Kozmo.com may be defunct but it’s domain registration lives on.
In July I wrote about how Los Angeles company Yummy Foods, LLC wanted to relaunch the Kozmo.com delivery brand.
Kozmo.com was one of the biggest dot.com busts. It raised around $250 million in order to deliver a pack of gum to your house with no delivery fee.
Yummy Foods has two trademarks for “kozmo” for delivery of food and other goods. But despite Kozmo.com going out of business over a decade ago, the domain name remains registered in the defunct company’s name.
Yummy Foods’ lawyers got creative to try to convince a World Intellectual Property Organization panel that the domain should be transferred. For example, it argued that since Kozmo.com is defunct it is in violation of United States law and the Network Solutions’ Terms of Service by owning the Disputed Domain Name.
Here’s what the panel had to say about that:
…Complainant’s contention that Respondent does not exist raises difficult questions as to the validity of the present proceedings, since both parties must have a legal existence…While this Panel acknowledges the inherent difficulty of securing a domain name from a non-existent entity, and the possible validity of the contention that a non-existent entity cannot in good faith maintain a domain name, the Policy was not designed as a tool for obtaining domain names from defunct corporations.
The bigger problem with Yummy Foods’ case was that it couldn’t prove that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith. After all, in the words of the panel:
Respondent could not have known of Complainant’s mark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name. In fact, as Complainant has repeatedly emphasized, Respondent ceased to exist almost ten years before Complainant began operations under the KOZMO mark.