Domain name disputes

General principle:  “First come, first served”

It is possible that a domain name that conflicts with certain rights of a third party is registered.  

Domain names are registered according to the principle of “first come, first served.” What does this entail? 

  • We do not assess any rights to that domain name that you, as a registrant, may or may not have. 
  • We do not assess whether your domain name is suitable for the intended purpose. 
  • Registrants bear full responsibility themselves for the use of the domain name and the content of the website.  

If a dispute does occur, however, we are not in a position to comment on the matter. We refer the case to the competent public authorities. This is clearly stipulated in the general terms and conditions that apply to all .be, .vlaanderen, and .brussels registrants.

In the event of a domain name dispute 

Amicable agreement 

If a domain name dispute should arise, we advise you to reach an amicable agreement with the other party by urging the latter to transfer the domain name and then put everything down in a written agreement. It is possible that the registrant may ask for a specific amount of money for the transfer of the domain name. 

The domain name can be transferred to the transferee on the basis of the transfer agreement. The registrar will use the standard procedure to that end. 

Procedural measures 

If the holder refuses to transfer the domain name by amicable agreement, you can take legal action. In such a case, there is a difference in the procedure for .be domain names and for .vlaanderen or .brussels domain names

Procedures available for .be domain names 

If you think that your rights have been infringed by the registration of a .be domain name, you can refer the dispute to the competent court or to the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation, CEPANI.

The two possible procedures are then: 

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, (ADR) procedure before the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation CEPANI
  • Procedure pursuant to the Unlawful Registration of Domain Names Act of 26 June 2003. (now enshrined as Article XII.22 of the Code of Economic Law)

Procedures available for .vlaanderen or .brussels domain names 

If you think that your rights have been infringed by the registration of a .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name, you can appeal to one of UDRP providers designated by ICANN or refer the dispute to the competent court (provided the registrant has a place of residence or establishment in Belgium). 

The two possible procedures are the:

  • Alternative procedure (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy,  abbreviated as UDPR) before one of the UDRP providers designated by icann
  • Procedure pursuant to the Unlawful Registration of Domain Names Act of 26 June 2003. (now enshrined as Article XII.22 of the Code of Economic Law)