WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Fenix International Limited c/o Walters Law Group v. Andrei Ivanov
Case No. D2021-1284
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Fenix International Limited, c/o Walters Law Group, United States of America (“United States”).
The Respondent is Andrei Ivanov, the Russian Federation.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <1onlyfans.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 April 26, 2021. On April 27, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On April 27, 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 April 29, 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 April 30, 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 May 3, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was May 23, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on June 1, 2021.
The Center appointed Rodrigo Azevedo as the sole panelist in this matter on June 7, 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 that offers a content subscription website at “www.onlyfans.com”, in which creators charge for access to their respective profiles.
The trademark ONLYFANS was registered by the Complainant in several regions of the world, including in the United States (registration number 5,769,267, registered on June 4, 2019) and in the European Union (European Union Trademark numbers EU017946559 and EU017912377, both registered on January 9, 2019).
The Complainant’s main domain name <onlyfans.com> was registered on January 29, 2013.
The Respondent registered the disputed domain name <1onlyfans.com> on February 24, 2021.
The disputed domain name resolves to a webpage presenting content reproduced from the Complainant’s official website, under the title “OnlyFans Free Porn Videos”, together with advertisement of other competing websites.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant makes the following contentions:
- The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights. The Complainant’s website at “www.onlyfans.com” is one of the most popular websites in the world and has become a prime target for cybersquatters wishing to profit from the goodwill that the Complainant has garnered in the ONLYFANS mark. The disputed domain name consists of the Complainant’s exact mark with the addition of the number “1” as a prefix. This similarity is likely to cause consumer confusion and the addition of the number “1” in conjunction with the ONLYFANS mark does not eliminate the likelihood of confusion.
- The Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Registration and use of a domain name in bad faith cannot establish rights or legitimate interests. Using a disputed domain name to host commercial websites that advertise goods and services for sale in direct competition with the trademark owner does not give rise to legitimate rights or interests. In the present case, no evidence indicates that the Respondent is known by the disputed domain name. Moreover, providing content uploaded by the Complainant’s users to the Complainant’s website on the Respondent’s website – free of charge – does not amount to a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name under the Policy.
- The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Respondent was likely aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights when it registered a confusingly similar domain name and began operating a website that provides services in direct competition with the Complainant. The fact that the Respondent must have been aware of the Complainant’s internationally well-known marks at the time of registration is evidence of bad faith registration. Because there is no benign reason for the Respondent to have registered the disputed domain name, it is clear that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name to target the Complainant’s mark ONLYFANS. The Respondent knew or should have known of the registration and use of the ONLYFANS trademark prior to registering the disputed domain name. The Respondent hid his/her identity from the public behind a WhoIs privacy wall. The Respondent’s failure to respond to a cease-and-desist letter sent by the Complainant is further evidence of bad faith. The Respondent clearly registered the disputed domain name to divert Internet traffic from the Complainant’s site to a website offering adult entertainment content in direct competition with the Complainant’s website. Thus, the disputed domain name should transfer to the Complainant.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy provides that in order to be entitled to a transfer of the disputed domain name, a complainant shall prove the following three elements:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and
(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
Annex E to the Complaint shows trademark registrations for ONLYFANS obtained by the Complainant as early as in 2019. The Panel further finds that the Complainant has provided relevant evidence of unregistered trademark rights on the same expression for the purpose of the Policy, based notably on the registration of its official domain name <onlyfans.com>, in 2013, as well as in the successful operation of the respective website, since 2016.
The disputed domain name differs from the Complainant’s trademark ONLYFANS merely by the addition of the prefix “1” and of the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.com”.
Previous UDRP panels have consistently found that the mere addition of a numeral (such as “1”) does not avoid a finding of confusing similarity (see Oney Bank, v. Xiao Long Lin, A La Si Jia, WIPO Case No. D2020-2968; and Microgaming Software Systems Limited v. WhoisGuard, WIPO Case No. D2008-0613).
It is also well established that the gTLD suffix “.com” is typically irrelevant when determining whether a domain name is confusingly similar to a complainant’s trademark.
As a result, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark, and that the Complainant has satisfied the first element of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy provides some examples without limitation of how a respondent can demonstrate a right or legitimate interest in a domain name:
(i) before receiving any notice of the dispute, the respondent used or made demonstrable preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services; or
(ii) the respondent has been commonly known by the domain name; or
(iii) the respondent is making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark at issue.
Based on the Respondent’s default and on the prima facie evidence in the Complaint, the Panel finds that the above circumstances are not present in this particular case and that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.
The Complainant has not licensed or authorized the usage of its trademarks to the Respondent, and it does not appear from the present record that the Respondent is commonly known by the disputed domain name.
The Panel also notes that the present record provides no evidence to demonstrate the Respondent’s intent to use the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. Indeed, the disputed domain name resolves to a website offering adult entertainment content in competition with the Complainant, reproducing content previously published at the Complainant’s website without authorization, which are offered free of charge by the Respondent, without remunerating the Complainant or the respective creators.
Consequently, the Panel is satisfied that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and the Complainant has proven the second element of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states that the following circumstances in particular, but without limitation, shall be evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that the respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) the respondent registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) the respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, the respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website or other online location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or location or of a product or service on its website or location.
When the disputed domain name was registered on February 24, 2021, the Complainant’s ONLYFANS trademark was already undoubtedly connected with the Complainant’s famous website and online services.
The disputed domain name encompasses the trademark ONLYFANS, together with the prefix “1”. The website at the disputed domain name also reproduces the Complainant’s trademark and contents.
Such circumstances lead the Panel to conclude that the Respondent was clearly aware of the Complainant’s trademark at the time of the registration of the disputed domain name, as well as that the adoption of the expression “1onlyfans” was not a coincidence.
Also, the mere title of the website at the disputed domain name (“OnlyFans Free Porn Videos”) is further evidence to suggest that the Respondent registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the Complainant’s business, offering its paid contents free of charge.
Furthermore, the reproduction of the Complainant’s trademark and contents also indicates that, by using the domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s online services.
Finally, the circumstance of presenting advertisement of competing websites indicates the Respondent intention to profit from the use of the Complainant trademark on the disputed domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith, and the Complainant has also satisfied the 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 <1onlyfans.com> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: June 21, 2021