WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION

BDSRCO, INC. v. George

Case No. D2021-0496

1. The Parties

The Complainant is BDSRCO, INC., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Bone Mcallester Norton PLLC, United States.

The Respondent is George, Greece.

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <beallsfloridaoffers.com> and <beallsfloridastores.com> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with Dynadot, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 11, 2021. On February 18, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On February 19, 2021, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details.

The Center verified that 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 February 22, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 14, 2021. The Center received an email communication from the Respondent on February 22, 2021.

The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on March 25, 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 company under the American retail company Bealls Inc. Bealls Inc. was founded in 1915 in Bradenton, Florida, United States, and has more than 500 stores in clothing, home, shoes, swimwear, etc.

The Complainant owns United States Trademark Registration No. 4733841, registered on May 12, 2015.

The Domain Names <beallsfloridastores.com> and <beallsfloridaoffers.com> were registered by the Respondent respectively on January 1, 2020, and December 9, 2020.

At the time of notification of the Complaint, the Domain Names redirected to various pages, including a web page with adult content and an nonoperable link requesting users to confirm they are not robots. At the time of the decision, the Domain Names resolved to error pages.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registration. The Complainant implies that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.

The Complainant claims that the Domain Names have been redirected to websites of third parties who provide services that are the same as or closely related to department store services.

The Complainant argues that the Respondent registered and is using the Domain Names in order to disrupt the Complainant's business and to misappropriate the Complainant's goodwill.

B. Respondent

The Respondent has not filed a formal response, but sent the following email to the Center on February 22, 2021:

“Hello.
I am willing to settle this dispute by removing the domains from my account. I really dont want to continue the dispute. Please advise if i have to do anything on my side”.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark BEALLS.

The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Names. In this case, the Domain Names incorporate the Complainant’s trademark, with the addition of the geographic term “florida” and the terms “offers” and “stores” at the end. The additions do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Names and the Complainant’s trademark. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.8. For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLD”); see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 1.11.

The Panel finds that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to a trademark 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 that the Complainant has granted any authorization to the Respondent to register domain names containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of its trademarks. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Names as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Names, as it has not made use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Names in connection with a bona fide offering. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Names are not bona fide. The Complaint is sparse with arguments and documentation of the Respondent’s use of the Domain Names. It has forced the Panel to draw certain inferences from the Respondent’s lack of rebuttal and apparent recognition of a lack of a legitimate interest in the Domain Names, see WIPO Overview 3.0, section 4.3.

Furthermore, the composition and use of the Domain Names carry a risk of implied affiliation and cannot constitute fair use in the circumstances of this case. See WIPO Overview 3.0, section 2.5.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Names in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Based on the case file, including the Respondent’s email to the Center, it seems likely that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Names. The Panel agrees with the Complainant that the Respondent by registering the Complainant’s trademark in the Domain Names has tried to misappropriate the Complainant's goodwill and deceive Internet users as to the Complainant's sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent's website.

For the reasons set out above, the Panel concludes that the Domain Names were registered and are being used in bad faith, within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

7. Decision

For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the Domain Names <beallsfloridaoffers.com> and <beallsfloridastores.com> be transferred to the Complainant.

Mathias Lilleengen
Sole Panelist
Date: March 26, 2021