On-line ADR Center of the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC)

Panel Decision

§ 15 of the UDRP Rules (Rules), § 9 of the CAC’s Supplemental Rules (Supplemental Rules)

Case No. 104385
Time of Filing 2022-03-02 09:44:53
Disputed domain name INTESASANPAOLO-SICUREZZA-DEVICE.COM
Case Administrator
Name Denisa Rihova
Complainant
Organization Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.
Authorized Representative
Organization Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.
Respondent
Name bruno baraldo
Other Legal Proceedings
The Panel is not aware of any other legal proceedings which are pending or decided and which relate to the disputed domain name.
Identification of rights
The Complainant is, inter alia, a registered owner of the following trademarks containing word elements "INTESA" or "SANPAOLO":

(i) INTESA (word), International Trademark, filing (priority) date 4 September 2002, registration no. 793367, registered for services in class 36;
(ii) INTESA (word), EU Trademark, filing (priority) date 23 October 2013, registration no. 12247979, registered for goods and services in classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 38, 41 and 42;
(iii) INTESA SANPAOLO, International Trademark, filing (priority) date 7 March 2007, registration no. 920896, registered for goods and services in classes 36; and
(iv) INTESA SANPAOLO, EU trademark, filing (priority) date 8 September 2006, registration no. 5301999, registered for goods and services in classes 35, 36, 38,

besides other national and international trademarks consisting of or containing the "INTESA" or "SANPAOLO" wording.
(Collectively referred to as "Complainant's trademarks").

The Complainant has also registered a number of domain names under generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLD") and country-code Top-Level Domains ("ccTLD") containing the term „INTESA" or "SAN PAOLO" such as <INTESASANPAOLO.COM> (official website), <INTESA.COM>, <INTESA.EU>, <INTESA.ORG> and others.
Factual Background
The Complainant (Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.) is a leading Italian banking group and also one of the protagonists in the European financial arena. The Complainant is the company resulting from the merger (effective as of 1 January 2007) between Banca Intesa S.p.A. and Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A., two of the top Italian banking groups.

The disputed domain name was registered on 23 August 2021 and is held by the Respondent.

The domain name website (i.e. website available under internet address containing the disputed domain name) does not resolve to any active website.

The Complainant seeks transfer of the disputed domain name to the Complainant.
 
The Parties' contentions are the following:

COMPLAINANT:

CONFUSING SIMILARITY

The Complainant states that:

- The disputed domain name contains the “INTESA” and "SAN PAOLO" word elements of the Complainant's trademarks in its entirety and thus they are almost identical (i.e. confusingly similar) to the Complainant’s trademarks since the domain names differ from the Complainant trademarks only by the descriptive expression "SICUREZZA-DEVICE" which can be roughly translated as "SECURE–DEVICE".

Thus, according to the Complainant the confusing similarity between Complainant’s trademarks and the disputed domain name is clearly established.

NO RIGHTS OR LEGITIMATE INTERESTS

The Complainant states that:

- The Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

- The Complainant has not authorized, permitted or licensed the Respondent to use Complainant’s trademarks in any manner. The Respondent has no connection or affiliation with the Complainant whatsoever. On this record, Respondent has not been commonly known by the disputed domain name.

- Furthermore, the domain name website has not been used for any legitimate or fair purposes.


BAD FAITH REGISTRATION AND USE

The Complainant states that:

- Seniority of the Complainant's trademarks predates the disputed domain name's registration and such trademarks are well known in relevant business circles. The Respondent can be considered aware of the Complainant's trademarks when registering the disputed domain name due to well-known character thereof, which should have been checked by the Respondent by performing a simple internet search.

- The disputed domain name (at the time of filing of the complaint) is not used for any bona fide offerings. More particularly, there are present circumstances indicating that, by using the domain name, the Respondent has registered the disputed domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring it to the Complainant.

- The use of misleading term SICUREZZA-DEVICE indicates that the disputed domain name might be intended for ''phishing'' purposes. Such practice consists of attracting customers to a web page which imitates the real page of the Complainant (i.e. bank website) with an intention to mislead such users and have them disclosed confidential information.

- It is well-founded that registration of the disputed domain names that are confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademarks which enjoys strong reputation, plus other facts, such as above described unfair use of the disputed domain names, are sufficient to establish bad faith under the 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

- The Complainant refers to previous domain name decisions contending that registering a “phishing” website is perhaps the clearest evidence of registration and use of a domain name in bad faith”, especially when it concerns trademarks of financial institutions that enjoy high level of notoriety and well-known character.

RESPONDENT:

The Respondent has not provided any response to the complaint.
Rights
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy).
No rights or legitimate interests
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the Respondent to have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy).
Bad faith
The Complainant has, to the satisfaction of the Panel, shown the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy).
Procedural Factors
The Panel is satisfied that all procedural requirements under UDRP were met and there is no other reason why it would be inappropriate to provide a decision.
Principal Reasons for the Decision
RIGHTS

The disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks are nearly identical since both fully incorporate the words “INTESA” and "SAN PAOLO".

Since the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks are not identical, the key element investigated and considered by the Panel is whether the disputed domain name consisting also of a term “SICUREZZA-DEVICE” is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademarks.

The threshold test for confusing similarity under the UDRP involves a comparison between the trademark and the disputed domain name itself to determine likelihood of Internet user confusion. In order to satisfy this test, the relevant trademark would generally need to be recognizable as such within the disputed domain name. An addition of common, dictionary, generic, or other descriptive terms is typically insufficient to prevent threshold Internet user confusion. Confusing similarity test under the UDRP typically involves a straightforward visual and aural comparison of the trademark with the domain name in question.

Applying the principles described above, the Panel contends that incorporation of a dominant “INTESA” and "SAN PAOLO" elements of Complainant’s trademarks (which standalone enjoys high level of distinctiveness) into the disputed domain name constitutes confusing similarity between the Complainant’s trademark and the disputed domain name. Addition of a non-distinctive element – incorrect, descriptive term “SICUREZZA-DEVICE” cannot prevent the association in the eyes of internet consumers between the disputed domain name and the Complainant’s trademarks and thus the likelihood of confusion still exists. On the contrary, it may mislead the internet users that the disputed domain name is somehow related to Complainant's business.

For sake of completeness, the Panel asserts that the top-level suffix in the domain name (i.e. the “.com”) must be disregarded under the identity and confusing similarity tests, as it is a necessary technical requirement of registration.

Therefore, the Panel has decided that there is identity in this case, it also concludes that the Complainant has satisfied paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy.


NO RIGHTS OR LEGITIMATE INTERESTS

The Complainant’s assertions that the Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain names and is not affiliated with nor authorised by the Complainant are sufficient to constitute a prima facie showing of absence of rights or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name on the part of the Respondent.

Given the facts above and in the absence of the Respondent's response, the Panel concludes that there is no indication that the disputed domain name was intended to be used in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services as required by UDRP.

Consequently, the evidentiary burden shifts to the Respondent to show by concrete evidence that it does have rights or legitimate interests in that name. However, the Respondent failed to provide any information and evidence that it has relevant rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a) (ii) of the Policy).


BAD FAITH

The Respondent has not used the disputed domain name in any manner, however, the Panel concludes (as it has been ruled in many similar cases, as for example Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003, <telstra.org>, Jupiters Limited v. Aaron Hall, WIPO Case No. D2000-0574, <jupiterscasino.com>, Ladbroke Group Plc v. Sonoma International LDC, WIPO Case No. D2002-0131, <ladbrokespoker.com>) that the apparent lack of so-called active use (e.g., to resolve to a website) of the domain name without any active attempt to sell or to contact the trademark holder (passive holding), does not as such prevent a finding of bad faith.

Examples of what may be cumulative circumstances found to be indicative of bad faith include cases in which (i) the Complainant has a well-known trademark and (ii) there is no genuine use (e.g. a mere "parking") of the disputed domain name by the Respondent (irrespective of whether the latter should also result in the generation of incidental revenue from advertising referrals).

Based upon the concepts above, which the Panel finds satisfied in this case, even though there is no real use of the dispute domain name, the Panel contends, on the balance of probabilities, that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used (held) by the Respondent in bad faith.

Also, use of a term SECURE BANKING indicates that the disputed domain name might have been registered for ''phishing'' purposes in future – for hosting a web page imitating a real page of the Complainant (i.e. bank website) with an intention to mislead customers and have them disclosed confidential information as, for example, passwords, login etc. This conclusion is also backed by a finding that various internet security filters block the domain name website for its potential harmful or unsecure content.

It is well-founded that registration of the domain names that are confusingly similar to the complainant’s trademarks which enjoys strong reputation, plus other facts, such as above described potential unfair use of the disputed domain name, are sufficient to establish bad faith under the 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

Thus, the Panel has taken a view that the disputed domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith (within the meaning of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.
Decision
For all the reasons stated above, the Complaint is Accepted
and the disputed domain name(s) is (are) to be
INTESASANPAOLO-SICUREZZA-DEVICE.COM Transferred to the Complainant
Panellists
Name JUDr. Jiří Čermák
Date of Panel Decision 2022-04-05
Publication of the Decision
Publish the Decision