WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Bitrise Limited v. Edward Lineman
Case No. D2019-2994
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Bitrise Limited, United Kingdom, represented by Withers LLP, United Kingdom.
The Respondent is Edward Lineman, United Arab Emirates.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <bitriseclub.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was initially filed for two domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 4, 2019. On December 4, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrars a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain names. On December 4 and 5, 2019, the Registrars transmitted by email to the Center their verification responses disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 5, 2019, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrars, and requesting to amend the Complaint adding the Registrar-disclosed registrants as formal Respondents and provide relevant arguments or evidence demonstrating that all named Respondents are, in fact, the same entity and/or that all the disputed domain names are under common control; and/or file a separate complaint for any disputed domain names for which it is not possible to demonstrate that all named Respondents are in fact the same entity and/or that all the disputed domain names are under common control and indicate which disputed domain names will no longer be included in the current Complaint. The Complainant filed an amended Complaint, removing one of the disputed domain names from the Complaint on December 10, 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 December 19, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 8, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 9, 2020.
The Center appointed Evan D. Brown as the sole panelist in this matter on January 15, 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.
The Panel issued a Procedural Order on January 30, 2020, inviting the Complainant to file additional factual material and allegations concerning the registration and use of the disputed domain name by the Respondent. The Procedural Order also provided that the Respondent was permitted to submit an additional filing to address any of the issues raised in the Complainant’s additional filing. The Complainant submitted such additional factual material and allegations on February 3, 2020. The Respondent did not file any additional material in the five day period permitted under the Procedural Order for such filing.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant owns and operates a continuous integration and delivery “software as a service” platform used globally by companies and individuals from its offices in the United Kingdom, Hungary and the United States of America. The Complainant has used the BITRISE mark for these services continuously since May 2015. It owns European Union trademark Reg. No. 016913352 for the word mark BITRISE, registered on October 24, 2017. The disputed domain name was registered on May 8, 2019. The disputed domain name resolved to a website related to cryptocurrencies.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark; that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name; and that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The Complainant asserts that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to perpetrate a bitcoin scam. More specifically, the Complainant obtained a report from an independent investigator that submitted a report listing the disputed domain name as being related to a bitcoin Ponzi scheme.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
To succeed, the Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements listed in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied: (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; (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
This element requires the Panel to consider two issues: first, whether the Complainant has rights in a relevant mark; and, second, whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that mark. The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant owns registrations for the BITRISE mark that predate the registration of the disputed domain name. The disputed domain name incorporates the BITRISE mark in its entirety – this is sufficient here to establish confusing similarity. The presence of the additional dictionary word “club” does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel evaluates this element of the Policy by first looking to see whether the Complainant has made a prima facie showing that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. If the Complainant makes that showing, the burden of demonstrating rights or legitimate interests shifts to the Respondent.
The Complainant has established, prima facie, that the Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. On this point, the Complainant asserts that the Complainant has not provided the Respondent with a license or otherwise authorized the Respondent to use the BITRISE trademark. The Respondent is not using the disputed domain name for a bona fide use – instead it seems that the disputed domain name may be part of a fraudulent scheme. According to the evidence submitted by the Complainant, when attempting to visit the website at the disputed domain name, the web browser informs that the “site is not secure”. Additionally, there is nothing in the record to suggest that the Respondent has become commonly known as BITRISE, nor is there any indication that the Respondent has used the disputed domain name for a legitimate noncommercial or fair use.
These facts establish the Complainant’s prima facie showing. The Respondent has not provided any basis on which that showing may be overcome. The Complainant has established this second element under the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The Policy requires the Complainant to establish that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Based on the available record, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Using the disputed domain name in the manner described above is an example of bad faith under the Policy.
Accordingly, the Complainant has satisfied this third element 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 <bitriseclub.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Evan D. Brown
Date: February 17, 2020