• Henry Park

Don't try to sue France in US courts


Jean-Noel Frydman purchased the France.com domain name in 1994. He set up a business and registered France.com as a trademark. However, in 2014, he sued a Dutch company in a French court. The Republic of France intervened in the lawsuit and claimed the exclusive right to use the term "France" commercially under French law. The court agreed, and ordered the domain name to be transferred to the Republic of France.


Mr. Frydman promptly filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Republic of France (France.com, Inc. v. The French Republic, Case No. 20-1016 (4th Cir. Mar. 25, 2021) (Motz, J.)). On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that France has sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and dismissed the case.


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