WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Kindred IP Limited v. Hily Jiang
Case No. D2019-2314
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Kindred IP Limited, United Kingdom, represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Hily Jiang, China.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <unibet.app> is registered with 1API GmbH (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on September 23, 2019. On September 24, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On September 25, 2019, 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 September 26, 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 September 30, 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 October 3, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was October 23, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on October 24, 2019.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on October 30, 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 is an online gaming business based in Malta and founded in 1997. The Complainant holds various trademarks for UNIBET such as the following:
- the United States of America Trademark UNIBET (word), registration number 5,791,981, registered on July 2, 2019, for goods and services in International Classes 28, 38, 41; and
- the International Trademark UNIBET(stylized), registration number 760450A, registered on May 22, 2001, for services in International Class 41.
The Complainant operates the “www.unibet.com” website which was registered on December 11, 1997 and is used as a platform for sports betting, online casino, bingo and online poker, catering to over 9.5 million customers in over 100 countries through different mediums, including mobile applications. According to Complainant’s allegations, at the time of drafting the Complaint, the UNIBET brand had more than 650 employees in various offices such as in Malta, and the United Kingdom.
The Complainant invested significant resources in the promotion of its UNIBET brand and it has gained numerous awards in its industry.
The disputed domain name <unibet.app> was registered on July 22, 2019, and, according to the evidence provided in the Complaint, it was not actively used but it was offered for public sale for the amount of USD 1,000. After the Complainant’s cease and desist letter of July 29, 2019, the disputed domain name was offered for sale on another website and without the price listed.
The Complainant did not receive a response from the Respondent to its cease and desist letter.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical to its trademark UNIBET, the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of the Respondent’s default, the discussion and findings will be based upon the contentions in the Complaint and any reasonable position that can be attributable to the Respondent. Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(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.
The Panel will further analyze the potential concurrence of the above circumstances.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant holds rights in the UNIBET trademark.
The disputed domain name <unibet.app> reproduces the Complainant’s trademark with no addition or alteration at the second-domain level portion.
Further, it is well established in decisions under the UDRP that the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) (e.g., “.app”, “.info”, “.com”, “.org”) may typically be disregarded for the purposes of consideration of confusing similarity between a trademark and a domain name.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <unibet.app> is identical to the Complainant’s trademark UNIBET, for the purpose of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent does not hold any trademark rights, license or authorization whatsoever to use the mark UNIBET, that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name and that the Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in connection with a legitimate noncommercial or fair use or a bona fide offering of goods and services.
Under the Policy, “where a complainant makes out a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests, the burden of production on this element shifts to the respondent to come forward with relevant evidence demonstrating rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. If the respondent fails to come forward with such relevant evidence, the complainant is deemed to have satisfied the second element”. See section 2.1 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).
The Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions and has not come forward with relevant evidence to rebut the Complainant’s prima facie case.
There is nothing in the record suggesting that the Respondent has ever been commonly known by the disputed domain name or that it is making a noncommercial or fair use of it.
Further, there is no evidence that the Respondent used or made preparations to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. According to evidence in the file, the Respondent has used the disputed domain name to offer it for public sale on various websites.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(ii).
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Complainant holds trademark rights since at least 2000 and it has gained reputation in its field of activity. The Complainant also operates the “www.unibet.com” website which was registered on December 11, 1997. The disputed domain name was created in 2019 and incorporates the Complainant’s mark in its entirety, and is identical to the Complainant’s domain name <unibet.com> except for the gTLD “.app”. For the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered in bad faith, knowing the Complainant and targeting its trademark.
Paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Policy provides a circumstance of bad faith registration and use when the respondent has acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name.
The disputed domain name is identical to Complainant’s reputable trademark.
At the time of filing the Complaint, the disputed domain name did not resolve to any webpage but it was offered for public sale. According to Annex 15 to Complaint, before Complainant’s cease and desist letter, the disputed domain name was offered to the public for the price of USD 1,000. This is an amount which exceeds the costs directly related to the registration of a standard domain name.
Furthermore, the Respondent refused to participate in the present proceeding or to respond to Complainant’s cease and desist letter in order to provide arguments in its favor. Having in view the other circumstances of this case, such fact constitutes further evidence of bad faith behavior.
For all the above reasons, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith, pursuant to the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(iii).
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 <unibet.app> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: November 13, 2019