The Spanish football club Atlético de Madrid has successfully recovered the domain name <> in a recent domain name dispute under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) before the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Case No. D2015-1659).

The disputed domain name, which was registered by a third party in 2000, is indeed identical to Atlético de Madrid’s Spanish and international trademarks.

Additionally, the UDRP Panel found that the registrant, who has not submitted a response to Atlético de Madrid’s contentions, had no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name. Nor had the registrant been commonly known by the name “Atletico de Madrid” at any relevant time.

Furthermore, the Panel found that registering and using the disputed domain name would mislead Internet users into thinking that the registrant was connected to, sponsored by or affiliated with the club and its business, which would be evidence of bad faith. Also, the registrant’s use of the disputed domain name to redirect Internet users to a page with links, from which the registrant presumably derives a form of “pay-per-click” profit, is evidence of bad faith use of the disputed domain name. Finally, in accordance with prior UDRP decisions, registrant’s failure to respond to Atlético de Madrid’s efforts to resolve this dispute is further evidence of bad faith.

Accordingly, the Panel ordered that the disputed domain name <> be transferred to the Spanish football club.

Similarly, other football clubs as Real Madrid or Barcelona launched UDRP proceedings to recover domain names such as <>, <>, <>, or “”, respectively.

It appears that sports clubs are increasingly concerned about protecting their trademarks and domain names in recent years.