WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Galatasaray Mağazacılık Ve Perakendecilik A.Ş. v. Blanco Blanco, Blanco LLC
Case No. D2019-2697
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Galatasaray Mağazacılık Ve Perakendecilik A.Ş., Turkey, represented by Yildirim Law Firm, Turkey.
The Respondent is Blanco Blanco, Blanco LLC, United States of America.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The Disputed Domain Name <galatasarays.org> 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 4, 2019. On November 5, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Disputed Domain Name. On November 5, 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 November 7, 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 amendment to the Complaint on November 12, 2019.
The Center verified that the Complaint together with the amendment to the 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 19, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was December 9, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on December 10, 2019.
The Center appointed Pablo A. Palazzi as the sole panelist in this matter on December 16, 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 association managing the Galatasaray sports club. The Club was founded in 1905 and is one of the most popular soccer sport clubs, in Turkey.
The Complainant owns several trademarks in Turkey, several of which contain the terms “galatasaray spor kulübü”, or a variation thereof. Among others:
-GALATASARAY SPOR KULÜBÜ 1905, Registration No. 837894 registered on June 11, 2004.
In addition the Complainant is the owner of the following domain names:
- <galatasaray.org> registered on April 24, 1996; and
- <gsstore.org> registered on July 24, 2002.
The Disputed Domain Name was registered on October 29, 2019. The Respondent used the Disputed Domain Name to request a payment from the Union of European Football Associations (“UEFA”) in the name of the Complainant.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant’s contentions can be summarized as follows:
The Complainant has argued that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s GALATASARAY SPOR KULÜBÜ 1905 trademark.
The Complainant states that the Respondent has no legitimate relationship with the Galatasaray sport club. The Respondent has imitated the Complainant’s domain name and created a fake email account. In the emails, the Respondent has been misleading and requested payment of the Galatasaray sport club.
In addition, the Respondent attached a document related to the payment, with a forged signature using the name of football administrative director of the Complainant’s club.
The Complainant submits that the bank account provided by the Respondent does not belong to the Complainant.
Finally, the Complainant states that the Complainant has no connection with SM DED OGLU YAPI MALZ. IÇ VE DIS TIC. A.S. reported as the account holder in the document submitted as evidence.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy lists the three elements, which the Complainant must satisfy with respect to the Disputed Domain Names in this case:
(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
Based on the evidence submitted, the Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark GALATASARAY SPOR KULÜBÜ 1905, since it incorporates the most relevant part of the Complainant’s trademark. The addition of the letter “s” does not negate the confusing similarity.
Therefore, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the first requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides a list of circumstances, any of which is sufficient to demonstrate that the Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the Disputed Domain Name:
(i) before any notice to the Respondent of the dispute, the Respondent’s use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Disputed Domain Name or a name corresponding to the Disputed Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the Respondent (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the Disputed Domain Name, even if the Respondent has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or
(iii) the Respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the Disputed Domain Name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service at issue.
There is no evidence of the existence of any of those rights or legitimate interests. The Complainant has not authorized, licensed, or permitted the Respondent to register or use the Disputed Domain Name or to use the trademark in the Disputed Domain Name. Furthermore, the Respondent is not known by the Disputed Domain Name.
The Respondent has failed to show that it has acquired any rights with respect to the Disputed Domain Name. Moreover, it had the opportunity to demonstrate its rights or legitimate interests, but instead it did not reply.
In addition, according to the Complainant, the Respondent had created a fake email account in order to mislead the UEFA regarding the payment for the participation of the UEFA Champions’ League group stage.
As such, the Panel finds that the Complainant has satisfied the second requirement of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy provides that the Complainant must establish that the Respondent registered and subsequently used the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith.
The fact that the Disputed Domain Name reproduces most of the Complainant’s trademark, establishes that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the Disputed Domain Name.
Moreover, the Respondent used the Disputed Domain Name in a fake email account pretending to be a staff member of the Complainant’s club, deceiving UEFA regarding the payment for the participation of the UEFA Champions’ League group stage. This fact alone shows that the Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and its business and trademark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name. Furthermore, the Disputed Domain Name nearly identical to the main part of the Complainant’s trademark and domain name which it uses for its email address system and thereby deliberately attempts to disrupt the Complainant’s business.
In addition, the Respondent did not submit any explanation or possible justification for its use of the Disputed Domain Name.
Due to this conduct, it is obvious that the Respondent intentionally created likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademarks and its websites for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant, as described by paragraph 4(b)(ii) of the Policy.
Therefore, taking all the circumstances into account and for all the above reasons, the Panel concludes that the Respondent has registered and used the Disputed Domain Names in bad faith.
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 <galatasarays.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Pablo A. Palazzi
Date: December 30, 2019