Washington (AFP) – The Supreme Court put a definitive end on Monday to lawsuits brought in the United States against France by a French-American businessman who wanted to restore the France.com domain name.
The highest US court has refused to hear the appeal of Jean-Noel Friedman, who accused France of “confiscating them” in violation of US property law.
The Supreme Court’s refusal is upheld by a Federal Court of Appeals ruling that, in March, ruled that Paris could not be tried on US soil in the case due to “sovereign immunity”.
Mr. Friedman, a French expat residing in the US, registered the domain name France.com in 1994, while the Internet was just a secret platform. Its information site for Francophones and Francophones living in the United States was transformed in 1997 into an online travel agency intended for the American audience.
And he confirmed, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, that he sent “between 100,000 to 150,000” tourists to France nearly 20 years ago, before the French state asked him, in 2015, to restore the name France.com.
France took over by a Paris court, and in 2016 ordered the transfer of the domain name to the state, a decision that was confirmed on appeal in September 2017. Mr. Friedman then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Without waiting for the outcome of this appeal, the company Web.com, which manages the IP address, transferred the name to the French state.
“To correct the mistakes made to his company,” the businessman then turned to American justice, to no avail.
Today, France.com is automatically redirected to France.fr, the official tourism portal in France.
© 2021 AFP
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