Domain names

Advice on domain names


Internet domain names are critical to the identification, visibility and recognition of business organizations.

Domain names are intangible assets of the greatest importance and on a par with trademarks and other means of securing and recognizing rights of intellectual property.

Issues relating to the choice, protection, defence of, and challenge to, domain names are of special concern to LEGRAND LESAGE-CATEL lawyers.

Choice of domain names depends on available options, which in turn rely on verification procedures specified by AFNIC.

Rights of third parties to their company or trading name, rights to trademarks and certain provisions of the law affecting public order or decency are also at issue in regard to the availability of domain names. Some terms require preliminary examination and applications to be made with supporting evidence. They may be subjected to restrictions arising from the absence of legitimate interest or on grounds of poor faith …

Protection is assured according to the “First come, first served” rule.

Procedures for settlement of disputes involve stages with which specialist lawyers are fully familiar:

  • verification of entitlement to a domain name,
  • applications for the disclosure of personal data,
  • repudiation of a domain name on grounds of its illegality or its offending of public order,
  • prior claim lodged with the applicant’s administrative contact

Procedures for settlement of disputes are available from and supported by AFNIC (PARL, SYRELI).

Judicial proceedings may in the end be necessary if the recovery or cancellation of a domain name is otherwise impossible, or when sanctions of infringements are sought, or in cases of unfair competition, in which case notifications of AFNIC may be required, given its powers to allocate and register domain names.

LEGRAND LESAGE-CATEL lawyers are fully familiar with these courses of action and avenues of legal recourse.

Our lawyers may also contribute to domain name audits and contracts.