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Les noms de domaine .be / .be domeinnamen

10 ans d'existence du règlement pour la résolution des litiges en la matière / 10 jaar bestaan van het reglement ter beslechting in deze materie


On 7 December 2000, the newly created non-profit organization DNS. be adopted the Terms and conditions for domain name registrations under the “.be” domain. These terms and conditions revolutionized the registration of “.be” domain names. The “.be” domain evolved from a small, closed domain, where domain names were reserved for organizations and undertakings showing that the requested domain name corresponded to their name or trademark, to a modern, open domain that applies the “First come, first served” rule as one of its key principles.

This choice to liberalize the “.be” domain paid off extremely well. The number of registered “.be” domain names increased from 40.000 to more than 1,3 million. At the same time, the cost for registration decreased from 40 EUR to 2,5 EUR per domain name per year.

As expected, the liberalization also brought with it some cases of cyber squatting. The experience in the generic Top Level Domains or gTLD’s, like the “.com” or “.net” domains, showed that more freedom is used by some (a small minority) to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others. DNS.be was well aware of this risk and with the liberalization, it introduced in its terms and conditions a Dispute Resolution Policy. Pursuant to this policy, the registrant of a “.be” domain name agrees that his domain name will be transferred to a third party (the complainant) if that party asserts and proves that:

  • the domain name is identical or similar to a trademark, a trade name, a company name etc.;
  • the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
  • the registrant acted in bad faith.

CEPANI, the Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration, is the accredited Dispute Resolution Entity for the “.be” domain name disputes. From January 2001 until September 2012, more than 283 cases have been introduced with CEPANI. CEPANI asked a few eminent authors to share their experience and their ideas about domain names and domain name disputes, and published their contributions in this book. This publication is bilingual (French/Dutch).

Authors:Tom Heremans, Olivia De Prelle, Benjamin Docquir, Michel Flamée, Geert Glas, Philippe Laurent and Peter Vergote.


Tom Heremans
Tom Heremans