Domain name registrant, Kion Printing of California, appears to have begun using the domain name KION.COM, around 2000 (the name was registered originally in 1996). Kion seems to have used the name in connection with its printing business up to about 2010. Presently, the name doesn’t resolve. Kion’s status as a a California corporation is suspended. The website is dark. There’s no indication that Kion exists any longer. The domain name registration is set to expire in July of this year.
Complainant is a German company that adopted the KION mark for machinery in 2006. It can’t get in touch with anyone at Respondent. It brings this UDRP. Respondent does not, uh, respond.
Held: Complaint denied. Respondent began use in 2000, before Complainant began using the trademark so Respondent couldn’t have registered in bad faith. Complainant could not make out its prima facie case.
Practice pointer: Because the dropped-name process is unpredictable, it’s understandable why Complainant would not want to wait until July. Be that as it may, the UDRP (and ACPA) are not means of obtaining domain names where plaintiff’s trademark rights are clearly subsequent to respondent’s registration and use of a domain name, even if respondent has gone dark. There is no use requirement for a domain name. Also, there is no concept of default judgment in the UDRP.