WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Riot Games, Inc. v. Super Privacy Service Ltd. c/o Dynadot / S Jon Grant
Case No. D2021-3987
1. The Parties
Complainant is Riot Games, Inc., United States of America (“United States” or “U.S.”), represented by Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP, United States.
Respondent is Super Privacy Service Ltd. c/o Dynadot, United States, / S Jon Grant, United States.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <support-leagueoflends.com> is registered with Dynodot, LLC (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on November 29, 2021. On November 30, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On November 30, 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 Complainant on December 1, 2021, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amended Complaint on December 6, 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 Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on December 15, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 4, 2022. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on January 6, 2022.
The Center appointed Lorelei Ritchie as the sole panelist in this matter on January 13, 2022. 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 a video game developer based in California, in the United States. In 2009, Complainant released to the public a video game called League of Legends. Complainant owns several trademark registrations for the LEAGUE OF LEGENDS mark for this and other goods and services. These include, among others, U.S. Registration No. 3,756,125 (registered on March 2, 2010); and European Union Registration No. 008243487 (registered on January 28, 2010).
The disputed domain name was registered on November 16, 2021.
Respondent has used the disputed domain name to resolve to a website featuring pay-per-click links that redirects Internet users to third-party websites. Respondent has no affiliation with Complainant, and Complainant has not authorized any activities by Respondent, nor any use of its trademarks thereby.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that (i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Complainants’ trademarks; (ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and (iii) Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith.
Specifically, Complainant contends that it owns the distinctive and well-known mark LEAGUE OF LEGENDS for which Complainant maintains a support system for consumers. Complainant contends that Respondent has incorporated a deliberate misspelling of Complainant’s well-known LEAGUE OF LEGENDS mark into the disputed domain name, using also a misspelling of the Complainant’s website “support-leagueoflegends.riotgames.com” that Complainant itself inadvertently used in a marketing email broadcasting Complainant’s support services for its products. Complainant contends that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name, and rather has registered and is using it in bad faith, having simply acquired the disputed domain name for Respondent’s own commercial gain. In addition, Complainant contends that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of cybersquatting, by registering various domain names that incorporate well-known marks.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Panel must first determine whether the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. The Panel finds that it is. The disputed domain name is a misspelling of Complainant’s LEAGUE OF LEGENDS mark and merely added a hyphen and the dictionary term “support.”
Where a domain name registrant deliberately registers a common misspelling of a well-known mark in order to divert consumer traffic, this indicates a practice known as “typosquatting”. Other UDRP panels have routinely found typosquatted domain names to be confusingly similar for purposes of a finding under the UDRP. See Edmonds.com, Inc. v. Yingkun Guo, dba This domain name is 4 sale, WIPO Case No. D2006-0694; Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. John Zuccarini, Cupcake City and Cupcake Patrol, WIPO Case No. D2001-0489; and Credit Karma, Inc. v. Domain Admin, WhoIs Privacy Corp., WIPO Case No. D2017-0194.
Numerous UDRP panels have further agreed that supplementing or modifying a trademark with dictionary terms – including with a hyphen – does not prevent a finding of “identical or confusingly similar” for purposes of satisfying this first element of paragraph (4)(a)(i) of the Policy. See, for example, Microsoft Corporation v. Step Web, WIPO Case No. D2000-1500; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Horoshiy, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2004-0620; and General Electric Company v. Recruiters, WIPO Case No. D2007-0584.
The Panel therefore finds that the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which Complainant has rights in accordance with paragraph (4)(a)(i) of the Policy.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Panel next considers whether Complainant has shown prima facie that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, as must be proven to succeed in a UDRP dispute. Once a prima facie case has been established, the burden of production shifts to the Respondent to demonstrate rights of legitimate interests. See WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 2.1. Paragraph 4(c) of the Policy gives examples that might show rights or legitimate interests in a domain name. These examples include: (i) use of the domain name “in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services”; (ii) demonstration that respondent has been “commonly known by the domain name”; or (iii) “legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue”.
No evidence has been presented to the Panel that might support a claim of Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. Respondent has no license from, or other affiliation with, Complainant. The disputed domain name is used to host a PPC website with links that redirect users to competing support services, misleading Internet user seeking Complainant and presumably earning Respondent click-through revenue, which cannot constitute fair use pursuant to section 2.9 of the WIPO Overview 3.0. Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant has provided sufficient evidence of Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy which Respondent has not rebutted.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
There are several ways that a complainant can demonstrate that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith. For example, paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy states that bad faith can be shown where “by using the domain name [respondent has] intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to [respondent’s] 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 [respondent’s] website or location or of a product or service on [the] website or location”. As noted in Section 4 of this Panel’s decision, Respondent has used the disputed domain name to host PPC links through which Respondent presumably receives click-through revenue whenever Internet users access the links, ultimately redirecting Internet users to third-party websites.
Additionally, Respondent must have been aware of Complainant and its services, considering the typo-squatting nature of the disputed domain name. Further reinforcing the Panel’s finding, the disputed domain name includes the exact misspelling of the Complainant’s website that was inadvertently included in an email from Complainant, suggesting that Respondent was aware of Complainant’s marketing email broadcasting its support services and took the opportunity to register the disputed domain name to profit from Complainant’s mistake.
Complainant has further presented evidence that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names that incorporate well-known marks. In this regard, Respondent has received several adverse UDRP decision rulings, with a finding of bad faith. These include, among others, Andrey Ternovskiy dba Chatroulette v. S. Jon Grant, WIPO Case No. D2018-1110.
Therefore, the Panel finds that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith for purposes of 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 <support-leagueoflends.com> be transferred to Complainant.
Date: January 26, 2022