WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A v. maurizio dinoia, dinoia
Case No. D2021-0392
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A, Italy, represented by Rapisardi Intellectual Property, Italy.
The Respondent is maurizio dinoia, dinoia , Italy.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <mps-gruppo.com> is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 9, 2021. On February 9, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 10, 2021, 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 February 11, 2021, 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 February 15, 2021.
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 February 18, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 10, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 18, 2021.
The Center appointed Andrea Mondini as the sole panelist in this matter on March 30, 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
Complainant is one of the world oldest bank. With 2,000 branches, 26,000 employees and 5.1 million customers it is one of the largest Italian banks.
Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations for the acronym “MPS”, inter alia, the International Trademark registration for the word-mark MPS No. 824744, registered on April 14, 2004 in International Class 36 for banking and financial services which designates numerous countries; and the Italian Trademark registration GRUPPO MPS (logo) No. 1035073, registered on January 23, 2007, in numerous International Classes.
Complainant also holds several domain names, including the domain name <gruppomps.com>.
The disputed domain name was registered on September 23, 2020 and does not resolve to an active website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends as follows:
MPS is the acronym of Complainant’s name Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the MPS trademark in which Complainant has rights, because it incorporates this trademark in its entirety, and the addition of the word “gruppo” (which means “group” in Italian) is not sufficient to avoid confusing similarity. Complainant also owns trademarks combining MPS with the element “GRUPPO”.
Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. There is no business or legal relationship between Complainant and Respondent. Respondent has not been authorized by Complainant to use this trademark.
The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith because it is obvious that Respondent had knowledge of both Complainant and its trademark at the time it registered the disputed domain name and because the lack of use of a domain name that is not backed up by any trademark and that coincides with a well-known trademark owned by someone else constitutes use in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
According to paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, in order to succeed, a complainant must establish each of the following elements:
(i) The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the 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
The Panel is satisfied that Complainant owns a trademark registration for its MPS trademark.
The Panel notes that the disputed domain name incorporates in its entirety the MPS trademark. The addition of the word “gruppo” (which means “group” in Italian) does not prevent a finding of confusing similarity under the Policy, paragraph 4(a)(i). See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8. Moreover, Complainant also owns trademarks combining the elements MPS and GRUPPO and the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is also confusingly similar to such trademarks.
For these reasons, the Panel concludes that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks MPS and GRUPPO MPS.
The first element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainant states it has no relationship of any kind with Respondent and has not authorized Respondent to use the trademark MPS. The Panel does not see any contrary evidence on the case file.
In the view of the Panel, Complainant has succeeded in raising a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. For its part, Respondent failed to provide any explanations as to any rights or legitimate interests.
In addition, the Panel notes the nature of the disputed domain name, which is almost identical to the GRUPPO MPS trademark, and that the Complainant uses a similar domain name (i.e. <gruppomps.com>) for its online services. The Panel considers that the nature of the disputed domain name carries a risk of implied affiliation with the Complainant’s trademarks.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The second element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainant has shown to the satisfaction of the Panel that it is a major Italian bank, and that its MPS trademark is well-known.
In the view of the Panel, noting the composition of the disputed domain name, it is inconceivable that the Respondent could have registered the disputed domain name without knowledge of Complainant and Complainant’s trademark. In the circumstances of this case, this is evidence of registration in bad faith.
The disputed domain name does not resolve to an active website. However, under the circumstances of this case Respondent’s passive holding of the disputed domain name qualifies as use in bad faith (Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003).
The Panel thus finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
The third element of paragraph 4(a) of the Policy has been met.
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 <mps-gruppo.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: April 9, 2021