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L.A. company denied chance to use dot.com bust Kozmo.com’s domain name

October 4, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, kozmo.com, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on L.A. company denied chance to use dot.com bust Kozmo.com’s domain name

Kozmo.com may be defunct but it’s domain registration lives on.

KozmoIn 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.


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L.A. Company wants to relaunch Kozmo.com delivery brand

July 24, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, kozmo.com, Uncategorized, yummy.comComments Off on L.A. Company wants to relaunch Kozmo.com delivery brand

The Kozmo.com brand may be re-birthed a decade later.

KozmoRemember Kozmo.com, the dot.com bubble service that would deliver a pack of gum to you at no charge? The company raised about $250 million, tried to go public, and then went belly up.

It looks like the Kozmo.com brand may be coming back, and it’s happening under some rather unusual circumstances.

Yummy Foods, LLC runs Yummy.com, a grocery delivery service in Los Angeles. Last year it was granted two U.S. trademark registrations for the term “Kozmo”, which it intends to use for its delivery service.

Registration 4,041,920 covers “Retail store and on-line retail store services featuring groceries, fruit, vegetables, bakery, dairy products, deli, beverages, breakfast foods, household cleaning products, laundry products, pet products, medicines, baby food, liquor, and tobacco.”

Registration 4,041,921 covers “Delivery of movies, books, magazines, groceries, food, beverages, and tobacco products ordered via the phone, internet, or mobile device and delivered by car or truck.”

Here’s the specimen the company submitted with its applications:

Kozmo.com

Still not convinced Yummy wants to rebirth the Kozmo.com brand for food delivery?

It just filed a domain name dispute with World Intellectual Property Organization to get the domain name Kozmo.com.

Kozmo.com currently doesn’t resolve. Its whois record still contains the company’s old (disconnected) phone number and address. The Network Solutions whois record shows an expiration date of April 2011 but the registry expiration date is in April 2013.

It’s unlikely that anyone will respond to the domain dispute because the contact information for the domain is no longer valid. Still, this domain technically can’t be won through a UDRP by the letter of the rules. It would be impossible to show that the domain name was registered in bad faith. It was registered and used in good faith for a business model that didn’t work.

Of course, the complaint could omit that key detail and the panelist might not recall the history of the domain.

I’ve reached out to the lawyer on the trademark filings as well as Yummy.com’s press email contact for comment.

Before L.A. residents get their hopes up, you won’t be ordering packs of gum with no delivery charge. Yummy.com currently has free delivery only for orders over $100.


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