WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Merryvale Limited v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / shabbir khurana, shabbir ptv ltd
Case No. D2020-3508
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Merryvale Limited, Guernsey, represented by Herzog, Fox & Neeman, Israel.
The Respondent is Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC, United States of America, / shabbir khurana, shabbir ptv ltd, India.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <betwaypunters.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 23, 2020. On December 23, 2020, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On December 24, 2020, 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 December 28, 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 December 28, 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 December 30, 2020. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for the Response was January 19, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on January 20, 2021.
The Center appointed Tobias Zuberbühler as the sole panelist in this matter on February 4, 2021. 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 member of the Betway Group of companies which is considered as a market leader in the field of online gaming and operates a number of online gaming websites with 1.47 million users worldwide in 2020.
The Complainant owns trademark registrations in various jurisdictions, including the European Union Trade Mark BETWAY (Reg. No. 4832325, registered on January 26, 2007), the United Kingdom trademark BETWAY (Reg. No. 3234076, registered on August 18, 2017) and the Indian trademark BETWAY (Reg. No. 3202826, registered on March 4, 2016).
The Complainant further holds the domain name <betway.com> under which the official website of the Complainant is available. The Complainant advertises and sells its services through its <betway.com> domain name.
The disputed domain name was registered on September 14, 2020, and resolves to a parked website which includes advertising links to third party websites.
Before initiating the present proceeding, the Complainant made some effort to resolve the matter amicably. The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contact attempts.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant alleges that it has satisfied all elements of the Policy, paragraph 4.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
On the basis of the facts and evidence introduced by the Complainant, and with regard to paragraphs 4(a), (b) and (c) of the Policy, the Panel concludes as follows:
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate its registered rights in the trademark.
The BETWAY trademark is wholly reproduced in the disputed domain name.
A domain name is “identical or confusingly similar” to a trademark for the purposes of the Policy when the domain name includes the trademark, or a confusingly similar approximation, regardless of other terms in the domain name (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662). This includes terms like “punters” (a British term for gamblers), which is related to the Complainant’s activities.
The Complainant has thus fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
There are no indications before the Panel of any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant contends that the Respondent is neither affiliated with the Complainant nor making any bona fide use of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent is using the disputed domain name as a parked page with advertising links to third party websites in the field of online gaming. Thus, the Respondent diverts Internet users to its own website in connection with goods or services competitive with those of the Complainant, which cannot be considered as legitimate or fair use of the disputed domain name (see Virgin Enterprises Limited v. LINYANXIAO aka lin yanxiao, WIPO Case No. D2016-2302).
Based on the Complainant’s credible contentions, the Panel finds that the Complainant, having made out a prima facie case which remains unrebutted by the Respondent, has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Under the circumstances of this case, it can be inferred that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark when registering the disputed domain name.
The Panel finds that the reproduction of the Complainant’s trademark along with the term “punters” creates a likelihood of confusion between the Complainant’s BETWAY trademark and the disputed domain name, noting that the addition of the term “punters” (a British term for gamblers) is related to the Complainant’s activities.
The evidence submitted by the Complainant supports a finding that the Respondent was engaged in an attempt to pass itself off as the Complainant by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website and to attract Internet users to its website for commercial gain by providing the visitors of its website with online gaming specific advertisement and links. The Respondent therefore used the disputed domain name in bad faith (see Claudie Pierlot v. Yinglong Ma, WIPO Case No. D2018-2466).
Accordingly, the Complainant has also fulfilled 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 disputed domain name <betwaypunters.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: February 18, 2021