On 12 October 2021, Mr. Roberto Manno, appointed by the Czech Arbitration Court as the only panellist, ordered the transfer of the SONYLOTTERY.COM, SONY-PRIZE.COM and SONYPRIZE.COM domain names to Sony Group Corporation, owner of the well-known trademark(s) SONY.
In particular, firstly, Mr. Manno pointed out that the addition of the words “PRIZE” or “Lottery” is not able to remove the confusing similarity between the mark(s) and the domain names at issue, as many WIPO and CAC decisions confirmed (see, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Richard MacLeod d/b/a For Sale, WIPO Case No. D2000-0662). For this reasons, he found that the disputed domain names were confusingly similar to the SONY trademark(s).
Secondly, Mr. Manno ruled out any rights or legitimate interests of the Respondent in respect of the disputed domain names, as Sony Group Corporation had not authorised or licensed the Respodent to make use of its SONY trademark(s).
Thirdly, the Panellist Manno found that the phishing activity from the Respondent was evidence of bad faith. In fact, the examples provided in paragraph. 4(b) UDRP rules are not exhaustive and the “bad faith” element may be deemed present by other circumstances.
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