(Newswire.net— May 1, 2018) — The dawning of the Internet brought many new business ideas, reselling domains was one of the most popular.
The idea is clear: Be the first to register a domain and wait until someone who really needs this web address contacts you with a proposal. However, registering a web addresses that contains a name protected by copyright law soon become fertile investing.
French-born American bought France.com web domain for his business, but now suffers a great injustice since the government of France reclaimed the ownership of the domain, without any notification.
Jean-Noël Frydman bought the domain France.com in 1994 and he was using this address for his business – serving the French-speaking community in the United States. By seizing the domain, the French government didn’t just snatch an address on the web but also seriously damaged Frydman’s business that he ran for more than two decades.
In 2015 the French government claimed ownership over the France.com domain, without any notification or compensation, Frydman hired the services of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School to help him defend his rights. However, in September 2017, the Paris Court of Appeals declared that France.com was operating in violation of French trademark law, a ruling which forced web.com to transfer ownership of the domain to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 12, 2018, Ars Technica reports.
Arguing that the French government misused the French judicial system to seize the France.com domain, Frydman’s lawyers emphasized the obligation of defendants to contact the Plaintiff on the matter, to discuss the trademark issue. According to Frydman’s legal team, the domain was illegally seized under “erroneous theory that Defendants were inherently entitled to take the domain because it included the word ‘France.”
Frydman, who claims he “probably” is one of the first Web.com customers, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States, suing the Republic of France, the French government tourism agency and the Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Frydman, the France.com web domain is worth millions of dollars a year.
“Starting in 1994, France.com was a pioneer in the use of the Internet for publication: it was the first company to distribute a daily French national newspaper on the Internet (Le Monde); the first to publish an online travel guide to France; the first to create an online hotel booking engine. Its other early innovations include the first viral success of the French-speaking Internet (Les Webs d’Or), and the world’s first hotel comments platform (a la TripAdvisor),” Frydman wrote on his LinkedIn profile.
Frydman’s legal team argues that the French government had already ceded that it did not own the right to the word “France,” but the case is raising the issue weather the country has the legal right to seize a domain owned by someone else, without any notification.