WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
Alternative Dispute Resolution Proceeding
Case No. DSE2018-0049
The Petitioner is Virtual IP Assets Limited ofUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by Herzog, Fox & Neeman, Israel.
2. Domain Holder
The Domain Holder is M. M. of Sweden
3. Domain Name and Procedural History
This Alternative Dispute Resolution proceeding relates to the disputed domain name <888sport.se>.
This Petition was filed under the Terms and Conditions of registration (the “.se Policy”) and the Instructions governing Alternative Dispute Resolution proceeding for domain names in the top-level domain .se (the “.se Rules”).
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center ("the Center") verified that the Petition satisfied the formal requirements of the .se Policy and the .se Rules. In accordance with Section 13 of the .se Rules, the Center formally notified the Domain Holder of the Petition on August 28, 2018. The Domain Holder did not submit any response and, accordingly, the Center notified the Domain Holder's default on September 28, 2018.
The Center appointed Jan Rosén as the sole Arbitrator in this matter on October 17, 2018. The Arbitrator has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with Section 1 of the .se Rules.
4. Factual Background
The Petitioner is the registered proprietor of, inter alia, the following European Union (EU) trademark registrations, (i) 888SPORT – registration number 9197071, registered on December 22, 2010, (ii) 888 – registration number 9197079, registered on December 22, 2010, and (iii) 888.COM – registration number 3220688, registered on December 23, 2004.
The Petitioner’s corporate affiliate, Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd, a member of the 888 Group, has registered the domain name <888sport.com> on December 17, 2004, the domain name <888.com> on February 13, 2001 and launched the “www.888sport.com” website in March 2008.
The disputed domain name <888sport.se> was registered by the Domain Holder in March 2014. It resolves to a website with information about sports activities, including sponsored links to gambling websites.
The Petitioner claims that the disputed domain name <888sport.se> shall be transferred to the Petitioner.
The Domain Holder has neither responded after being notified by the Center nor forwarded any claim.
6. Parties’ Contentions
The Petitioner is the intellectual property (IP) holding company of the 888 Holdings plc group of companies, which enjoys a substantial worldwide reputation as one of the leading entities in the field of online gaming.
The disputed domain name is virtually identical to the petitioner’s 888SPORT trademark and confusingly similar to its 888 trademark, since the “888” element constitutes the prominent portion of the disputed domain name.
Also, the 888 grouping’s corporate use of its registered domain names <888sport.com> and <888.com> and use of the “www.888sport.com” website demonstrate an easy to remember location and brand websites of the 888 group. This also underlines the knowledge and awareness of the Petitioner’s trademarks on the part of the Domain Holder. In connection with its online gaming business, the 888 Group has invested substantial sums in promoting its brands, notably the marks containing “888”, both on registered and unregistered bases around the world. The Petitioner operates its online business via various “888” domain names, such as <888sport.dk>, <888sport.it>, <888sport.es> etc.
The Domain Holder has registered the disputed domain name in bad faith, as the Domain Holder must have known or should have known about the Petitioner’s trademarks and annexed domain names. As the Domain Holder has used the disputed domain name at its website “www.888sport.se” merely to let it contain a banner with an embedded link which contains links to a gambling website, it indicates an attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Petitioner’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of that website or location. The Domain Holder must therefore have been fully aware of the Petitioner’s marks, and used the disputed domain name to receive payment in return for users clicking on the banner and thereby taken advantage of confusion among consumers caused by the use of the disputed domain name. Hence, the Domain Holder has both registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The information published by the Domain Holder on the website “www.888sport.se” is related to eclectic topics, but that information seems to cover up for the true reason for choosing the disputed domain name, that is the purpose of merely taking advantage of the Petitioner’s trademarks, particularly the 888SPORT trademark. Hence, the Domain Holder has no rights or justified interest in the disputed domain name.
B. Domain Holder
The Domain Holder has not responded after being notified by the Center or offered any information whatsoever.
7. Discussion and Findings
A. The Domain Name is identical or similar to a name which is legally recognized in Sweden and to which the Petitioner can prove its rights
The Arbitrator finds that the disputed domain name <888sport.se> is identical to the Petitioner’s trademark 888SPORT and confusingly similar to the Petitioner’s trademark 888, both trademarks being legally recognized in Sweden and to which the Petitioner can prove its rights (see Section 7.2.1 of the .se Policy).
B. The Domain Name has been registered or used in bad faith
According to the Arbitrator it is not plausible that the Domain Holder was unaware of the marks mentioned under 7.A when the disputed domain name was registered and used, especially since it has been used to redirect Internet users to a website offering competing services to the Petitioner’s business. Thus, it can fairly be inferred that the registration and use of the disputed domain name were in bad faith.
C. The Domain Holder has no rights or justified interest in the Domain Name
The Domain Holder, who is not affiliated with the Petitioner and has never been licensed or otherwise authorized to use the Petitioner’s well known trademarks, seems merely to have used the front page of the website “www.888sport.se” for sponsored links to a gambling website in order to take advantage of the reputation and goodwill in the Petitioner’s trademarks. The Arbitrator finds that the Domain Holder cannot be entitled to or be held to have any rights or a justifiable interest in the disputed domain name.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Section 21 of the .se Rules and Section 7.2 of the .se Policy, the Arbitrator orders that the disputed domain name <888sport.se> be transferred to the Petitioner.
Date: November 4, 2018