WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
S.L.E. Services aux Loteries en Europe v. WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. / Peter Johny Queensland
Case No. D2018-2518
1. The Parties
The Complainant is S.L.E. Services aux Loteries en Europe of Bruxelles, Belgium, represented by Inlex IP Expertise, France.
The Respondent is WhoisGuard Protected, WhoisGuard, Inc. of Panama, Panama / Peter Johny Queensland of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 2, 2018. On November 2, 2018, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 2, 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 November 6, 2018 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on November 7, 2018.
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 of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 9, 2018. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was November 29, 2018. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on November 30, 2018.
The Center appointed Martin Michaus-Romero as the sole panelist in this matter on December 7, 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 is a Belgian entity incorporated in 2003 for coordinating managing and operating the lottery game named Euromillions.
It operates the lottery game in collaboration with public lotteries operators in several member states of the European Union.
The Euromillions game was originally launched in February 2004 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Spain and France. They were later followed by Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.
The Euromillions game is currently well-known and the trademark EUROMILLIONS has gained a significant recognition. Previous UDRP decisions have recognized the notoriety of the game, such as cases Societé aux Loteries en Europe, SLE v. Take that LTD, WIPO Case No. D2007-0214; S.L.E. Services aux Loteries en Europe v. Domains by Proxy, LLC. Fichdale Limited, WIPO Case No. D2014-0183, and others.
The disputed domain name was registered on November 24, 2017 and resolved to a website purporting to give information on famous lotteries including the Euromillions game.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant is the owner of:
(a) The European Union (“EU”) trademark No. 002987568 for EUROMILLIONS filed on December 23, 2002 and registered on September 28, 2004 in classes 9, 16, 28, 35, 36, 38 and 41.
(b) The EU trademark No. 009656638 for EUROMILLIONS and Design filed on January 13, 2011 and registered on June 21, 2011 in classes 9, 16, 28, 35, 38 and 41.
(c) 71 domain names, registered and most of them includes as part of it the trademark EUROMILLIONS.
The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark which it has rights; the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph15(a) of the Rules instructs the Panel as to the principles the Panel is to use in determining the dispute: “A Panel shall decide a complaint on the basis of the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”
Considering that the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, in order to determine whether the Complainant has met its burden as stated in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Panel bases its decision on the statements and documents submitted and in accordance with the Policy and Rules:
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy directs that the Complainant must prove each of the following: (i) that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (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.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted evidence of its rights in the EU trademarks EUROMILLIONS (No. 002987568) and EUROMILLIONS and Device (No. 009656638).
The disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s EUROMILLIONS trademark. The disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> reproduces the Complainant’s EUROMILLIONS trademark in entirety with the addition of the terms “powerball” and “mega” and the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
The names “powerball” and “mega” (which combined with “millions” forms the term “megamillions”) as well as the Complainant’s trademark and game EUROMILLIONS are three very popular lottery games which are combined in the disputed domain name. The inclusion of the gTLD “.com” is due to the current technical specificities of the Domain Name System (DNS). The addition of the terms “powerball”, “mega” and “.com”, does not prevent the finding the confusingly similarity due to, the reproduction of the EUROMILLIONS trademark.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisficed paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Respondent has not received permission or authorization to use the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions, and therefore has not provided any evidence or arguments to demonstrate that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. It should be pointed out, that nothing in the available record indicates that the Respondent is an individual, business or corporation known by the disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com>. Furthermore, the Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a bona fide offering of good or services nor for a legitimate or noncommercial fair use that might give rise to rights or legitimate interest in a disputed domain name. The Panel notes that nothing on the website to which the disputed domain name resolved indicated the lack of relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant.
The Respondent is not known by the name Euromillions, it has no trademark registrations and/or rights in EUROMILLIOS trademarks. The disputed domain name was registered using a privacy shield, which can be interpreted that the Respondent was willing to hide its identity due to it having no rights o legitimate interests in connection with the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
It is clear to the Panel that the registration and the use of the disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> has been in bad faith, by including the well-known EUROMILLIONS trademark, to intentionally attract for commercial gain Internet users and/or to disrupt the business of the Complainant. In this regard, the inclusion of the terms “powerball” and “mega” (which combined with “millions” forms the term “megamillions”) in the disputed domain name, which are two very popular lottery games, combined with the trademark EUROMILLIONS of the Complainant, increases the likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and its activities.
The evidence submitted by the Complainant reveals that the Respondent could not ignore the existence of the Complainant’s trademarks and business activities. It registered the disputed domain name regardless of the existence of the Complainant’s trademark which did not grant it an authorization to registered it.
The Panel considers that, the Respondent was aware of the existence of the Complainant trademark and its business activities. The disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> was registered on 2017, 14 years after the launching of the game.
The disputed domain name resolved to a website purporting to give information on famous lotteries including the EUROMILLIONS trademark and game, where no indication as to the lack of relationship with the Complainant was included.
The Panel considers that with the registration and use of the disputed domain name <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> the Registrant is intentionally attempting to attract for commercial gain Internet users to the website or other location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and its trademark. Furthermore, considering that the disputed domain name includes two other trademarks related to lottery games and reproduces official devices of lotteries, the Respondent is familiar with lottery games and should have known of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. The Panel also finds that the Respondent is disrupting the Complainant’s business.
The Panel finds that the Complainant satisfies 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 <powerballmegaeuromillions.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Martin Michaus Romero
Date: December 10, 2018