WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Singapore Pools (Private) Limited v. Super Privacy Service C/O Dynadot
Case No. D2018-0049
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Singapore Pools (Private) Limited of Singapore, Singapore, represented by Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Singapore.
The Respondent is Super Privacy Service C/O Dynadot of San Mateo, California, United States of America ("United States").
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <singaporepools.xyz> (the "Domain Name") is registered with Dynadot, LLC (the "Registrar").
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on January 10, 2018. On January 10, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On January 10, 2018, 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 January 12, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was February 1, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent's default on February 7, 2018.
The Center appointed Nicholas Smith as the sole panelist in this matter on February 13, 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 was established in 1968 under its present name and is the only gaming operator that is legally allowed to offer lotteries and sports betting in Singapore. The Complainant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singapore Totalisator Board. It has operated its official website at "www.singaporepools.com.sg" since March 1998 which allows customers to obtain information about products and services operated by the Complainant.
The Complainant owns six trade marks comprising the words SINGAPORE POOLS and a stylized 'S' device (the "S Device") (collectively the "SINGAPORE POOLS Mark"). The SINGAPORE POOLS Mark is registered in classes 16, 41, 28 and 36 with the earliest registrations having occurred in 1993.
The Domain Name was registered by the Respondent on November 20, 2017. The Domain Name redirects to a website ("Respondent's Website") that reproduces the S Device and contains various tables containing Indonesian phrases such as "PASANG BANNER DISINI 915x77" and "PASANG BANNER DISINI 458x50". A machine translation indicates that the English translation of these phrases is "INSTALL BANNER HERE 915x77" and "INSTALL BANNER HERE 458x50". Below the tables are what appears to be links or results of the "Hongkongpools" and "Sydneypools", which appear to be references to betting pools that may be operated in Hong Kong, China and Sydney. Finally at the bottom of the page, in Indonesian, appears to be a list of (and links to) various gaming providers offering gambling services, most of which appear to be targeted to markets in Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong, China.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
(i) that the Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant's SINGAPORE POOLS Mark; and
(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 SINGAPORE POOLS Mark, having registered the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark in Singapore. The Domain Name is confusingly similar to the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark, containing the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark in its entirety other than the graphical device element that cannot be reproduced in the Domain Name.
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 or any name reflecting the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark. 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 noncommercial purpose. The Domain Name resolves to a page with links to various gambling agents; notably it is an offence under sections 10 and 11 of the Remote Gambling Act of Singapore for a person to provide remote gambling services (including services based overseas with a Singapore-customer link). Such illicit use can never amount to rights or legitimate interests.
The Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The SINGAPORE POOLS Mark is well-known and it is inconceivable that, given the reproduction of the S Device, the Respondent could not be aware of the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark at the time of registration. The Respondent is also using the Domain Name in bad faith by using a privacy service to hide its illegal activity. There is no plausible legitimate use of the Domain Name by the Respondent.
The Respondent did not 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 SINGAPORE POOLS Mark, having registrations for the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark as a trade mark in Singapore.
The Domain Name consists of the word elements of the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark, the S Device not being reproducible in a domain name, and the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) ".xyz". Neither the absence of the S Device or the addition of a gTLD prevents a finding of confusing similarity. Internet users may think that the Domain Name is related to a website operated by the Complainant offering gaming services. The Panel finds the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant's SINGAPORE POOLS 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 noncommercial 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 SINGAPORE POOLS Mark or a mark similar to the SINGAPORE POOLS 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 noncommercial use or a bona fide offering of goods and services. The Domain Name is a mixture of inactive elements (empty banners) and references and links to websites offering gaming services that may compete with the Complainant. This use does not amount to a bona fide offering of goods and services since the links are offered under a domain name that is confusingly similar to the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark.
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 SINGAPORE POOLS Mark at the time the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Respondent's Website reproduces the S Device that is part of the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark and contains links to gaming websites that operate in competition to the Complainant. Furthermore the Respondent has provided no explanation, and none is immediately obvious, why the Domain Name was registered and used in this manner unless there was an intention to create a likelihood of confusion between the Domain Name and the Complainant and its SINGAPORE POOLS Mark.
The Panel notes that the Respondent's Website offers what appear to be links to websites relating to the Complainant's SINGAPORE POOLS Mark. It is likely that the Respondent may receive some benefit from redirecting people who land on the Respondent's Website (potentially as a result of the Domain Name being confusingly similar with the SINGAPORE POOLS Mark) to these third-party gaming websites. In these circumstances where the Respondent has offered no plausible explanation for the registration of the Domain Name the Panel finds 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 SINGAPORE POOLS 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, <singaporepools.xyz>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 15, 2018