating to the designation “bets10”:
- Word mark BETS10, European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”), Registration No.: 009941139; Registration Date: September 14, 2011, Status: Active;
- Word-/device mark BETS10, EUIPO, Registration No.: 012403713, Registration Date: May 5, 2014, Status: Active.
Respondent, a resident of Turkey, registered the disputed domain name on May 13, 2017, resolving to a website at “www.betbahisbet.com” which apparently is an online gambling platform in the Turkish language displaying, inter alia, Complainant’s BETS10 trademark.
Complainant requests that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that its game site at “www.bets10.com” is well known and that its online gambling products and games offered thereunder are of “first class” quality, which is demonstrated, e.g., by 18 million active poker players providing the largest poker network in the world.
Complainant submits that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s BETS10 trademark as the only difference arises from the addition of the term “gir” being the short version of the term “girisi” which means “gambling” in Turkish.
Moreover, Complainant asserts that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name since (1) Complainant has not given Respondent any license or other permission to make use of the BETS10 trademark, (2) there is no evidence that Respondent has been commonly known by the disputed domain name or that he is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use thereof, and, finally, (3) the fact that the disputed domain name resolves to the website at “www.betbahisbet.com” clearly demonstrates that it was intended to be used to commercially profit from misled consumers searching for information about Complainant’s business, but ending up with Respondent’s website instead.
Finally, Complainant argues that Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith since (1) the BETS10 trademarks were in use as early as 2011, thus for at least five years before the registration of the disputed domain name and (2) the fact that the website to which the disputed domain name redirects includes Complainant’s BETS10 trademark and is active in the same kind of business as is Complainant clearly demonstrates that Respondent is trying to take advantage of the BETS10 trademark by commercially profiting from the likelihood of confusion between the trademark and the disputed domain name or at least to use the likelihood of confusion in a way that is detrimental to Complainant and its business.
Complainant purports to have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Respondent on May 18, 2017 without receiving any answer.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, Complainant carries the burden of proving:
(i) That the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
(ii) That 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.
Respondent’s default in the case at hand does not automatically result in a decision in favor of Complainant, however, paragraph 5(f) of the Rules provides that if Respondent does not submit a response, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Panel may decide the dispute solely based upon the Complaint. Further, the Panel may draw such inferences as are appropriate from Respondent’s failure to submit a Response.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel concludes that the disputed domain name <bets10gir.com> is confusingly similar to the BETS10 trademark in which Complainant has rights.
The disputed domain name incorporates the BETS10 trademark in its entirety. Numerous UDRP panels have recognized that incorporating a trademark in its entirety can be sufficient to establish that the disputed domain name is at least confusingly similar to a registered trademark (see, e.g., PepsiCo, Inc. v. PEPSI, SRL (a/k/a P.E.P.S.I.) and EMS Computer Industry (a/k/a EMS), WIPO Case No. D2003-0696). Moreover, it has been held in many UDRP decisions (see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8), that the addition of a descriptive term or geographic wording to a trademark in a domain name is normally insufficient, in and of itself, to avoid the finding of confusing similarity under the first element of the UDRP. Accordingly, the addition of the term “gir” does not dispel the confusing similarity arising from the incorporation of Complainant’s BETS10 trademark in the disputed domain name. The fact that Complainant wrongly alleges that “gir” is a shorter version of “girisi” and that the latter means “gambling” in Turkish, which actually means “entrance” in Turkish, does not change the Panel’s findings.
Therefore, Complainant has established the first element under the Policy set forth by paragraph 4(a)(i).
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel is further convinced on the basis of Complainant’s undisputed contentions, that Respondent has not made use of the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services, nor has Respondent been commonly known by the disputed domain name, nor can it be found that Respondent has made a legitimate noncommercial or fair use thereof without intent for commercial gain.
Respondent has not been authorized to use Complainant’s BETS10 trademark, either as a domain name or in any other way. Also, there is no reason to believe that Respondent’s name somehow corresponds with the disputed domain name and Respondent does not appear to have any trademark rights associated with the term “bets10”. Finally, Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services nor for a legitimate noncommercial or fair purpose. On the contrary, Respondent redirects the disputed domain name to a website at “www.betbahisbet.com” which apparently is an online gambling platform in the Turkish language, thus active in the same of business as is Complainant, and even displays Complainant’s BETS10 trademark.
Accordingly, Complainant has established a prima facie case that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name. Having done so, the burden of production shifts to Respondent to come forward with appropriate evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests (see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.1). Giving that Respondent has not submitted a response, he has not met that burden.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has also satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) and, thus, the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Panel finally holds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used by Respondent in bad faith.
The use of the disputed domain name, which is confusingly similar to Complainant’s BETS10 trademark, to redirect to a website active in the same kind of business as is Complainant and even displaying Complainant’s BETS10 trademark is a clear indication that Respondent intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to his own website by creating a likelihood of confusion with Complainant’s BETS10 trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of Respondent’s website. Such circumstances are evidence of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith within the meaning of paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
In connection with this finding, it also carries weight in the eyes of the Panel that Respondent made use of a WhoIs Privacy Shield, apparently in an attempt to conceal his true identity. This fact at least throws a light on Respondent’s behavior which supports the conclusion of registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has also satisfied the third element under the Policy as set forth by paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <bets10gir.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Stephanie G. Hartung
Date: September 5, 2017
1 It is evident from the Registrar’s confirmation of August 1, 2017 that Privacy Protect, LLC (PrivacyProtect.org) is a privacy protection service and that Burak Arac is the underlying registrant of the disputed domain name. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Respondent” is used by the Panel in the case at hand to refer to the latter underlying registrant only.