WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

Navasard Limited v. Seymur Pashayev, Private person

Case No. D2019-2533

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Navasard Limited, Cyprus, represented by Giorgos Landas LLC, Cyprus.

The Respondent is Seymur Pashayev, Private person, Russian Federation.

2. The Domain Name and Registrar

The disputed domain name <1xbet.international> is registered with URL Solutions, Inc. (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on October 15, 2019. On October 16, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On October 21, 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 October 29, 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 November 1, 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 November 11, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 1, 2019. The Center received an email communication from the Respondent on November 16, 2019. On November 22, 2019, the Complainant requested the suspension of the proceedings. On the same date, the Center sent the Notification of Suspension email to the Parties, indicating that the administrative proceeding was suspended until December 22, 2019. On December 20, 2019, the Complainant requested an extension of the suspension period. The Center sent the Notification of Extension to Suspension email to the Parties, indicating that the administrative proceeding was suspended until January 20, 2020.

On January 16, 2020, the Complainant requested the Center to reinstitute the administrative proceeding. The Center notified the Parties that the administrative proceeding was reinstituted as of January 17, 2020, and that the Response due date was January 27, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any formal response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Parties on January 28, 2020, that it would proceed to panel appointment.

The Center appointed Kaya Köklü as the sole panelist in this matter on February 10, 2020. 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 limited liability company which is incorporated in Cyprus. It provides online sport betting services since 2015.

The Complainant is the owner of the 1XBET trademark, which is registered as European Union Trade Mark Registrations No. 014227681 (registered on September 21, 2015) and No. 013914254 (registered on July 27, 2015) in the classes 35, 41 and 42.

The Complainant further owns and operates its official website at “www.1xbet.com”.

The Respondent is an individual from the Russian Federation. It is the owner of the disputed domain name <1xbet.international>, which was created on July 27, 2019.

So far, the disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.

The Complainant is of the opinion that the disputed domain name is identical to its 1XBET trademark.

Furthermore, the Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.

Finally, it is argued that the Respondent has registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant particularly argues that the Respondent must have been well aware of the Complainant’s 1XBET trademark, when registering and taking control over the disputed domain name.

B. Respondent

Except the informal email communication sent to the Center on November 16, 2019, the Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

According to paragraph 15(a) of the Rules, the Panel shall decide the Complaint in accordance with the Policy, the Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable.

In accordance with paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, the Complainant must prove that each of the three following elements is satisfied:

(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark 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.

Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy states that the Complainant bears the burden of proving that all these requirements are fulfilled, even if the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions. Stanworth Development Limited v. E Net Marketing Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2007-1228.

However, concerning the uncontested information provided by the Complainant, the Panel may, where relevant, accept the provided reasonable factual allegations in the Complaint as true. See section 4.3 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”).

It is further noted that the Panel has taken note of the WIPO Overview 3.0 and, where appropriate, will decide consistent with the views stated therein.

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Panel finds that the Complainant has registered trademark rights in the mark 1XBET by virtue of two European Union Trade Mark registrations.

The disputed domain name is in view of the Panel identical to the Complainant’s 1XBET trademark as it incorporates the Complainant’s trademark in its entirety without any additions or amendments.

In the Panel’s view, the mere addition of the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.international” may, as a general principle, be disregarded when assessing identity or confusing similarity between a domain name and a trademark (in line with prior UDRP panels concerning the use of a gTLD within a domain name, cf. V&S Vin & Sprit AB v. Ooar Supplies, WIPO Case No. D2004-0962; Google Inc. v. Nijat Hassanov, WIPO Case No. D2011-1054).

In view of the above, the Panel is satisfied that the Complainant has met the requirements under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.

B. Rights or Legitimate Interests

The Panel further finds that the Respondent has failed to demonstrate any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

While the burden of proof on this element remains with the complainant, previous UDRP panels have recognized that this would result in the often impossible task of proving a negative, in particular as the evidence in this regard is often primarily within the knowledge of the respondent. Therefore, the Panel agrees with prior UDRP panels that the Complainant is required to make out a prima facie case before the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to show that it has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in order to meet the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy. See, Croatia Airlines d.d. v. Modern Empire Internet Ltd., WIPO Case No. D2003-0455.

The Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied this requirement, while the Respondent has failed to file any evidence or make any convincing argument to demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name according to the Policy, paragraphs 4(a)(ii) and 4(c).

In its Complaint, the Complainant has provided uncontested prima facie evidence that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests to use the Complainant’s trademark 1XBET, especially as the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark (see section 2.5.1 of the WIPO Overview 3.0).

There is also no indication in the current record that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name, not least because the disputed domain name has yet not been actively used. In the absence of a Response, the Respondent has also failed to demonstrate any of the other non-exclusive circumstances evidencing rights or legitimate interests under the Policy, paragraph 4(c) or other evidence of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

As a conclusion, the Panel finds that the Complainant has also satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

The Panel is convinced that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when it registered the disputed domain name. At the date of registration of the disputed domain name, the Complainant’s 1XBET trademark was already registered and used for various years. The assessment of bad faith registration is further supported by the fact that the disputed domain name is identical to the non-dictionary trademark of the Complainant.

However, it is less clear whether the Respondent has also used the disputed domain name in bad faith. As already indicated before, the disputed domain name has yet not been linked to an active website. Nonetheless, and in line with the opinion of numerous UDRP panels before (Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003) and section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, the Panel believes that the non-use of a domain name does not prevent a finding of bad faith use.

Applying the passive holding doctrine as summarized in section 3.3 of the WIPO Overview 3.0, the Panel assesses the Complainant’s non-dictionary trademark 1XBET as sufficiently distinctive, so that any descriptive use of the Complainant’s trademark by the Respondent seems unlikely. Furthermore, the Panel accepts the failure of the Respondent to submit a substantive response to the Complainant’s contentions as an additional indication for bad faith use. Finally, the Panel notes that it cannot conceive of any plausible and legitimate use of the disputed domain name that would be in good faith, except with an authorization of the Complainant. Particularly, as the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark, the Panel is of the opinion that any active website linked to the dispute domain name would likely cause the false impression that it is operated or at least endorsed or authorized by the Complainant.

Taking all circumstances of this case into consideration, the Panel concludes that in the present case the passive holding of the dispute domain name sufficiently indicates bad faith use by the Respondent.

Consequently, the Panel is convinced that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith and that the Complainant consequently has satisfied the third element of the Policy, namely, 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 <1xbet.international> be transferred to the Complainant.

Kaya Köklü
Sole Panelist
Date: February 24, 2020