WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center


Bulgari S.p.A. v. Aydin Genc

Case No. D2021-4247

1. The Parties

The Complainant is Bulgari S.p.A., Italy, represented by SafeNames Ltd., United Kingdom.

The Respondent is Aydin Genc, United States of America (“U.S”).

2. The Domain Names and Registrar

The disputed domain names <bvlgarihot.biz>, <bvlgarilover.biz, <bvlgarionline.biz> and <bvlgaritokyo.biz> (the “Domain Names”) are registered with Sav.com, LLC (the “Registrar”).

3. Procedural History

The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on December 16, 2021. On December 16, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Names. On December 16, 2022, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Names which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on December 28, 2021, providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting the Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint1 . The Complainant filed an amended Complaint on January 4, 2022.

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 January 5, 2022. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was January 25, 2022. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on February 8, 2022.

The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on February 10, 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

The Complainant was founded in 1884. It operates in hotel markets and luxury goods. The Complainant has more than 230 retail locations worldwide. The BVLGARI name derives from the Italianized version of the founder’s name (‘Voulgaris’), along with its transcription into the classical Latin alphabet, replacing the ‘U’ with a ‘V’. The Complainant’s brand is global and it is a well-known. The Complainant has social media presence, in particular on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Complainant owns numerous trademark registrations in BVLGARI, including U.S. registration number 1694380 and European Union registration number 007138101. The Complainant has registered the domain <bulgari.com> since 1998.

The Domain Names were registered on August 5 and August 6, 2021. The Respondent has used the Domain Names to resolve to a Turkish-language website pertaining to escort services, featuring explicit images.

5. Parties’ Contentions

A. Complainant

The Complainant provides evidence of trademark registration, and argues that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark. The Domain Names contain the Complainant’s trademark, with the addition of generic words “hot”, “lover”, “online” and “Tokyo”. The additions are insufficient to negate confusing similarity.

The Complainant asserts that it has no association with the Respondent and has never authorized or licensed the Respondent to use its trademark. The Respondent cannot establish rights in the Domain Names, as it has not made any use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the Domain Names in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services. On the contrary, the Complainant submits that the Respondent’s use of the Domain Names is to use the renown of the BVLGARI brand to drive Internet traffic to its explicit websites.

The Complainant argues that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users, for commercial gain, by creating confusion with the Complainant’s trademark, evident from the use of the Domain Names. The Complainant’s trademark is well-known. The Respondent has chosen to ignore the cease and desist letter sent by the Complainant. The Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract Internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark. The Respondent’s use tarnishes the Complainant’s trademark.

B. Respondent

The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.

6. Discussion and Findings

A. Identical or Confusingly Similar

The Complainant has established that it has rights in the trademark BVLGARI. The test for confusing similarity involves a comparison between the trademark and the Domain Names. The Domain Names incorporate the Complainant’s trademark with the addition of generic words “hot”, “lover”, “online” and “Tokyo”. The additions do not prevent a finding of confusing similarity between the Domain Names and the trademark.

For the purpose of assessing under paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy, the Panel may ignore the generic

Top-Level Domains, 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

The Complainant has made unrebutted assertions that it has not granted any authorization to the Respondent to register the Domain Names containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of the Complainant’s mark. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Names as a trademark or acquired unregistered trademark rights. The Domain Names have redirected Internets users to adult content. The Respondent’s use of the Domain Names is clearly not bona fide, but rather evidence of bad faith, see below.

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

The Panel finds it probable that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant when the Respondent registered the Domain Names. The Respondent has used the renown of the BVLGARI brand to drive Internet traffic to its explicit websites. The Respondent has not provided any evidence of good-faith use. In this context, use of a privacy protection service to conceal registrant identity further points to bad faith.

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 <bvlgarihot.biz>, <bvlgarilover.biz>, <bvlgarionline.biz> and <bvlgaritokyo.biz> be transferred to the Complainant.

Mathias Lilleengen
Sole Panelist
Date: February 22, 2022

1 At the time of the filing of the Complaint, the Respondent’s identity was masked by a privacy service.