Another blow to the former owner of France.com.
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined a writ of certiorari for a dispute involving France.com. Jean-Noël Frydman asked the court to consider his case after exhausting all over court avenues in the United States.
Frydman registered France.com in 1994 and used the domain for many years to promote travel to France.
In 2014, Frydman’s company France.com, Inc. filed a lawsuit in Paris against a Dutch company alleging trademark infringement of France.com. The French Republic and its tourism agency, Atout France, intervened in the matter.
The French government convinced successive courts that the government — not someone in the U.S. — should own France.com. The government 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.
In 2018, the French government presented a copy of the Paris Court of Appeals decision over France.com to Web.com, and Web.com transferred the domain to it.
Frydman sued in U.S. court in 2018. The French government convinced the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the French government has sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Frydman petitioned the appeals court for en banc rehearing but was rejected.
He then filed a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court rejected it in its order list today.