A confusing set of circumstances, but panel rules it certainly isn’t cybersquatting.
Sun International Limited, operator of hotels and casinos in Africa and Latin America, has lost a UDRP for SunBet.com.
The company failed to prove that the respondent, Sun Ventures Development Limited, lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain name and didn’t prove it was registered in bad faith.
This is a case in which the panelists earned their keep; there’s a confusing array of dates and facts they had to deal with. These includes when the respondent started business, what brands it marketed, when it started using the SunBet name, and that the two Mandarin characters it uses mean “SunGame” and “SunBet”.
John Berryhill, who represented the respondent, also noted that someone affiliated with the complainant may have registered the domain name in 1999, and forgot to renew it.
Given the length of time and complexity of the complainant’s business structure, the panel gave a pass to the complainant on this issue.
It may very well be that those responsible for drafting the Complaint were unaware of the history. It is noteworthy that the “creation” date appearing in the Registrar’s database is given as 2002, which post-dates the date when the Domain Name is said to have been held by an associate of the Complainant; thus there was nothing in the WhoIs record to alert an investigator that there had been a previous registration of the Domain Name.
The full case decision is below.