WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Gameloft S.E. v. Whoisguard, Inc. / Michael Ngulukila
Case No. D2019-1959
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Gameloft S.E., France, represented internally.
The Respondent is Whoisguard, Inc., Panama / Michael Ngulukila, South Africa.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <gameloft.fun> (the “Domain Name”) is registered with NameCheap, Inc. (the “Registrar”).
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on August 12, 2019. On August 12, 2019, the Center transmitted by email to the Registrar a request for registrar verification in connection with the Domain Name. On the same day, the Registrar transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the Domain Name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. The Center sent an email communication to the Complainant on August 23, 2019, 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 August 26, 2019.
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 August 27, 2019. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5, the due date for Response was September 16, 2019. The Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent’s default on September 17, 2019.
The Center appointed Mathias Lilleengen as the sole panelist in this matter on September 30, 2019. 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 an international publisher and developer of digitally distributed video games founded in 1999. The Complainant has released more than 200 games and several have been downloaded by millions of players.
The Complainant owns trademarks worldwide for the name “gameloft”, such as European Union trademark No. 2473767 registered on March 13, 2006, International trademark No. 907208 registered on October 31, 2006, and several United States of America trademarks.
The Complainant has registered several domain names, such as <gameloft.com>, <gameloft.net>, <gameloft.biz>, <gameloft.info>, <gameloft.asia>, <gameloft.pro> and <gameloft.tel>.
The Domain Name was registered on August 12, 2018. At the time of filing the Complaint, the Domain Name resolved to a website offering information about video games. At the time of drafting this Decision, the Domain Name redirected to an error website.
5. Parties’ Contentions
The Complainant argues its trademark is widely recognized by consumers around the world and the Domain Name is identical to said trademark.
The Complainants asserts that the Respondent is not sponsored or related in any way with the Complainant. The Respondent has never been allowed to use the Domain Name. The Respondent has used the Domain Name to redirect to a website offering information about video games, such as reviews, ratings, and redirection to marketplaces. The website itself does not make any mention to the Complainant’s products nor its name/trademarks, and only contains information about competitors’ products. This is not legitimate or fair use of the Domain Name.
The Complainant argues that this use is evidence of bad faith registration and use. The Domain Name was registered 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 source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the website or location or of a product or service on the website or location. The Respondent must have known of the Complainant and its trademark rights. It is evident from the use, but also the fact that GAMELOFT is a distinctive name. It makes a coincidental registration of the Domain Name by the Respondent completely unlikely.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant has established trademark rights. The test for confusing similarity involves the comparison between the trademark and the Domain Name. In this case, the Domain Name is identical to the Complainant’s trademark. For the purpose of assessing confusing similarity, it is permissible for the Panel to ignore the generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) “.fun”, see WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Third Edition (“WIPO Overview 3.0”), section 1.11.
The Panel finds that the Domain Name is identical 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 a domain name containing the Complainant’s trademark or otherwise make use of the trademark. Based on the evidence, the Respondent is not affiliated or related to the Complainant in any way. There is no evidence that the Respondent has registered the Domain Name as a trademark or acquired unregistered rights. The way the Respondent has used the Domain Names is not bona fide.
The Panel finds the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name in accordance with paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Taking into account the Respondent’s use of the Domain Name, the Panel concludes that the Respondent knew of the Complainant and its business when the Respondent registered the Domain Name.
The Respondent has attempted to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the Respondent’s website. The fact that the Respondent has not replied to the Complainant’s contentions, further points to bad faith.
The Panel concludes that the Domain Name was registered and is being used in bad faith, within the meaning 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 Domain Name <gameloft.fun> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 8, 2019