Earlier this year, the prominent Gibraltar-based bookmaker, BetVictor, became aware that a website was offering online betting and gaming services from the domain name betvictories.com. ISOLAS assisted BetVictor in pursuit of the registrant of the domain who had taken to depoloying a number of ‘creative’ strategies to avoid liability/enforcement.
BetVictor filed a complaint against ‘betvictories’ pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (commonly referred to as the ‘UDRP’). The UDRP sets out the legal framework for the resolution of disputes between domain name registrants and third parties over the abusive registration and/or use of Internet domain names.
On the 1st October 2015, the sole panellist appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to adjudicate on BetVictor’s complaint, fully accepted the submissions made on behalf of the Gibraltar bookmaker. The panellist determined that the use of the disputed domain was in fact detrimental to BetVictor, and ordered the transfer of betvictories.com to the complainant.
A number of key factors can be gleaned from the decision. The panellist indicated that the respondent’s failure to respond to the cease and desist letters, or to take part to the UDRP proceedings were indications that the domain had been registered in bad faith.
Furthermore, despite “victor” and “victories” being separate dictionary words, as confirmed by the panellist, the use of the domain to host a website offering near identical betting and bookmaking services to those of BetVictor, was again indicative of bad faith. In addition, the betvictories.com website clearly attempted to copy the ‘look and feel’ of the BetVictor.com website, using an almost identical colour scheme and layout (including in its logo).
ISOLAS have a highly experienced e-commerce team, with extensive expertise in intellectual property management, as well as dispute resolution within the context of trademark, copyright and of course, domain name infringement. We also provide consultancy and registration services in respect of .GI and other Gibraltar specific domains.
The growing significance of intellectual and virtual property in an ever-digitalised business environment should not be underestimated, and our team is ready to advise you on how to best protect (or recover) these valuable intangible assets. For any queries, please feel free to contact our Christian Caetano, Associate, on firstname.lastname@example.org.