France’s battle over the domain name France.com

In April of 2015, the State of France launched a legal battle – in France – to expropriate the domain name France.com, without any indemnification, from its rightful owner: the United States company France.com, Inc, claiming the latter had registered the domain name in bad faith and had not been authorized by the French state to use it.

This assertion is not only groundless and absurd, it’s entirely dishonest. This website presents the 20+ years of constant partnership between France.com and various entities and branches of the French government who were not only aware of France.com’s existence, but consistently encouraged and supported its initiatives and activities.

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and judge for yourself if we have operated for the last 20+ years without authorization from the State or France and/or its tourism agency: Atout France

Registration of the domain name France.com

February 20, 1994

My name is Jean-Noel Frydman. I was born in France and, in the early 80’s, moved to New York to study film at New York…

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Consulate General of France in Los Angeles

March 4, 1994
Consulate General of France in Los Angeles

Once our server was up and running and accessible through the address France.com , we started looking for media companies, government entities, startups and members…

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Launch of France.com’s website

June 18, 1995
Launch of France.com’s website

Our very first website was released on June 18, 1995, and it included information about French culture, the Francophile community and a small section on…

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France’s Ministry of Culture enthusiastically endorses Les Webs d’Or

December 10, 1995
France’s Ministry of Culture enthusiastically endorses Les Webs d’Or

Our early initiatives also brought support from other branches of the French government. Such was the case for Les Webs d’Or. By December of 1995…

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French Embassy in Washington DC

February 5, 1996
French Embassy in Washington DC

France Online became the natural outside contractor when, in 1995 the French Embassy in Washington needed to build its first online presence. We had the…

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France.com builds first website devoted to travel to France

November 10, 1997
France.com builds first website devoted to travel to France

In 1997, due to the overwhelming request from our web readers, France.com focused on providing information on travel to France, becoming the first website promoting…

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French Affairs

October 15, 2002

Since 2002, Atout France has organized yearly events in the United States. The 2-day events, called French Affairs, take place in different American cities and…

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Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

March 21, 2009
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

October 25, 2009
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

France.com wins Atout France’s award for ‘Best Website’

October 25, 2009

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

March 30, 2010
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

October 24, 2010
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

France.com wins Atout France’s award for the tour operator with ‘The Most Diverse and Extensive Offer’

October 25, 2010

France.com wins Atout France’s award for ‘Tour Operator of the Year’

October 25, 2010

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

March 29, 2011
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

Atout France registers US trademark, asserting ‘no claim to the exclusive right to use “France” in the US

September 20, 2011
Atout France registers US trademark, asserting ‘no claim to the exclusive right to use “France” in the US

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

October 23, 2011

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

March 27, 2012
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

       

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Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

October 22, 2012
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

France.com wins Atout France’s award for the tour operator with ‘The Most Diverse and Extensive Offer’

October 22, 2012

Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

March 26, 2013
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during Rendez-Vous en France annual trade show

   

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Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

October 19, 2014
Atout France invites and promotes France.com during French Affairs trade show

France’s Tourism Minister to France National Assembly: “Government has no right to domain name France.com because of the first come first serve rule of .com registrations

October 20, 2014
France’s Tourism Minister to France National Assembly: “Government has no right to domain name France.com because of the first come first serve rule of .com registrations

“URL France.com is the property of a US travel agency since 1994” states committee headed by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

December 17, 2014
“URL France.com is the property of a US travel agency since 1994” states committee headed by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Invitation to meet Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

April 1, 2015
Invitation to meet  Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs

As part of the US Atout France delegation, I was asked to participate in a breakfast in honor of Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign…

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France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Atout France jointly initiate lawsuit against France.com in French court, demanding that France.com’s trademarks and domain name be transferred to them without any compensation

April 15, 2015

“It’s imperative that we profit from using the URL France.com” declares Laurent Fabius while also stating that the URL is owned by a Florida company…

June 9, 2015

In JUne 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs convenes a committee on Tourism and  it the latter comes up with 40 recommendations to grow Tourism…

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French lower court (Paris’ TGI) issues Judgement

November 27, 2015
French lower court (Paris’ TGI) issues Judgement

On November 2015, Paris,Tribunal de Grande Instance rendered its decision regarding the domain name France.com and related European and French trademarks:   And here is…

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Paris Court of Appeals Judgement

September 22, 2017
Paris Court of Appeals Judgement

Handed on September 22, 2017 was this decision from the Court of Appeals Here’s the English translation of the judgment

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France.com’s domain name is transferred to France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs without any advance notice and no compensation.

March 12, 2018

On March 12,2018  the domain name France.com was transferred by Web.com to the France’s ministry of Foreign Affairs and Europe. After almost a quarter-century France.com…

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France.com, Inc. files lawsuit against the French Republic, its ministry of Foreign Affairs, its minister of Foreign Affairs and Atout France in the Eastern District Court of Virginia

April 23, 2018

INTA submits Amicus Brief

February 28, 2019
INTA submits Amicus Brief

It is INTA’s position that, states do not possess exclusive rights to geographic terms and that the rights of trademark owners as established under the international legal framework – including the above binding international treaties – should be recognized and protected. In our opinion, no interpretation of the public interest provides justification for disregarding such international legal framework as it applies to trademarks. Such an approach would be inconsistent with the legal obligations of the 177 contracting parties of the Paris Convention under Article 6 and, therefore, should not be upheld by the national courts of those countries.

Eastern District of Virginia Federal court denies France’s motion to dismiss: France can no longer dodge US case about Domain name

December 6, 2019
Eastern District of Virginia Federal court denies France’s motion to dismiss: France can no longer dodge US case about Domain name

France’s answer to Federal courts order

January 10, 2020
France’s answer to Federal courts order

You can also dig deeper, by having a look at  Financial documents, miscellaneous correspondence and partnership offers made to France.com.

“Don’t steal! The government hates competition.” (Libertarian slogan)

 

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