Procedure act of 26th june 2003

Belgian legislators decided in 2003 to tackle the fight against cybersquatting and typosquatting by passing the Procedure Act of 26th June 2003 (B.S.J. 09.09.2003).

This act applies to all .be domain names, as well as to all registrants who reside or have company premises in Belgium. The Act differs essentially from the scope of application of the ADR procedure. Domain names from generic domains (such as .com, .org, .net, .vlaanderen, .brussels, .club) and from domains with country codes (such as .nl, .fr, .de) come under the Act, although only if the registrant has his/her/its place of residence or company premises in Belgium.

The procedure is submitted and dealt with as a claim as in interlocutory proceedings before the president of the court of first instance or the commercial tribunal.

For the transfer of a domain name to take place, all three of these conditions need to be demonstrated:

  • The domain name is identical to, or corresponds with it in such a way that it may cause confusion with details such as a brand, geographic location or original name, trade name, an original work, name of a company or association, family name or the name of a geographic entity that belongs to someone else.
  • The registrant had no entitlement or legitimate interest with regard to that domain name.
  • The party registering the domain name acted with the intention of causing harm to a third party or obtaining unjustified benefit from so doing.

If all three of these conditions are met, the president of the court may order both the deletion and the transfer of the domain name. The recommendation is that the transfer of the domain name be ordered in view of the fact that there is a risk that after the domain name has been deleted, it is simply re-registered in bad faith by a third party.

registrant

Domain owner, person who holds a domain name.

cybersquatting

Harmful practice where a cybersquatter registers domain names that are identical to well known and registered brand names or trade names, merely with the aim of harming the brand name holder or the trader or to sell the domain name at an inflated price.

ADR

Alternative Dispute Resolution. Any party with an interest can lodge an application for the alternative dispute resolution with CEPINA to settle a dispute about a .be domain name. The dispute is assessed by an independent Third-Party Decision-Maker, who is a legal expert in the matter. The Third-Party Decider may decide to delete the domain name or to transfer the name to the complainant. Under normal circumstances, the registrant is able to reply once in writing to the complainant's arguments.

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