29 Rights Protection Mechanisms

Prototypical answer:

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.alsaceREGION D ALSACEsdv.frView

The registrarʹs priority is to protect the trademarks of local companies as well as the names of local institutions.
First, Alsace Regional Council will set up mechanisms concerning certain audiences to protect sensitive domain names. Qualifying holders will be able to register within a clearly defined framework during several sunrise periods. They will need to prove that they hold earlier rights.

Sunrise 1 concerns public entities in the Alsace Region: cities, towns, villages, groupings of municipalities, consular chambers, local institutions, universities, secondary and primary schools and inter-branch organisations.

The amount of the charge during Sunrise 1 will be €35.
Alsace Regional Council will send all entities a letter inviting them to contact their registrar if they wish to register a domain name using the .alsace extension. This letter will give details of the procedure to follow, the length of the period, instructions regarding renewal.

Sunrise 1 will last 4 months and may be extended by Alsace Regional Council if necessary (if there are too many applications, if entities are too slow to answer or if further promotion is needed).

The entity will be asked to justify its application with a letter on a headed notepaper featuring its its INSEE code (The INSEE code is a numerical indexing code used by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) to identify entities such as municipalities, Departements, overseas territories, etc.)

Note concerning domain names subject to naming conventions:
All domain names subject to the convention below are reserved for public entities on provision of proof (INSEE identifier) during the sunrise periods and during the go-live period. This gives public entities an added degree of security.

The domain names concerned are:
agglo-name.alsace for ʺagglomeration communitiesʺ (urban communities)
cc-name.alsace for ʺcommunites of communesʺ (groupings of municipalities)
gc-name.alsace for ʹConseils Générauxʺ (Departemental councils)
mairie-name et ville-name for villages and towns
ʺnameʺ stands for the name of the ʺagglomerationʺ, the ʺcommunity of communesʺ, the Departemental Council, the name of the town or village.

Sunrise 2 is intended for Alsatian associations. It will start the day after Sunrise 1 ends and will last 3 months.
Associations will be able to register their names or abbreviation. All the eligibility criteria must be met.
The amount of the tax during Sunrise 2 will be €35.

In order to approve the application the registrar must check that the association has provided the following documents:
- a copy of the certificate of registration in the register of associations held by the Tribunal dʹInstance in Alsace.
- a letter on headed notepaper containing the stated aim of the association, its official name, the address of its registered office

Alsace is a region with plenty of associations because of historical reasons and local customs (rules and regulations of associations are not the same in Alsace and in France).
The Regional Council subsidies more than 1 200 Alsatian associations each year (or associations willing to increase the attractiveness of Alsace). All these associations will be informed by post about their dedicated sunrise period.
All other associations will be informed through press releases already scheduled in the communication plan. The “maison des associations” (a structure helping associations) of each city will be informed by post and will receive a poster.

Sunrise 3 is intended for companies. This phase will take place at the same time as Sunrise 2.
This period will allow companies to register their names and⁄or the exact name of the company and⁄or the logo.

The Registry will contact the TMCH(s) (Trademark Clearing House(s)) identified by the ICANN in order to inform holders about the next upcoming of their dedicated Sunrise period.

In order to register the domain name requested, companies will have to demonstrate the following status: owner, holder, licence holder (where appropriate) of the earlier right relied upon (sunrise eligibility requirements (SERs))
that the right relied upon is on the date of application, a legally valid right; and
that the evidence submitted to the registrar concerning the data consists of authentic, certified true copies of the original documents to be taken into consideration and that they provide proof of the existence earlier right relied upon, that they are complete, accurate, current and non-fraudulent.
The amount of the tax during Sunrise 3 will be €35.

Attribution during Sunrise 1,2 and 3 will be based on the first-come, first-served rule. The first applicant being the first one to deliver online all the information and attachments required. All applications, even valid ones, arriving afterwards after will be turned down.

During the landrush period domain names will be available for registration to all legal or natural persons. This period will last 2 months.

period will be checked. For each domain name requested the registrant will have to provide:
- justify his plans with a description, at most three pages long, of what he wishes to do with the domain
- prove his location in Alsace
The charge for domain names registered during the landrush period will be increased, exceptionally, to €150. In n+1, the charge will return to €35

Domain names will be attributed at the end of the landrush period after validation by a committee set up by Alsace Regional Council whose members are managers of departments at Alsace Regional Council (communication, information systems, Alsace Trademark project group, legal department) and the gTLD project manager. The committee will not need to justify its refusals to the registrar. The registry will inform the registrar about the deliberations concerning the domain names it has processed.

In the event of multiple applications for the same domain name, the committee shall make a decision in favour of the most pertinent project and the one most consistent with the Alsace trademark objectives. If the committee is unable to decide between several compliant applications, the domain name will be put up for auction.
The registrant will be invited by e-mail to connect to a secure platform using the login and password provided by Alsace Regional Council.
This platform will enable the registrant or his authorised registrar to enter his maximum bid.

The .alsace registry will take all technical and administrative measures in order to ensure a proper and fair administration during the Sunrise, Landrush and Go-live periods. The rules for the Sunrise period will apply to all applications filed during the staggered registration period, except for domain names filed by the Alsace Region itself for itself.

The .alsace registry will have access to the ICANN accredited Trademark Clearing House databases. These databases contain information about trademark holders allowing the necessary checks to be made.

Other Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs).
The Registry will apply the Trademark Claims Service guidelines in order to inform future registrants about the trademark rights. The Trademark Claim Notice will be translated into French. Further information will be forwarded to the persons concerned (registrants, trademark holders, etc.)

Note concerning the two-letter domain names:
Applicants will not be able to register a two-letter domain name. All country codes and intergovernmental organisation codes are reserved for the entitled governments.
Alsace Regional Council will follow the WIPO directives concerning such two-letter domain names and will save them for governments wishing to register.

Role of the registrar during Sunrise:
To be accredited, the registrar must check the following points before forwarding applications to the Registry:
That all application information and documents are present and valid,
That the applicant meets the criteria for his dedicated Sunrise period,
That the applicantʹs business and personal data are valid.
That the registrar is able to forward the registryʹs inquiries to the registrant.

Dispute resolution procedure

To defend the rights of entities and trademarks, Alsace Regional Council will use all URS⁄UDRP procedures and decisions approved by the ICANN.
The Region will place online on its .alsace site all the explanations and indications regarding appeals as well as information on deliberations.

In order to help local companies to protect their trademarks and to reduce the number of UDRP procedures in favour of URSs, the Registry will encourage the companies via information visible on its website to register with the TMCH.

Alsace Regional Council provides a dispute resolution procedure specific to disputes concerning .alsace domain names.
This procedure enables the removal or the transmission of a domain name within two months after the filing of the request. The complainant will have to pay the €250 (excluding VAT) costs of the proceedings. Alsace Regional Council will not repay the sums received, whatever the outcome of the procedure.

Alsace Regional Council disputes committee will decide each request on the sole basis of the evidence and writings provided by the two parties. No research will be undertaken by the Region regarding any disputes whatever.

The complainant must ensure before filing his compliant that it is in his interests to bring the proceedings and that the disputed domain name is liable to be detrimental to public order or morality or to infringe rights guaranteed by the Constitution or the law; or that it is liable to infringe intellectual property or personality rights, and that the holder cannot prove a legitimate interest or is acting in bad faith; or that the disputed domain name is identical or similar to that of the French Republic, a local authority or a grouping of local authorities or an institution or a national or local public service, and that the holder cannot prove a legitimate interest or is acting in bad faith.

Examples of proof could take the form of screenshots of the website relating to the disputed domain name: ʺparkingʺ pages, commercial links to competitor sites, etc.

Complaint procedure:
Open an account on the .alsace website
Identify and justify the request: evidence, remedies sought by the complainant.
Upload the documents necessary to the case
Pay online
Registration of the request
Review of the admissibility of the complaint and acceptance by the Regional Council.

Response procedure
Open an account on the .alsace website
Identify and respond to the complaint. Justification of the registration of the domain name.
Upload the documents necessary to the case
Validation of the response
Registration of the response for examination by the Regional Council.

In the event of a dispute between a trademark and the .alsace registry
The Alsace Region will submit to the POST-DELEGATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURE (PDDRP) to protect trademarks and will apply the decisions and sanctions taken by the Trademark PDDRP providers. Thus, the registry undertakes to respond to all complaints within the timeframe indicated, and to pay the amounts due to the Trademark PDDRP provider, where applicable.

List of Alsace Region resources available in order to deal with these problems.
The legal department of Alsace Regional Council has 4 full-time employees as well as occasionally bringing in external members, suppliers or partners of the Regional Council.
The 4 employees of the legal department will be trained in the complexities of internet domain naming. These employees are legal experts with an in-depth knowledge of industrial and intellectual property rights.
If necessary, Alsace Regional Council will have access to the services of experts at the INPI (National Industrial Property Institute) whose premises are located near the Hôtel de la Région at the following address :
Maison de lʹentreprise
Espace Européen de lʹentreprise
27, Avenue de lʹEurope
67300 Schiltigheim

The legal experts of Alsace Regional Council will be able to access the INPI databases available online for free at www.inpi.fr

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