A UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the Kion.com domain name. The UDRP complaint is listed as WIPO Case D2017-0025.
Kion.com is over 20 years old, having been registered in August of 1996. The current registrant of Kion.com is listed as “Kion Printing Inc.” based in California. The DomainTools Whois History Tool shows that this company has been the registrant of Kion.com since at least 2001. DomainTools doesn’t have an archived record from before 2001, so it is very likely the company has owned the domain name for even longer that this.
At the time of publication, Kion.com does not resolve for me, and I am sent to an ISP error page. Archive.org seems to indicate that the domain name hasn’t had a website since 2010. Estibot says this 4 letter aged .com domain name is worth $19,000.
The complainant in this UDRP is an entity called KION Material Handling GmbH. A Google search shows that this company (unless I am mistaken) uses KionGroup.com for its website. This domain name was created in 2006. Interestingly, on the company’s about us page, it says “In Chinese, KION means ‘Proud of the victory’.” Even if the domain registrant wasn’t called Kion, wouldn’t this indicate that the meaning of the “kion” keyword in the domain name is descriptive? Assuming this is the same Kion that filed the UDRP, it appears that it is publicly traded. Wikipedia lists this company’s founding year as 2006. Again, I am not 100% certain it is the same (or an affiliated) company that filed the UDRP but it looks that way to me based on Google searches.
The complainant will need to prove several things in order to win the UDRP. Among them is that the domain name “has been registered and is being used in bad faith.” This seems unlikely to me given the fact that the registrant has the Kion name in its brand and the domain name was registered so long ago. I have no idea why the complainant feels it could win a UDRP case like this unless I am missing something.
I will be keeping my eye on this UDRP and will share an update once the decision is published.
Update: The complaint was denied. A finding of reverse domain name hijacking was considered, but the panel ruled against it. The domain owner did not respond to the UDRP proceeding.