Dispute resolution

Since a domain name is by nature unique in a given namespace (such as the .fr TLD), it is possible that several people may feel justified in claiming different rights on the same domain name (intellectual property rights, copyright, personality rights, trade name, etc.).

In addition, malicious practices such as cybersquatting , typosquatting or parking pages (pages with ads) have grown considerably. They make use of typing errors by Internet users to divert traffic from sites and use it to their advantage.


Procedures available to all rights holders

To help resolve these disputes when they involve the .fr or .re namespaces, Afnic provides several procedures for dispute resolution by amicable means or settlements out of court.

These procedures are available to any person or entity wishing to claim a right to a domain name. Regardless of the proceedings involved, rights holders retain the option to go to court in order to file an appeal.


Solutions by direct negotiation

While Afnic is responsible for enforcing the provisions of naming policies, rights holders are responsible for protecting and defending their rights

Prevention is better than cure

Regular consultation of the Whois directory or use of an automated monitoring service will help you identify and quickly respond to contentious registrations of domain names.

Via AFNIC, send a message to the administrative contact of a domain name you consider to be contentious.

While protecting the personal data of individual holders, Afnic provides you with a contact tool accessible through the Whois file for the domain name in question. The message is sent but its contents are not checked, there is no check to ensure the message has been received, and there is no guarantee of a reply. Access to the form

Send AFNIC a substantiated request for the disclosure of personal data

Based on specific criteria and in particular in view of the evidence supporting your rights (trademark registration certificate, company registration certificate, identity card, etc.)., Afnic may decide to lift the anonymity of an individual holder of a domain name under the .fr TLD who has opted not to disclose their personal information in the Whois database. Please note, however, that Afnic's refusal to meet the request is not binding in any way.


Ask Afnic to verify the compliance of holder information under the provisions of the naming policy.

Further to a duly substantiated request from a third party, Afnic will verify that the holder of the domain name does have a connecting link with France, that the holder is of age, and that the information recorded in the Whois database is up to date.


Out-of-court solutions

Initiate the alternative dispute resolution procedure (ADR)

"Alternative Dispute Resolution" procedures are an out-of-court method available to rights holders who consider that a third party has violated their rights by filing a domain name under the .fr or .re TLD and/or is using it in a way that is detrimental. There are two procedures:

  • The first is managed by the Paris Mediation and Arbitration Centre (CMAP). The Centre serves as mediator between the Holder and the rights holder in order to find an amicable solution. The procedure does not involve expert appraisal by the CMAP or result in a court ruling, but enables a mutual agreement to be reached between the two parties.
  • The second is managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It provides for arbitration between the holder of a domain name and the rights holder. ). The decision is handed down within two months and is enforceable.

Afnic is in no way involved in these procedures, whether in terms of expert appraisals or in the decision process.

Tools and procedures

Legal judgments for .fr