WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Bitfury Group Limited v. Maxim I Fedoseev

Case No. D2018-0654

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Bitfury Group Limited of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Overseas territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by HBC Avocats, France.

The Respondent is Maxim I Fedoseev of Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <bitfury.shop> (“Disputed Domain Name”) is registered with RU-CENTER-MSK (Regional Network Information Center, JSC dba RU-CENTER) (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on March 23, 2018. On March 23, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On March 26, 2018, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Disputed Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on March 29, 2018 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. On the same date, the Center sent an email communication in regard to the language of the proceeding. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on March 30, 2018. The Respondent did not comment on the language of the proceeding.

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 the Respondent in English and Russian of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on April 4, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was April 24, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on April 26, 2018.

The Center appointed Mariya Koval as the sole panelist in this matter on May 14, 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 2014, is one of the leading companies engaged in developing and providing blockchain technology services throughout the world.

The Complainant is the owner of the following five BITFURY trademark registrations (the “BITFURY Trademarks”):

- European Union Trademark No. 012966958, registered on December 8, 2014 in respect of classes 9, 35, 36, 42,

- International trademark No. 1238905, registered on December 10, 2014, in respect of classes 9, 35, 36, 42;

- International trademark No. 1242715, registered on January 28, 2015, in respect of classes 9, 35, 36, 42;

- Benelux trademark No. 0976425, registered on June 9, 2015, in respect of classes 38, 41, 45;

- Benelux trademark No. 0978898, registered on July 17, 2015, in respect of classes 11, 16, 37.

The domain name <bitfury.com>, registered on September 21, 2004, is operated by Bitfury Holding BV, fully owned subsidiary of Bitfury S.à.r.l., which in its turn is a fully owned subsidiary of the Complainant. Through the website “www.bitfury.com” the Complainant sells hardware and software bearing its BITFURY Trademark.

According to the current record, the Disputed Domain Name was registered on December 5, 2017.

On the date of this decision the Disputed Domain Name resolves to a page with an indication: “This Account has been suspended”

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant has a significant portfolio of BITFURY Trademarks in numerous jurisdictions.

The Complainant states that the website accessible under the Disputed Domain Name is a fake and fraudulent, deceptively pretending to be operated by Bitfury Holding BV. The fake website under the Disputed Domain Name has been operating its illegal activities in violation of the Complainant’s rights on its BITFURY Trademarks and other related intellectual property rights. Moreover the Complainant and Bitfury Holding BV received several complaints from customers about non-deliveries or other problems with the fake website.

The Complainant further contends that the Respondent has no rights in BITFURY Trademark, he has not been licensed, contracted or granted authorization by the Complainant to register and/or use the BITFURY Trademark as a domain name.

The Complainant claims that the Respondent does not make a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name, which redirect to a fake website that pretends to offer the products of the Complainant, while it does not.

The Complainant submits that the Respondent was fully aware of the Complainant’s prior rights in BITFURY Trademark and registered the Disputed Domain Name for the sole purpose of attracting the Complainant’s customers, misleading them to his fake website. Accordingly, the Complainant contends that the Disputed Domain Name has been registered and is used in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy establishes the following three elements each of which must be proved by the complainant:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) the respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and

(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

6.1. Language of Proceedings

According to paragraph 11 of the Rules the language of the proceeding shall be the language of the Registration Agreement unless the Panel determines otherwise.

The Registrar has informed the Center that the language of the Registration Agreement is Russian.

The Complainant requests the language of proceedings to be English because of the following:

- the Registrar’s general terms and conditions are in English;

- website operated by the Respondent under the Disputed Domain Name is exclusively in English;

- the Respondent writes in English to clients, pretending to be Bitfury Holding BV and can communicate in English, accordingly, perfectly understands English.

According to the evidence (Annex 3), presented by the Complainant, it is clear that the content of the fake website under the Disputed Domain Name is in English only. Moreover according to the copy of the email sent by the Respondent on behalf of one of the Complainant’s employees from the website “www.bitfury.shop”, pretending to be Bitfury Holding BV (Annex 19), it is obvious that the Respondent knows English very well.

At the same time, the Respondent failed to comment on or object to the Complainant’s language request provided to him by the proper Center’s communications. The Respondent was notified of this proceeding in English and Russian.

The Paragraph 10(c) of the Rules declares that “The Panel shall ensure that the administrative proceeding takes place with due expedition”. Having regard to the above, the Panel considers that imposing a requirement on the Complainant to translate all the documents into Russian would unfairly burden the Complainant to bear additional expenses and would delay the proceeding. Therefore, the Panel concludes that the language of the proceeding should be English.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established its rights in the BITFURY Trademark according to the different registrations in different jurisdiction.

The Complainant’s BITFURY Trademark is entirely reproduced in the Disputed Domain Name combining with the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.shop”. According to the WIPO of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO 3.0”), section 1.11.1, “the applicable Top Level Domain (“TLD”) in a domain name (e.g., “.com”, “.club”, “.nyc”) is viewed as a standard registration requirement and as such is disregarded under the first element confusing similarity test”. In accordance with section 1.11.2 of the WIPO 3.0 “the practice of disregarding the TLD in determining identity or confusing similarity is applied irrespective of the particular TLD (including with regard to “new gTLDs”)”. Therefore the addition of gTLD “.shop” to the Disputed Domain Name in this case does not abolish identity or confusing similarity between the Complainant’s Trademark and the Disputed Domain Name.

Accordingly the Panel holds that the Disputed Domain Name, disregarding the gTLD “.shop”, is identical to the Complainant’s BITFURY Trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

Therefore the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the first element of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

Regarding the Complainant’s contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant has made out a prima facie case in respect of the Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.

According to the WIPO 3.0, section 2.5.1, “UDRP panels have found that domain names identical to a complainant’s trademark carry a high risk of implied affiliation”.

It is obvious that the Complainant has never licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use its BITFURY Trademark in any way, including registration of the Disputed Domain Name, and there is no other evidence that the Respondent is commonly known by the name BITFURY which is also a company name of the Complainant. Further nothing indicates the use of the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services by the Respondent, conversely, the Respondent was using the Disputed Domain Name for the fraudulent website pretending to be operated by a company related to the Complainant.

The circumstances of this case give the Panel the grounds to consider that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its business and that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name with the only intent of commercial gain by attracting the consumers to its fraudulent website and getting money out of them.

In accordance with the WIPO 3.0, section 2.13.1, “panels have categorically held that the use of a domain name for illegal activity (e.g., the sale of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceuticals, phishing, distributing malware, unauthorized account access/hacking, impersonation/passing off, or other types of fraud) can never confer rights or legitimate interests on a respondent”. Taking into account that the Respondent was using the Disputed Domain Name as the location of the fake website and its overall activity may be considered as swindling, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name.

In view of the above, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of the second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Following on from the evidence, provided by the Complainant, and taking into account that the Disputed Domain Name incorporates the BITFURY Trademark in its entirety, it is obvious that the Respondent must have known and been aware of the Complainant’s BITFURY Trademark before the Disputed Domain Name registration.

The Panel finds that the Respondent’s bad faith is evident in view of the Respondent has registered and used the Disputed Domain Name for the creation of the fraudulent website, for impersonating himself the one of the Complainant’s affiliated company and for deception the consumers, namely by making payments by them without delivery any products to them. Moreover, accessing the Disputed Domain Name, the Internet users would be sure that the Disputed Domain Name is related to or associated with the Complainant and the Complainant’s products and services, considering that gTLD “.shop” refers to the special online store of the Complainant.

Taking into account that the Complainant has already received several claims from the consumers about non-deliveries and other problems met with the fraudulent website under the Disputed Domain Name, it is apparently that the Disputed Domain Name has been registered to take an advantage of the Complainant’s goodwill and that the Respondent’s activity is seriously prejudicial to the Complainant’s reputation. Previous UDRP panels have concluded that use of the disputed domain names in connection with fraudulent websites constitutes a bad faith, see, e.g., Cetera Financial Holdings, Inc. v. Whois Privacy Protection Service, WIPO Case No. D2013-1831; Moore Capital Management, LP v. Moore Capital Group Inc, WIPO Case No. D2016-2168.

The Panel finds that it is clear that the Respondent has registered and has used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith that is also supported by the fact that the Respondent has already been involved in UDRP proceedings where bad faith was found (Vodafone Group Plc v. Maxim I Fedoseev, WIPO Case
No. D2016-0479), and the fact that the Respondent has not responded to the Complainant’s contentions and to the Center’s communications.

Based on the foregoing, this Panel is satisfied that the requirements in paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy has been satisfied by the Complainant.

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 <bitfury.shop> be transferred to the Complainant.

Mariya Koval
Sole Panelist
Date: May 24, 2018