Man who lost domain name to France files petition for en banc rehearing.
Jean-Noël Frydman isn’t done fighting to regain control of France.com, a domain name he registered in 1994.
Frydman lost control of the domain name in 2018 after the French government presented a Paris Court of Appeals decision to Web.com, and Web.com transferred the domain to France.
The French Republic asserted the exclusive right to use the term “France” commercially, contending that under French law, the name “France” cannot be appropriated or used commercially by a private enterprise because doing so violates the French Republic’s exclusive right to its name and infringes on its sovereignty.
Frydman sued, but successive U.S. courts have delivered blows to his pursuit of getting the domain back. In a recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision, the court agreed that the French government has sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Now, Frydman has petitioned the appeals court for en banc rehearing. An en banc rehearing in appeals court is when the full court considers the case (rather than the three-judge panel) because the decision conflicts with other decisions by that court or a Supreme Court decision. [Update: the court rejected the request for rehearing.]
The new filing (pdf) states:
The Panel’s opinion conflicts with controlling authority and authoritative decisions in other Circuits and raises questions of exceptional importance regarding (1) United States citizens’ ability to enforce trademark rights against foreign sovereigns within the United States, (2) the supremacy of United States law, (3) the role of United States Courts in protecting United States-based property and property rights, and (4) the enforceability of United States intellectual property rights.
It’s Great to know that he has options and the means to pursue it,
otherwise countries that write and change laws like changing shirts could invoke same rights on any country, city or GEO domains and there would be no end to this Digital real estate steal.
No more face keeping or values, France could show some dignity an offer it’s real value and purchase it rather than steal it, what a shame for the French people.
Michel Payette says
France, not only designates a country, but it is also a common first name.
Yes, and most notably ‘France’ is not even the official name of the country.
The fix is in, to many powers at be have higher authority over him to pull strings sad to say.
The way to overcome this is by investing just a little money to have this story go around and raise awareness and get many eyes on the ways of the French Government.
Have the story being retweeted in social media by know people with many followers
Mr. Frydman has been unjustly forced to spend money protecting his France.com property. It would be smart to get this story before as many media outlets as possible.
I’m convinced this case could have precedential potential equal to or greater than the decisions in the Sex.com and Booking.com cases.
If the evidence was available, it would not surprise me if there is a trail of corruption showing what took place in France was corrupt in every way.
Look into how Glenn Greenwald broke the story of corruption in Brazil and what came of it, and then contemplate all that in light of this matter.
Not how you can seriously compare corruption in Brazil to France.
Well one can only hope you are not being deliberately clueless and a troll with that.
But for the common good and the cause, corruption is the same wherever you go, part of the human condition. I could just as easily have written that one should contemplate the matter of France.com in light of any example of corruption Julian Assange and Wikileaks ever exposed too, without even mentioning Glenn Greenwald and Brazil.
For (alternative) example: examine the leaks about Hillary Clinton’s campaign to win the White House and the rigging of the Democratic primary in 2016 and then contemplate the France.com matter in light of that.
Ergo – examine every instance of corruption in which the truth was leaked and exposed, and then contemplate France.com in light of it. In all likelihood, there are smoking guns of corruption somewhere that would show crookedness going on with this.
One reason why Greenwald’s expose re Brazil is a particulary good one to contemplate is because of the central involvement of the nation’s court system.
If the EN Banc panel won’t protect the 5th Amendment rights of U.S. Citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court must step in to protect the private property rights of the France.com for Mr. Frydman.
Web.com, the Courts and the State of France are trying to steal private property from Mr. Frydman.
Hopefully justice prevails.
It would definitely be desirable to bring it to SCOTUS if it comes to that.
The theoretical underpinnings of this France.com attempted property theft is great reading and consequential.
If the France.com case does end up at SCOTUS, I believe Mr. Frydman will prevail.
Only SCOTUS can deliver a landmark ruling on domain registrants ultimate rights as property owners setting national precedent.
Nope France should get its domain back no private citizen should have been allowed to register that domain it was ridiculous to make it available to register. Vive la France vive La Republique !
France didn’t have the interest to register it when they could!
Why did they wait since 1994 to pursue those supposed rights?
When democratic and lawful governments need your real estate property for public benefit they purchase it they don’t use laws not to pay for it.
I am sure if you owned it, you would have donate it to the Govt years ago.
Same if they needed your house to pass a highway you wouldn’t expect to be paid for the public good you give it up.
Vive la loi
vive la vraie justice
Clearly Web.com violated the terms of the ICAAN policy.
See ICANN, UDRP ¶ 3(b), at http:// http://www.icann.org/dndr/udrp/policy.htm (Oct. 24, 1999) (stating that the registrar will cancel or transfer the domain name upon the registrar’s “receipt of an ORDER from a court or arbitral tribunal, in each case of competent jurisdiction, requiring such action”).
Registries need to require that COURT ORDER.
This case has future SCOTUS landmark precedent written all over it if the EN BANC panel doesn’t fix the mistakes of the lower Court and the UDRP panelists.
I know we all focus primarily on domain names and whether the name was taken or not taken and stuff like that – but there seems to be another huge issue here.
Everything says that he had a trademark in france.com. So regardless of how France ended up with the domain, once they started using it in the United States, it seems they were violating his trademark rights.
This court seems to be saying that he can’t bring his trademark claim because of how France got the domain name.
So if the Supreme Court said last year that booking.com can trademark their name and has rights in it, isn’t this decision saying that so long as some country’s own courts give them rights to the domain name that that cancels those trademark rights?
It’s hard to imagine the same decision coming out if it’s not a western European court issuing a ruling-if it’s a South American or African court doing the same thing does it really seem like we end up with the same decision?
Brad Arthur says
How was Mr. Frydman using the name?
Does this mean the country of France can also take France.net or France.org or France.co or etc.?
Isn’t the .com protion of the word an inseparable part of the Word?
Andrew Allemann says
Update: the court rejected the request for rehearing
Is the original owner of France.com filing a writ to have the lower Court rulings over turned before the U.S. Supreme Court?
Andrew Allemann says
I’m not sure what their next steps are, but I’m keeping on top of it.