WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
beIN Media Group L.L.C v. Mohamad Maria, Maria
Case No. D2020-1077
1. The Parties
The Complainant is beIN Media Group L.L.C, Qatar, represented by Gevers & Ores, France.
The Respondent is Mohamad Maria, Maria, Turkey.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <beinssport.com> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with Tucows Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on April 30, 2020. On May 1, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On May 1, 2020, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on May 1, 2020 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 May 3, 2020.
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 May 22, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was June 11, 2020. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 12, 2020.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on June 17, 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 media group established in Qatar that broadcasts and streams sporting events and entertainment. The Complainant distributes and produces entertainment, live sport and major international events across five continents, 43 countries and in seven different languages spanning Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa.
The Complainant is the holder of numerous trademarks including the terms “bein sport” in numerous jurisdictions, e.g., Turkish trademark registration no. 2014°102010 BEIN SPORTS filed on December 11, 2014 and registered on June 27, 2016, United States of America trademark registration no. 5,273,645 BEIN SPORTS filed on January 23, 2015 and registered on August 29, 2017, and European Union trademark registration no. 010617082 BEIN SPORT filed on February 6, 2012 and registered on May 24, 2013. The Complainant also has registered trademarks for BEIN. The Complainant owns a large number of domain name registrations with the terms “bein sport” included.
The Domain Name was registered on August 15, 2019. According to the publicly available WhoIs database, the Domain Name registration expires on August 15, 2020.
At the time of filing the Complaint and at the time of drafting the decision, the Domain Name directs to a webpage using the Complainant’s BEIN and BEIN SPORTS trademarks and offering subscriptions to various packages for watching entertainment and sports programs on mobile devices, computers, smart TVs, and etc.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant has documented trademark registrations. The Complainant argues that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark as the Domain Name consists of the Complainant’s trademark with the letter “s” placed in between. This is, in the view of the Complainant, a clear indication of intentional misspelling of the trademark.
The Complainant argues that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant, has not received any license and has never been permitted to register or use the Complainant’s trademarks, or to apply for or use any domain name incorporating the Complainant’s trademarks. The use of the Domain Name cannot be considered bona fide offering of goods or services. The Respondent uses the same logo as the one actually used by the Complainant’s genuine website. According to the Complainant, the Respondent has used the Domain Name to identify itself as the Complainant.
Finally, the Complainant submits that there is no plausible explanation why the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its trademark. Moreover, the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name constitutes bad faith, since the Respondent is creating a confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent tries to deceive customers through the Respondent’s typo spelling of the Complainant’s trademark, and the use of the Complainant’s trademark. The Complainant believes the Respondent’s use of an anonymization service is further evidence of bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established trademark rights. The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s trademark BEIN SPORT in its entirety, with the letter “s” inserted between “bein” and “sport”. This addition does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity. Further, the Complainant’s BEIN SPORTS trademark is also recognizable in the Domain Name. For the purposes of assessing confusing similarity under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is confusingly similar to the trademarks in which the Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There is no evidence suggesting that the Respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name. The Complainant has not granted any authorization to the Respondent. The Domain Name directs to a website displaying the Complainant’s BEIN and BEIN SPORTS trademarks and offering subscriptions to various packages for watching entertainment and sports programs on mobile devices, computers, smart TVs, and etc. without accurately and prominently disclosing the Respondent’s relationship with the Complainant, which appears to show an attempt from the Respondent to identify itself as the Complainant. Such use is not bona fide nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use. In addition, there is no evidence on record suggesting the Respondent has been commonly known by the Domain Name.
The Panel finds that the Complainant has made out an unrebutted prima facie case. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Based on the evidence, in particular, the use of the Domain Name, it is likely that the Respondent knew of the Complainant’s trademarks and its business when the Respondent registered the Domain Name. The Complainant’s trademark rights predate the Domain Name registration. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name constitutes bad faith, since the Respondent has attempted to create a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant and its trademarks in order to deceive customers. The fact that the Domain Name appears to be an intentional misspelling of the Complainant’s trademark BEIN SPORT, in this Panel’s view, may be further evidence of bad faith. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Name also disrupts the Complainant’s business.
The Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning of the paragraph 4(a)(iii) 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 Domain Name <beinssport.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 19, 2020