WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Mr Green Ltd. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy LLC / Gavin Walters
Case No. D2017-2436
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Mr Green Ltd. of Silemma, Malta, represented by Ports Group AB, Sweden.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains by Proxy of Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America ("United States") / Gavin Walters of Werrington, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("United Kingdom").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mrgreensports.com> (the "Domain Name") 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 December 11, 2017. On the same date, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On December 12, 2017, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 15, 2017, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant did not file an amendment to the Complaint.
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 December 19, 2017. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 8, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on January 9, 2018. On January 9, 2018, the Center received an informal email communication from the Respondent.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on January 23, 2018. 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, founded in 2007, is a European online gaming company that holds gaming licenses in Malta, Italy, the United Kingdom and a sportsbook license in Ireland. The Complainant offers an online casino from its website at "www.mrgreen.com" ("Complainant's Website").
The Complainant holds registered trademarks in various locations including Switzerland and Norway for the terms "Mr Green" ("MR GREEN Mark") with an application date of February 24, 2014, international trademark registration number 1210675.
The Domain Name was registered by the Respondent on April 1, 2016. The registrant disclosed by the Registrar would appear to be an individual based in the United Kingdom. For an explanation as to why in a privacy service case who the entity formally named as the "Respondent" in the heading of the Complaint does not matter from a procedural perspective, see Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. dba Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and also dba Empire Blue Cross v. Private Whois Service / Search and Find LLC. / Michigan Insurance Associates / 4 Letter Domains Inc. / New York Health Ins., WIPO Case No. D2010-1699.
The Domain Name redirects to a website ("Respondent's Website") that appears to be parking page with links to sites for sports betting and casino betting as well as a link that visitors can click if they are interested in purchasing the Domain Name.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's MR GREEN Mark;
(ii) that the Respondent has no rights nor any legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name; and
(iii) that the Domain Name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant is the owner of the MR GREEN Mark, having registered the MR GREEN Mark in various jurisdictions including the United States, Norway and Switzerland. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the MR GREEN Mark, containing the MR GREEN Mark in its entirety and the generic term "sports".
There are no rights or legitimate interests held by the Respondent in respect of the Domain Name. The Respondent is not commonly known as the Domain Name nor has the Complainant provided a licence or authorization to register the Domain Name. There is no evidence, since the Respondent registered the Domain Name, of the Respondent's 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 for a legitimate non-commercial purpose. The Domain Name resolves to a page with various links to businesses competing with the Complainant.
The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The MR GREEN Mark is well-known and it is inconceivable that, given the use to which the Domain Name is put, the Respondent could not be aware of the MR GREEN Mark at the time of registration. The Respondent is also using the Domain Name in bad faith through its use of a website with advertisements and by disrupting the Complainant's business interests by allowing the Domain Name to remain registered but inactive for long periods of time.
The Respondent stated in its email communication of January 9, 2018, in response to the notification of the Respondent's default, "I was seeking advice as I'm not understanding all the requests. Do you simply need a summary from my side? This domain isn't even a live site so a lot of the complaint doesn't make any sense."
The Respondent did not formally reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
To prove this element the Complainant must have trade or service mark rights and the Domain Name must be identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's trade or service mark.
The Complainant is the owner of the MR GREEN Mark, having registrations for the MR GREEN Mark as a trade mark in Norway, Switzerland and the United States.
The Domain Name consists of the MR GREEN Mark in its entirety and the descriptive term "sports". The addition of the descriptive term does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity and in the present case the addition of "sports" may cause Internet users to think that the Domain Name is related to a website operated by the Complainant offering sports gambling services. The Panel finds the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's MR GREEN Mark. Consequently the requirement of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy is satisfied.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
To succeed on this element, a complainant must make out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If such a prima facie case is made out, then the burden of production shifts to the respondent to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy enumerates several ways in which a respondent may demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain name:
"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 non-commercial 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."
The Respondent is not affiliated with the Complainant in any way. The Respondent has not been authorized by the Complainant to register or use the Domain Name or to seek the registration of any domain name incorporating the MR GREEN Mark or a mark similar to the MR GREEN Mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the Domain Name or any similar name. There is no evidence that the Respondent has used or made demonstrable preparations to use the Domain Name in connection with a legitimate non-commercial use or a bona fide offering of goods and services; the use of the Domain Name for what appears to be a parking page with links to businesses competing with the Complainant does not amount to a bona fide offering of goods and services.
The Complainant has established a prima facie case that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has failed to rebut that prima facie case and establish that it has rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name under the Policy. The Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
For the purposes of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy, 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 the Respondent has registered or has 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 trade mark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of its 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 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 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. (Policy, paragraph 4(b)).
The Panel finds that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant and its reputation in the MR GREEN Mark at the time the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Respondent's Website contains links to sports betting and casino websites that operate in direct competition to the Complainant. Furthermore the Respondent has provided no explanation, and none is immediately obvious, why the Domain Name was registered unless there was an intention to create a likelihood of confusion between the Domain Name and the Complainant and its MR GREEN Mark.
The Panel notes that the Respondent's Website both offers what appear to be pay-per-click links to websites relating to the Complainant's MR GREEN Mark and invites inquiries to see if the Domain Name is for sale. In these circumstances where the Respondent has offered no plausible explanation for the registration of the Domain Name the Panel finds that that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name registration to the Complainant for valuable consideration in excess of its documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name and/or that the Respondent is using the Domain Name to intentionally attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the MR GREEN Mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's Website. As such the Panel finds that the Domain Name is being used in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has registered and is using the Domain Name in bad faith under 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 Domain Name <mrgreensports.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: January 31, 2018