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and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. v. Domain Drop S.A.
Case No. D2007-0273
1. The Parties
Complainant is Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. of Torino, Italy, represented by Studio Legale Perani, Italy.
Respondent is Domain Drop S.A., Charlestown, West Indies, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <intesa.org> is registered with Capitoldomains, LLC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the “Center”) on February 23, 2007. On February 26, 2007, the Center transmitted by email to Capitoldomains, LLC a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On February 27, 2007, Capitoldomains, LLC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”), 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(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on March 6, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was March 26, 2007. Respondent did not submit any response. Accordingly, the Center notified Respondent’s default on March 27, 2007.
The Center appointed Lynda J. Zadra-Symes as the sole panelist in this matter on May 2, 2007. 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 leading Italian banking group and is the owner of several registrations for the trademark INTESA, including:
- Italian trademark registration No. 816033 for the mark INTESA & DEVICE, registered on May 30, 2000, for products in classes 9 and 16, and services in classes 36, 38, 41 and 42;
- Community trademark registration No. 2803773 for the mark INTESA, registered on November 17, 2003, for services in class 36;
- International trademark registration No. 793367 for the mark INTESA, granted on September 4, 2002, for services in class 36.
In 2001, Complainant’s predecessor adopted the name Banca Intesa. Recently, on January 1, 2007, Banca Intesa merged with Sanpaolo IMI, and the company name changed to Intesa Sanpaolo. Complainant Intesa Sanpaolo is among the top banking groups in the euro zone, with a market capitalization exceeding 70 billion euro. Complainant has a network of approximately 5,500 bank branches distributed throughout Italy, with market shares of more than 15% in most Italian regions. Complainant offers its services to approximately 12 million customers in Italy. In addition, Complainant has a strong presence in Central-Eastern Europe with a network of approximately 1,400 branches and over 6 million customers. It also has an international network specialized in supporting corporate customers that is present in 34 countries, particularly in the Mediterranean area, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, China and India.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainant contends that the domain name is identical to Complainant’s INTESA trademark, that Respondent lacks any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and that Respondent has registered and used the domain name in bad faith.
Respondent did not reply to Complainant’s contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In order to succeed in its claim, Complainant must demonstrate that all of the elements enumerated in Paragraph 4(a) of the Policy have been satisfied:
(i) the domain name in dispute is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights;
(ii) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the domain name; and
(iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Paragraph 15(a) of the Rules instructs this Panel to decide a Complaint “on the basis of the statements and documents submitted in accordance with the Policy, these Rules and any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable”.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name <intesa.org> incorporates Complainant’s registered INTESA trademark in its entirety.
Accordingly, the Panel finds that the domain name is identical and confusingly similar to Complainant’s trademark.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Respondent has no rights in the domain name. Respondent is not an authorized licensee of the Complainant and is not authorized to use Complainant’s mark. There is no evidence that Respondent has developed any trademark rights in the mark INTESA or that Respondent is commonly known by the designation Intesa.
The domain name reverts to a website sponsoring several banking and financial services, and also containing references to Banca Intesa, Complainant’s predecessor.
Thus, the Panel finds that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with regard to the domain name at issue.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy states circumstances which, if found, shall be evidence of the registration and use of the domain name in bad faith:
(i) circumstances indicating that Respondent has registered or acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the Complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of the Complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
(ii) Respondent has registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that Respondent has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
(iii) Respondent has registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
(iv) by using the domain name, Respondent has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to Respondent’s website or other on-line 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 of a product or service on Respondent’s website or location.
It should be noted that the circumstances of bad faith are not limited to the above.
The domain name is connected to a website sponsoring banking and financial services, such as mortgages and loans. There are also references to Banca Intesa on Respondent’s website, but the related links are not connected to Complainant’s official websites. Therefore, Internet users, while searching for Complainant’s website, are confusingly led by Respondent’s website to the websites of Complainant’s competitors.
The registration and use of a domain name to re-direct internet users to websites of competing organizations constitutes bad faith registration and use under the Policy.
In addition, Complainant points out that Respondent has already been party to several WIPO cases where the Panels ordered transfer of the disputed domain names on the grounds of bad faith registration and use. See, e.g. Prepadom v. Domain Drop S.A,
WIPO Case No. D2006-0917; Veolia Environment v. Domain Drop S.A.,
WIPO Case No. D2006-1029; Kiloutou v. Domain Drop S.A,
WIPO Case No. D2006-1105; Genlyte Thomas Group LLC v. Domain Drop S.A,
WIPO Case No. D2006-1223.
Thus, Respondent has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in order to prevent the owner of the trademark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name.
Accordingly, the Panel finds the disputed domain name to be registered and used in bad faith.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name, <intesa.org> be transferred to the Complainant.
Lynda J. Zadra-Symes
Dated: May 21, 2007