WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Fondazione Arena di Verona v. Finatur srl

Case No. D2019-1383

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Fondazione Arena di Verona, Italy, represented by Brandstock Domains GmbH, Germany.

The Respondent is Finatur srl, Italy.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <verona-arena.com> is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on June 17, 2019. On June 17, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On June 17, 2019, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response 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 June 19, 2019 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 June 20, 2019

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 June 27, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was July 17, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 23, 2019.

The Center appointed Fabrizio Bedarida as the sole panelist in this matter on July 29, 2019. 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, Fondazione Arena di Verona, founded in 1998 and located in Italy, is responsible for all spectacles, operas and shows presented at the Arenas of Verona. The Arenas are famous worldwide for the large-scale opera performances given and can welcome up to 15,000 people for each representation.

The Complainant has proven to be the owner of the FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA and ARENA-VERONA trademarks, which enjoy protection through numerous registrations worldwide.

The Complainant is, inter alia, the owner of:

International trademark FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA No. 812756, registered on September 1, 2003, duly renewed, and designating services in international class 39;

International trademark FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA No. 735465, registered on May 18, 2000, duly renewed, and designating goods and services in international classes 03, 09, 16, 18, 25, and 41;

European Union trademark FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA No. 001571470, filed on March 23, 2000, duly renewed, and designating goods and services in international classes 03, 09, 16, 18, 25, and 41;

Italian trademark ARENA-VERONA No. 966341, filed on June 11, 2001, duly renewed, and designating services in international class 41;

Italian trademark ARENADIVERONA No. 966342, filed on June 11, 2001, duly renewed, and designating services in international class 41.

In addition, the Complainant is the holder of numerous domain names incorporating its trademarks both within generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and geographical ones, such as: <arenadiverona.it>, <arenadi-verona.com>, <arena-verona.it>, <fondazionearena.it> and many others.

The strength and renown of the Complainant’s trademarks has already been recognized also by previous UDRP Panels.

The disputed domain name <verona-arena.com>, was registered on April 6, 2019.

In accordance with the evidence submitted with the Complaint, the disputed domain name resolves to an inactive website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant claims that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s registered trademarks; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests whatsoever with respect to the disputed domain name; and that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

B. Respondent

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

6. Discussion and Findings

In order for the Complainant to obtain a transfer of the disputed domain name, paragraphs 4(a)(i) – (iii) of the Policy require that the Complainant must demonstrate to the Panel that:

(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 respect of the disputed domain name; and

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

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established rights in the FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA, ARENADIVERONA, and ARENA-VERONA trademarks.

The disputed domain name <verona-arena.com> – though in reverse order – reproduces Complainant’s trademark ARENA-VERONA in its entirety.

This is clearly not sufficient to avoid confusion with the Complainant’s trademark.

Therefore, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be confusingly similar to the FONDAZIONE ARENA DI VERONA, ARENADIVERONA and ARENA-VERONA trademarks in which the Complainant has rights.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

This Panel finds that the Complainant has made a prima facie case that the Respondent does not have rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Respondent does not appear to be commonly known by the name “verona-arena” or by any similar name. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, and the Complainant has not licensed or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use or register any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademarks. The Respondent does not appear to make any legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, nor any use in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. In fact, it appears from the document available, that the disputed domain name is not used. Finally, the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, claiming any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel, on the basis of the evidence presented, accepts and agrees with the Complainant’s contentions that the disputed domain name was registered and has been used in bad faith.

The ARENA-VERONA trademark has been registered and used for many years, it enjoys a widespread reputation and high degree of recognition as a result of its fame and renown and thus the ARENA-VERONA mark is not one that traders could legitimately adopt other than for the purpose of creating the impression of an association with the Complainant.

Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent – who is also residing in Verona – knew of the Complainant’s marks and activity and intentionally intended to create an association with the Complainant and its business at the time of registration of the disputed domain name.

The fact that the disputed domain name does not currently resolve to an active website does not preclude a finding of bad faith.

On the contrary, given the circumstances of this case, the Panel finds that the Respondent’s passive holding of the disputed domain name constitutes a disruption of the Complainant’s business and qualifies as bad faith registration and use under the Policy.

Further inference of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name is given by the fact that this same Respondent registered also the domain name <arenaverona.cloud>.

Thus the fact that the Respondent chose to register two domain names containing the renowned ARENA-VERONA trademark is further evidence that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademarks when registering the disputed domain names.

Finally, inference of bad faith registration and use of the disputed domain name is also given by the fact that the Respondent has not denied the assertions of bad faith made by the Complainant in this proceeding, so it is therefore reasonable to assume that if the Respondent had legitimate purposes for registering and using the disputed domain name, it would have responded to these assertions.

Accordingly, the Panel finds, on the basis of the evidence presented, that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.

Therefore, the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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 <verona-arena.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Fabrizio Bedarida
Sole Panelist
Date: August 12, 2019