Domain name registration made simple to prevent cybersquatting

France

The French Association for Cooperation in Internet Naming (AFNIC) has taken a step to promote the country-code top-level domain '.fr' and minimize the risk of domain name disputes by allowing newly created companies to pre-register a domain name identical to their corporate name, trade name or trademark.

Entrepreneurs can now pre-register the name or mark of a new company as a '.fr' domain name while registering the company with the Chamber of Commerce (as is required by French law). This measure should prevent the registration by a third party of a domain name incorporating the new company's name or mark.

The entrepreneurs receive a temporary pre-registration number valid for 15 days, which they must then hand over to an AFNIC-accredited internet service provider of their choice to continue the domain name registration process. Failure to apply for registration within 15 days results in cancellation of the pre-registration number. The name is then made available to other interested parties.

Given the simplicity of the process, the future '.eu' registry would be well advised to adopt a similar type of regulation.

Marc-Roger Hirsch, Cabinet Hirsch & Associés, Paris

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