WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. v. Edmunds Gaidis
Case No. DCO2021-0013
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., United States of America (“United States”), represented by Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP, United States.
The Respondent is Edmunds Gaidis, Latvia.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <rockstargames.co> is registered with TLD Registrar Solutions Ltd. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 3, 2021. On February 3, 2021, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On February 5, 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 5, 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 9, 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 11, 2021. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was March 3, 2021. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on March 5, 2021.
The Center appointed Steven A. Maier as the sole panelist in this matter on March 10, 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 corporation headquartered in New York, United States. It is developer of interactive entertainment software including video and computer games which are distributed via its subsidiary entity, Rockstar Games. The Complainant’s products include the well-known “Grand Theft Auto” series of video games.
The Complainant is the owner of various trademark registrations for the marks ROCKSTAR and ROCKSTAR GAMES. Its registrations for the latter mark include:
- United States trademark number 4037654 for the word mark ROCKSTAR GAMES, registered on October 11, 2011 in International Classes 9 and 41
- European Union trademark number 007243983 for the word mark ROCKSTAR GAMES, registered on July 29, 2009 in International Classes 9, 16, 41 and 42
The Complainant has operated a website at “www.rockstargames.com” since December 1998.
The disputed domain name was registered on September 13, 2012.
The disputed domain name has resolved to a website at “www.rockstargames.co” which has offered links to “Grand Theft Auto Online Game”, “Rockstar Games” and to gaming-related subjects more generally.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant submits that it has used the ROCKSTAR GAMES trademark since at least 1998 and that it is one of the world’s most successful and recognized video games developers. It provides evidence that a Google search for ROCKSTAR GAMES will produce almost 14 million hits and states that its website at “www.rockstargames.com” has been visited over 800 million times since inception. The Complainant states that its “Grand Theft Auto” series of video games has sold over 330 million copies worldwide and provides evidence of significant media and industry recognition of its ROCKSTAR GAMES brand.
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name incorporates its ROCKSTAR GAMES trademark in its entirety and is confusingly similar to that trademark.
The Complainant submits that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. The Complainant states that it has never authorized the Respondent to use its ROCKSTAR GAMES trademark, that the Respondent has not commonly been known by that name, and that the Respondent is making neither bona fide commercial use nor legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the disputed domain name. Instead, the Complainant submits that the Respondent is using the disputed domain name to “typosquat” on its website at the URL “www.rockstargames.com”, from which it differs only by the omission of the final letter “m” in the Top-Level Domain (“TLD”).
The Complainant submits that the disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. The Complainant contends that the Respondent was obviously aware of its ROCKSTAR GAMES trademark when it registered the disputed domain name and that its act of “typosquatting” upon that trademark is an established example of bad faith. The Complainant further submits that, having used the disputed domain name misleadingly to attract Internet users to its website, it then acts further in bad faith by redirecting those visitors to third party websites unaffiliated with the Complainant. The Complainant submits on information and belief that the Respondent benefits financially from such redirections.
The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent has engaged in a pattern of bad faith registrations of domain names based on the incorporation or slight misspelling of third party trademarks. It cites six previous decisions under the UDRP which were decided against the Respondent.
The Complainant requests the transfer of the disputed domain name.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in the Complaint, the Complainant is required to show that all three of the elements set out under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy are present. Those elements are:
(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
The Panel finds that the disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark ROCKSTAR GAMES. The TLD “.co” is to be disregarded for the purpose of this assessment.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
In the view of the Panel, the Complainant’s submissions set out above give rise to a prima facie case that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. However, the Respondent has not filed a Response in this proceeding and has not submitted any explanation for its registration and use of the disputed domain name, or evidence of rights or legitimate interests on its part in the disputed domain name, whether in the circumstances contemplated by paragraph 4(c) of the Policy or otherwise. There being no other evidence before the Panel of any such rights or legitimate interests, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name is identical to the Complainant’s distinctive trademark ROCKSTAR GAMES and resolves to a website at “www.rockstargames.co” which differs from the Complainant’s URL at “www.rockstargames.com” only by the omission of the final letter “m” from the TLD. The Panel infers in the circumstances that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant’s trademark and website at the time of registration of the disputed domain name and registered it for the purpose of impersonating the Complainant.
The Panel finds further that the Respondent has used the inherently misleading disputed domain name to attract Internet users to its website, in the mistaken belief it is operated or otherwise connected with the Complainant, in order to monetize that confusion by way of pay-per-click links which purport to represent the Complainant and/or redirect to third parties unconnected with the Complainant. The Panel finds therefore that by using the disputed domain name, the Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to its website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its website or of a product or service on its website (paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy).
The Panel concludes in the circumstances that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
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, <rockstargames.co>, be transferred to the Complainant.
Steven A. Maier
Date: March 22, 2021