Domain Names

There is no specific national legislation although some regulations on the organization and management of country code top-level domain names do exist.

Filing

Country code top-level domain name: .fr; .re (for Réunion); (specific extensions exist for the overseas territories)

Sub-domains: .asso.fr; .com.fr; .tm.fr; (.gouv.fr is available only for the French government). 

Applicant: individuals and legal entities.

Principle: first come, first served basis.

Restriction as to nationality: none.

Local presence: required, except for foreign companies or persons having their headquarters/main office or residence within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland (as of December 11, 2011).

Domestic trademark right: not required for obtaining domain name registration.

Domain name may be registered as a trademark: yes.

Registration, Protection

Duration: one year.

Renewal/maintenance: one year, renewable.

Dispute about ownership: to be brought before the court.

Alternative dispute resolution procedures: a variation of UDRP is available before WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, and there is also a dispute resolution procedure for obvious breaches of the provisions of the decree dated 02/06/2007 before AFNIC (Administrator of French top-level domains).  

Registration Authority name: AFNIC (NIC France) (Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération).

Internet address: www.afnic.fr.

Defense

Complaint: a notice of complaint containing some information including for example identification of the parties, name of the registrant, the specific domain name that is the subject of the complaint, the trademark(s) and the grounds upon which the complaint is based may be filed before AFNIC. A fee shall be submitted with the filed notice of complaint. If the notice is deemed non-compliant with the filing requirements, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice and the initial filing fee shall not be refunded. The registrant will have fourteen calendar days from the date the URS provider sent its notice of complaint to the registrant to electronically file a response with the URS provider. Respondent shall pay a response fee.

Transfer: voluntary transfer is possible; consent of the domain name owner and the transferee is required.

Appeal: either party shall have a right of appeal within fourteen days after a default or final determination is issued and any response must be filed fourteen days after an appeal is filed (a fee must be paid by the appellant).