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Sun International (IP) Limited v. NameSentinel Admin and Sun Ventures
Development Limited, Arthur Tsang
Case No. D!"#$""%!
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Sun International (IP) Limited o& Sando'n, Sandton, South A&ri(a, represented )* Adams
+ Adams Attorne*s, South A&ri(a.
The ,espondents are NameSentinel Admin o& Isle o& -an, .nited /ingdom o& 0reat 1ritain and Northern
Ireland (2./3) and Sun Ventures Development Limited, Arthur Tsang o& -a4ati Cit*, Philippines, represented
)* 5ohn 1err*hill, Ph.d., 6s7., .nited States o& Ameri(a (2.SA3).
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name 8sun)et.(om9 (the 2Domain Name3) is registered 'ith -esh Digital Limited (the
. Pro!ed"ra# $istor%
The Complaint 'as &iled 'ith the :IP; Ar)itration and -ediation Center (the 2Center3) on 5ul* <, !"#. ;n
5ul* <, !"#, the Center transmitted )* email to the ,egistrar a re7uest &or registrar veri&i(ation in (onne(tion
'ith the Domain Name. ;n 5ul* "#, !"# and 5ul* "=, !"#, the ,egistrar transmitted )* email to the
Center its veri&i(ation responses dis(losing registrant and (onta(t in&ormation &or the Domain Name, 'hi(h
di&&ered &rom the named ,espondent and (onta(t in&ormation in the Complaint. The Center sent an email
(ommuni(ation to the Complainant on 5ul* "=, !"#, providing the registrant and (onta(t in&ormation
dis(losed )* the ,egistrar, and inviting the Complainant to su)mit an amendment to the Complaint. The
Complainant &iled an amended Complaint on 5ul* ", !"#.
The Center veri&ied that the Complaint together 'ith the amended Complaint satis&ied the &ormal
re7uirements o& the .ni&orm Domain Name Dispute ,esolution Poli(* (the 2Poli(*3 or 2.D,P3), the ,ules &or
.ni&orm Domain Name Dispute ,esolution Poli(* (the 2,ules3), and the :IP; Supplemental ,ules &or
.ni&orm Domain Name Dispute ,esolution Poli(* (the 2Supplemental ,ules3).
In a((ordan(e 'ith the ,ules, paragraphs (a) and #(a), the Center &ormall* noti&ied the ,espondent o& the
Complaint, and the pro(eedings (ommen(ed 5ul* , !"#. In a((ordan(e 'ith the ,ules, paragraph >(a),
the due date &or ,esponse 'as August "", !"#. The ,esponse 'as &iled 'ith the Center on August "",
The Center appointed Ton* :illough)*, David Ta*lor and the ?on Neil 1ro'n @.C. as panelists in this matter
on Septem)er , !"#. The Panel &inds that it 'as properl* (onstituted. 6a(h mem)er o& the Panel has
su)mitted the Statement o& A((eptan(e and De(laration o& Impartialit* and Independen(e, as re7uired )* the
Center to ensure (omplian(e 'ith the ,ules, paragraph A.
Arthur Tsang, the se(ond o& the named ,espondents, is identi&ied in the ,esponse as 2a te(hni(al emplo*ee3
o& Sun Ventures Development Limited, the entit* named as the 2,egistrant ;rganiBation3 in the ,egistrarCs
:hoIs data)ase and is the underl*ing registrant )ehind the priva(* servi(e provided )* the &irst$named
,espondent. ?erea&ter, all re&eren(es to the 2,espondent3 in this de(ision are re&eren(es to Sun Ventures
Development Limited, 'hi(h is the entit* responsi)le &or having a(7uired the Domain Name and &or the use
that is )eing made o& it and is the entit* on 'hose )ehal& the ,esponse 'as &iled.
&. 'a!t"a# Ba!(gro"nd
The Complainant, a South A&ri(an (orporation, is a 'holl* o'ned su)sidiar* o& Sun International Limited and
is, as its name indi(ates, the intelle(tual propert* holding (ompan* in the Sun International 0roup o&
(ompanies, o& 'hi(h Sun International Limited is the holding (ompan*. The Sun International 0roup 'as
&ounded in "%<D and is the proprietor o& a num)er o& luEur* hotels, (asinos and holida* resorts. It operates
in A&ri(a and Latin Ameri(a.
The Complainant is the registered proprietor o& &our -oBam)i(an trade mar4 registrations o& S.N16T,
namel* Nos. !>=#F!" ((lass <), !>=>F!" ((lass %), !>==F!" ((lass #") and !>=AF!"
((lass #) all dated Novem)er ", !". A((ording to the Complainant, it is also the appli(ant &or numerous
S.N16T trade mar4 appli(ations in its main territories, appli(ations 'hi(h are (urrentl* pending. The
earliest o& its trade mar4 appli(ations 'as made on Septem)er A, !".
The Complainant also uses its S.N16T trade mar4 in relation to its online sports )etting &a(ilit*, 'hi(h it
laun(hed in South A&ri(a in Novem)er !"D. Sin(e that date )etting sta4es in eE(ess o& GA, (South A&ri(an
,and) "!! million have )een pla(ed on the ComplainantCs 'e)site (onne(ted to its 8sun)et.(o.Ba9 domain
name, 'hi(h it a(7uired in !"D.
The ,espondent is a (orporation, 'hi(h 'as in(orporated under the la's o& the 1ritish Virgin Islands on
-ar(h %, !!A. The ,espondent is engaged in the provision o& online )etting and gaming servi(es,
primaril* to an Asian (lientele and through a variet* o& 'e)sites.
The Domain Name has had a (he7uered histor*. It 'as &irst registered on August #, "%%% in the name o&
/ersa& Investments Limited, 'hose address 'as at that time in the same street as that in 'hi(h the
Complainant (urrentl* resides and 'hi(h &rom the eviden(e &iled )* the ,espondent appears to )e or to have
)een a (ompan* asso(iated 'ith the Sun International 0roup. -ore re(entl*, the Domain Name appears to
have undergone a num)er o& registrant name (hanges, )ut the Panel a((epts the eviden(e o& the
,espondent (spe(i&i(all* the de(laration o& the ?ead o& ;perations &or Hela ?oldings Limited, 'hi(h is said to
)e the (orporate and regulator* servi(e arm o& the ,espondent) that despite the di&&erent named registrants
o& the Domain Name sin(e August A, !", the underl*ing )ene&i(ial o'ner o& the Domain Name registration
has sin(e that date )een the ,espondent.
The Domain Name is (urrentl* (onne(ted to a -andarin language 'e)site &eaturing a logo (omprising (a)
the devi(e o& a sun, ()) -andarin (hara(ters, 'hi(h are said )* the ,espondent to mean 2Sun 1et (or Sun
0ame)3 and )elo' those (hara(ters (() the nameF'ord 2S.N16T3. The 'e)site and those to 'hi(h it lin4s
o&&er a variet* o& online )etting servi(es. ?o'ever, it appears &rom the un(hallenged (laim o& the
Complainant that the Domain Name 'as not (onne(ted to an* a(tive 'e)site until a&ter the &iling o& the
original Complaint.
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1et'een ;(to)er !"D and -ar(h !"#, the ComplainantCs representatives made various attempts to
a(7uire the Domain Name &or the Complainant, )ut 'ithout su((ess.
;n -a* ", !"#, the ComplainantCs representatives sent a letter to the then named registrant o& the Domain
name, the &irst$named ,espondent NameSentinel Admin, dra'ing attention to the ComplainantCs trade mar4
rights and see4ing trans&er o& the Domain Name. No repl* to that letter 'as re(eived.
). Parties* Contentions
A. Com+#ainant
The Complainant (ontends that the Domain Name is identi(al to its S.N16T trade mar4 in 'hi(h it (laims
)oth registered and unregistered trade mar4 rightsI that the ,espondent has no rights or legitimate interests
in respe(t o& the Domain NameI and &urther that the Domain Name 'as registered and is )eing used in )ad
B. Res+ondent
The ,espondent a((epts that the Domain Name is identi(al to the ComplainantCs S.N16T trade mar4, )ut
(ontends that 2the ComplainantCs trade mar4 rights post$date those o& the ,espondent3. The ,espondent
asserts that )* August !" at the latest it 'as a 'ell$esta)lished provider o& online )etting servi(es under
and )* re&eren(e to the -andarin (hara(ters 'hi(h mean 2sun )et3 or 2sun game3. ;n that )asis it (ontends
that it has rights and legitimate interests in respe(t o& the Domain Name and that the Domain Name 'as
registered and is )eing used in good &aith.
,. Dis!"ssion and 'indings
A. -enera#
A((ording to paragraph #(a) o& the Poli(*, &or this Complaint to su((eed in relation to the Domain Name, the
Complainant must prove ea(h o& the &ollo'ing, namel* thatJ
(i) The Domain Name is identi(al or (on&usingl* similar to a trade mar4 or servi(e mar4 in 'hi(h the
Complainant has rightsI and
(ii) The ,espondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respe(t o& the Domain NameI and
(iii) The Domain Name has )een registered and is )eing used in )ad &aith.
B. Identi!a# or Con."sing#% Simi#ar
There is no dispute (nor (ould there )e) that the Domain Name, a)sent the generi( Top$Level Domain
identi&ier 2.(om3, is identi(al to the ComplainantCs S.N16T trade mar4. The &a(t that the ,espondentCs trade
mar4 rights ma* )e senior to those o& the Complainant is irrelevant to this element o& the Poli(*. The
signi&i(ant point inso&ar as this element o& the Poli(* is (on(erned is that as at the date o& the Complaint the
Complainant had trade mar4 rights in respe(t o& the 'ordFname S.N16T.
A((ordingl*, the Panel &inds that the Domain Name is identi(al to a trade mar4 in 'hi(h the Complainant has
C. Rights or Legitimate Interests
A surprising aspe(t o& this (ase is that, as (laimed )* the ,espondent, the Domain Name appears to have
)een registered originall* )a(4 in "%%% )* a (ompan* asso(iated 'ith the group o& (ompanies o& 'hi(h the
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Complainant is a mem)er, )ut allo'ed the Domain Name to lapse. The Complainant does not mention that
&a(t in the Complaint and the ,espondent (ategorises that omission as reprehensi)le. The Panel has not
sought to investigate the )a(4ground to that issue and ignores it &or the purpose o& this De(ision. It ma* ver*
'ell )e that those responsi)le &or dra&ting the Complaint 'ere una'are o& the histor*. It is note'orth* that
the 2(reation3 date appearing in the ,egistrarCs data)ase is given as !!, 'hi(h post$dates the date 'hen
the Domain Name is said to have )een held )* an asso(iate o& the ComplainantI thus there 'as nothing in
the :hoIs re(ord to alert an investigator that there had )een a previous registration o& the Domain Name.
:hen the Complaint 'as &iled the Complainant 'as una'are o& the true identit* o& the underl*ing registrant,
the ,espondent, and (ould not have )een alerted to the relevan(e o& the &a(t asserted )* the ,espondent
that the t'o -andarin (hara(ters used )* the ,espondent on its 'e)site and in relation to its sponsorships
(e.g., the :at&ord and Ne'(astle .nited 6nglish Premier League Koot)all Clu)s) mean )oth 2Sun0ame3 and
2Sun1et3. I& it is indeed the (ase that that is 'hat those (hara(ters mean and that the ,espondent has )een
using them legitimatel* 'ith that in mind 'ithout an* thought o& the ComplainantCs Sun)et &a(ilit*, (learl* the
,espondent has a legitimate interest in respe(t o& the Domain Name.
:hile the ,esponse (ontains ver* little detailed in&ormation on the ,espondentCs trading sin(e its
in(orporation in August !!A, it is (lear that sin(e that date the ,espondent has held a (orporate name
&eaturing the 'ord 2Sun3. It also appears to )e the (ase &rom a s(reenshot eEhi)ited )* the ,espondent that
an online revie' at the 2'''.)ettingprophet.(om3 'e)site dated August %, !", identi&ied the ,espondent
(then trading as "D<sungame.(om) as )eing 2alread* esta)lished as one o& the leading )rands a(ross Asia
under di&&erent domains su(h as sun%<<.(om LMN3. A((ordingl*, prior to the ComplainantCs a(7uisition o&
trade mar4 rights in the S.N16T mar4 and over a *ear prior to the ComplainantCs laun(h o& its Sun)et online
sports )etting &a(ilit*, the ,espondent 'as a su)stantial pla*er in the gaming industr* and trading under the
2Sun3 and 2Sun0ame3 names. :hether the t'o -andarin (hara(ters re&erred to in the ,esponse and
(urrentl* in use 'ere in use in August !" is not (lear )e*ond dou)t. The (hara(ters &eaturing alongside
the 2"D<3 numeral in the 8)ettingprophet.(om9 revie' are &our in num)er and di&&erent.
:hen the ,espondent &irst started using the 2Sun1et3 name (as su(h) is not (lear &rom the ,espondentCs
eviden(e. The s(reenshots provided )* the ,espondent &eaturing the name all appear to post$date the
ComplainantCs a(7uisition o& trade mar4 rights in the name and neither part* has eEhi)ited an* s(reenshots
&rom the ,espondentCs 'e)sites dating )a(4 to August !". Nonetheless, as appears &rom the a)ove
revie' the name 2Sun0ame3 'as (learl* in use in August !". Is it unreasona)le to (on(lude that, as
asserted )* the ,espondent, the -andarin (hara(ters meaning 2Sun0ame3 'ere then in use and that the*
also mean 2Sun1et3O The Panel does not )elieve so.
It is o& (ourse possi)le that the ,espondent onl* adopted the 2Sun1et3 angli(isation o& the -andarin
(hara(ters a&ter it )e(ame a'are o& the ComplainantCs Sun1et &a(ilit* 'hi(h 'as laun(hed in Novem)er
!"D, )ut 'hile there ma* )e room &or dou)t there is nothing )e&ore the Panel to Pusti&* a &inding to that
0iven that the )urden o& proo& is on the Complainant, an* dou)t in the matter has to )e resolved in &avour o&
the ,espondent.
The Panel &inds that the Complainant has &ailed to satis&* the Panel that the ,espondent has no rights or
legitimate interests in respe(t o& the Domain Name.
D. Registered and /sed in Bad 'aith
In light o& the PanelCs &inding under C a)ove, it is unne(essar* &or the Panel to address this element o& the
?o'ever, despite the &a(t that there ma* )e some s(ope &or dou)t as to pre(isel* 'hen and 'h* the
,espondent &irst started using the 2Sun1et3 name, a 4e* re7uirement under this head o& the Poli(* is &or the
Complainant to prove on the )alan(e o& pro)a)ilities that the ,espondent )oth registered and is using the
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Domain Name in )ad &aith. 6ven i& the Panel 'as to (on(lude ('hi(h it is not) that the Domain Name is
)eing used in )ad &aith, 'hat 'as the ,espondentCs state o& mind in August !" 'hen it a(7uired the
Domain NameO
Kirst, it should )e noted that )* August !" the ,espondent had )een in(orporated &or &ive *ears under a
name, the primar* &eature o& 'hi(h 'as the 'ord 2Sun3. Se(ondl*, it has al'a*s )een engaged in the
gaming industr* and 2)et3 is sel&$evidentl* a des(riptive 'ord (ommonl* used in that industr*. Thirdl*, the
Complainant, on its o'n eviden(e, had no trade mar4 rights in the 2Sun)et3 name as at that date. Kourthl*,
the Complainant did not laun(h its 2Sun)et3 online )etting &a(ilit* until over a *ear later.
.nder those (ir(umstan(es, it is in(on(eiva)le to this Panel that as at date o& registration o& the Domain
Name the ,espondent (ould reasona)l* )e said to have had a )ad &aith intent dire(ted at the ComplainantCs
S.N16T trade mar4.
;n one vie', this Complaint (ould )e said to have )een &la'ed &rom the outset. ?o' (ould it have )een
laun(hed 'ith an* hope o& su((essO
The &irst pro)lem &or the Complainant 'as that it 'as not made a'are o& the identit* o& the ,espondent, the
underl*ing registrant, until a&ter it &irst &iled the original Complaint and &ollo'ing the ,egistrarCs response to
the CenterCs re7uest &or registrar veri&i(ation. Se(ondl*, it 'as not until the ,esponse 'as &iled 'ith an
eEplanation o& the histor* o& the ,espondentCs 2o'nership3 o& the Domain Name going )a(4 several *ears
that the Complainant 'as alerted to the &a(t that the registrant name (hange on -a* <, !"#, the last name
(hange prior to the &iling o& the original Complaint, 'as not indi(ative o& an* material (hange o& o'nership.
The Panel o)serves that mu(h o& this (ould perhaps have )een avoided i& the ,espondent had responded
in&ormativel* to an* one o& the ComplainantCs (ommuni(ations 'ith the various named registrants )et'een
;(to)er !"D and -a* !"#.
0. De!ision
Kor the &oregoing reasons, the Complaint is denied.
Ton% 1i##o"gh2%
Presiding Panelist
Da3id Ta%#or
The $on Nei# Bro4n 5.C.
DateJ Septem)er "", !"#