The SYRELI procedure (SYstème de REsolution de Litiges) is one of the two out-of-court procedures for resolving domain name disputes operated by AFNIC.
Its purpose is to request the transfer or deletion of:
- Likely to offend public order or morality or rights guaranteed by the Constitution or by law or ;
- Likely to infringe intellectual property rights or personality rights, and that the owner does not justify a legitimate interest and acts in bad faith or ;
- Identical or related to that of the French Republic, a territorial authority or group of territorial authorities or a national or local public institution or service, and that the holder does not justify a legitimate interest and is acting in bad faith.
However, the applicant must first prove to AFNIC that it has an interest in acting within the framework of the SYRELI procedure.
The SYRELI procedure, which is very similar to the UDRP procedure, is adversarial and must be conducted in French. AFNIC must communicate its decision within a maximum of two months following receipt of the complaint.
As a matter of principle, the burden of proof in the SYRELI procedure rests with the claimant to the action.
“Any person showing an interest in acting may request the competent registry to delete or transfer a domain name to him or her when the domain name falls within the cases provided for in Article L45-2.
The Office shall decide on this request within two months of its receipt, in accordance with an adversarial procedure laid down in its rules of procedure, which may provide for the intervention of a third party chosen under transparent, non-discriminatory and publicized conditions. The rules of procedure set out the ethical rules applicable to third parties and guarantee the impartial and adversarial nature of their intervention.
The internal regulations of the Office shall be approved by order of the minister responsible for electronic communications.
Decisions made by the office may be appealed to the judicial judge.”
Article L45-6 of the Code des Postes et des Communications Électroniques
Case law focus
For example, in a decision rendered in the context of a SYRELI procedure, opposing BPCE to the holder of the domain name <caisse-pargne.fr>, AFNIC decided that: ” is almost identical to the Complainant’s earlier trademark “CAISSE D’EPARGNE” and its domain name <caisse-epargne.fr> the absence of the letter “e” in the term “savings” is one of the characteristics of “typosquatting”, whose aim is to deceive Internet users by using their possible typing errors. The Panel thus considered that the documents provided by the Complainant made it possible to conclude that the Registrant had registered the domain name <caisse-pargne.fr> in order to take advantage of the Complainant’s reputation by creating a risk of confusion in the mind of the consumer. The College therefore concluded that the Petitioner had demonstrated bad faith on the part of the Registrant.
AFNIC, December 6, 2021, N° FR-2021-02554