What you need to know about the Procedure Act of 26 June 2003

In 2003, the Belgian legislator decided to fight cyber- and typosquatting crime by enacting the Act of 26 June 2003 (Belgisch Staatsblad [Belgian Official Gazette] of 9 September 2003) (now enshrined as Article XII.22 of the Code of Economic Law). 

This act applies to:  

  • All .be domain names  
  • All domain name holders who have their place of residence or establishment 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) fall under the act, but only if the holder has his/her/its place of residence or establishment in Belgium.  

The procedure is initiated and processed as a claim in interlocutory proceedings before the president of the court of first instance or the commercial court.  

To obtain the transfer of the domain name, you must meet three cumulative requirements according to the Act:  

  • The domain name is identical to or corresponds in such a way as to cause confusion with details such as:
    • a brand  
    • a geographic location or designation of origin  
    • a trade name  
    • an original work  
    • a name of a company or association  
    • a family name or the name of a geographic entity,  
    • etc. that belongs to someone else. 
  • The registrant has no entitlement to or legitimate interest in that domain name. 
  • The registrant acted with the intention of causing harm to a third party or of obtaining an unwarranted benefit.  

If all three of these requirements are met, the president of the court may order both the deletion and the transfer of a domain name. We recommend that you ask for the transfer of the domain name, because otherwise you run the risk that once it has been deleted, the domain name will be registered again in bad faith.