Transactions / Pre-litigation

With more than 25 years of experience in the regulatory and technical scope of domain names, SafeBrands’ team of expert lawyers can meet all of your needs when acquiring, defending and protecting the domain names that are important for your business.




This document outlines all the legal services that SafeBrands experts can carry out for you. These services have been optimized over time and have proven effective for many rights holders and licence owners, allowing many problems to be overcome. Above all, they are based on 20 years of experience in the world of domain names that have allowed us to develop an original methodology incorporating the best of our two disciplines: law and technology.

Doubtless because of these multiple skills, we don’t believe in ready-made answers. That’s why this document instead presents broadly typical answers, which we will adapt according to your specific needs. It is therefore essential to talk to a member of the team to present your specific problem—we will think together about the most suitable solution for you, for example by combining the different services that we present here.


    SafeBrands is one of the few providers in the world offering registration and management of domain names in all worldwide domain extensions, without exception. We only help companies and brand owners, providing them with our tools and our experts—lawyers and technicians—to optimize the security of their brands on the internet.


    Being accredited by national authorities (ccTLDs) or ICANN registries (gTLDs) enables better management and security of your names, but not only this. Our status as a Global Registrar also provides us with expertise in dispute resolution policies that we can manage directly with the relevant authorities.

    As a leading player in governance, SafeBrands has been actively involved in ICANN summits for 20 years with the aim of collaborating on the development of registries policies for the benefit of our clients. This is also an opportunity to interact with community members and help develop global governance policies. We are at the source of the information. This experience guarantees you both rare expertise in the management of the different procedures, even the most obscure, and also the necessary technical expertise to find solutions other than an uncertain court decision.


    It is difficult to list all the procedures due to the number and the lack of alignment between them. But, very often, there is an inexpensive and quick solution allowing you to find out who owns a domain name, recover it, block it, etc., whether you have rights or not. Some of these solutions are not well known because they are sometimes the result of a direct collaboration with the registries.


    Knowing the registries is one thing, but knowing the different players in the industry (registrars, resale or auction platforms, holders of generic names portfolios, etc.) is another. Our different relationships can enable us to get certain service providers to lift anonymity, speed up domain name blocking in case of infringement, etc.

    Some procedures allow you to obtain results you might not think of immediately. For example, how do you obtain a name transfer on the basis of a complaint for inaccurate WHOIS data?


    As you will see later in this document, our expertise in online brand protection taught us a long time ago that the solution to a dispute cannot be based solely on legal considerations. It is essential to be able to decipher the technical configuration of a name, know the impact of its practical use, know how to assess the appropriateness of the domain extension, the potential value of the name on the second market and much more besides. SafeBrands’ multi-disciplinary team has been training continuously in these subjects over the last 20 years to be able to provide the best answers.


    Is the infringement critical and does it require immediate action? If this is the case, we will take action directly with the service providers concerned to obtain blocking of the domain name without delay, before making any contact with the domain name holder.

    Will the domain name then be integrated into your portfolio? If so, legal action may be taken against the domain name holder. This may involve asserting your rights according to the procedures presented in the document, but you can also ask for verification of the coordinates given in the WHOIS database, which, if they are incorrect, may lead to transfer or deletion of the name, depending on the procedures of the registry/regulatory authority. It can then be recovered by our services without a legal dispute, or re-registered for your use. We can see here that every problem is different and requires a tailored answer. Contact us for more information!

Purchase of domain name

Are you interested in acquiring a domain name but don’t have any rights to it? SafeBrands offers to negotiate its purchase for you.



A domain name that is already registered (descriptive or not) interests you for a project or your company’s brand strategy. You want to buy this domain name but don’t want to reveal your identity.

You don’t know how to proceed and wish to have the best chance of concluding an agreement by using the secure services of a trusted third party. You have reached an agreement with a domain name seller and would like to benefit from our expertise to carry out the transactions.

SafeBrands offers to stand in for you for all the procedures, through its domain name buyback service. In most cases of this type, it is not possible to establish the infringement of intellectual property rights; the name holder is the legitimate “owner.” The owner cannot be forced to part with it.

In addition, we will routinely evaluate the value of the name. Even if we cannot guarantee that the amount will match the holder’s expectations, this estimate will avoid unnecessary steps, if it is clear that the budget to be allocated is lower than the estimated value of the name.

Even if success is unfortunately never guaranteed, our experts are available to make specific analyses of possible additional actions that may crop up during the file in light of our discussions and the information collected.

Our service offering is divided into three major steps:

      1. Negotiations
      2. Agreement on the sale price
      3. Name transfert and transfert to you




Expenses related to this mandate are non-refundable and invoiced by domain name, at the unit cost given in the appendix. They are charged for communications between SafeBrands and the domain name holder and for all negotiation that we will undertake, as detailed below.

In certain cases, if the time required for the file exceeds the current standard duration (approximately two hours), continuing the procedures will result in additional billing for the time involved. In this case, you will be consulted beforehand so you can decide whether to continue or end the procedure.



If the holder agrees on a selling price, the quote for domain buyback will be sent to you, with the following details:

Depending on the seller’s country of residence, trading as well as purchase of the domain name may be carried out in a foreign currency (€, £, etc.).

During trading, we will provide you with these amounts in their original currency and Canadian dollar equivalents. The buyback amount will be charged in Canadian dollars. To this calculation we apply the conversion rate in force on the day the quote was made. Nevertheless, a safety margin equivalent to 0.05 points of the conversion rate in effect will be retained.

Communicate in private.

These depend on the registry that manages the domain extension in question.

Once the buyback quote is signed, the invoice will be sent immediately. Payment must be on receipt of this invoice. If your company cannot settle the buyback immediately at the risk of thwarting the agreement with the seller, SafeBrands will offer you a cash advance option.

This service allows us to place the necessary funds on the secure platform upon receipt of the signed quote by our sales department. In fact, too great a delay can jeopardize the transaction and cause the seller to reconsider its decision. In addition, the extra follow-up required to manage the payment delay may result in the billing of specific fees.



Once the buyback has been concluded, we will proceed with the repatriation of your domain name to our account. In any case, we will keep the name ownership for 60 days to avoid speculation by cyber squatters. During this period, the domain name cannot be used.

This period is however optional, you can ask us to change the owner immediately in order to use the domain name as soon as possible.

Assignment to a third party

You are interested in selling one of your domain names and have contacted or have a long-standing relationship with a potential buyer? SafeBrands offers to negotiate the sale on your behalf and secure the financial transaction.



One of your company’s domain names is of no more use to you and you wish to sell it to a third party that has expressed interest or with which you have a relationship. However, you do not know how to proceed to ensure that you sell the name at an appropriate price, and you wish to benefit from a completely secure transactional process.

SafeBrands will act on your behalf throughout the process to oversee negotiations, and, if required, to guide you in determining the selling price.

Thanks to its comprehensive management solution, SafeBrands will complete the financial transaction in a secure way using a trusted third party so as not to risk transferring the domain name before receipt of funds (which the buyer will place in an escrow account). The buyer will be guaranteed to receive the domain name before the payment is released.

The process does not require a written or handwritten authorization and thus avoids a more complex contractual formality that can cause significant delays.

The service requires a two-part billing sequence in order to best respond to the various situations that may arise:

After the potential buyer’s contact information and desired selling price have been transmitted to SafeBrands’ legal department, we contact the interested person to initiate financial negotiations. You will be updated periodically on the actions taken and therefore on the status of negotiations.

The fees for this mandate are non refundable and billed by domain name at the fixed price found in the appendix.

Upon completion of the financial transaction, a second quote will be written up containing the following expenses:

• Domain name sale amount

• SafeBrands commission

• Trusted third party and transaction expenses, starting at 120 CAD

Amicable Recovery

You notice a third party has unlawfully registered a domain name to which you own the rights. SafeBrands offers to negotiate its amicable assignment so that its “transfer” is free of charge or at least at a reasonable price.



It often happens that a domain name for which you believe you own intellectual property rights has already been registered by a third party that does not have any legal interest or right to it.

Some unlawful registrations are occasionally made by people who have not conducted prior research. The owner does not realize the registration infringes a pre-existing right.

Other fraudulent registrations are carried out by professionals in the field who are aware of the infringement of your rights, but hope to sell the domain name, sometimes at a prohibitive price, by leveraging on the owner’s inaction.

In that kind of situation, due to the variety of available arbitration proceedings, complexity of court submission rules, necessary period for the treatment of your request and associated costs, it is preferable to try and obtain the domain name transfer directly from the owner.

If this is unfortunately not successful, please note that any binding proceedings require, before their initiation, an attempt at amicable resolution. Case analysis experts will take this approach, often a prerequisite, into consideration. Most importantly, it will, in most cases, allow them to gather evidence of the owner’s bad faith.

In order to assert your rights and recover such domain names, SafeBrands offers an “amicable recovery” service detailed below.



Mandate fees are non refundable and vary based on domain name. They pay for our team of experts to build the case and for all actions taken to get the owner to transfer the domain name free of charge. In some cases, when the time spent on the case exceeds the standard time (about two hours), the excess time will be subject to additional billing. In such a case, you will be consulted beforehand so you can decide whether to pursue or stop the intervention. If the recovery must be initiated and conducted in an emergency situation, we also offer an option that allows you to benefit from quicker actions.

SafeBrands cannot guarantee that owner of the contentious domain name will give in to your arguments. We may discover, once the process is initiated, that the owner has rights to the domain name (private WHOIS, owner acting in practice for a legitimate third party, etc.). Rest assured that our expertise in the field of domain names enables us to handle every foreseeable course of action.


If the recovery process is successful, the domain name will be transferred to you and its management entrusted to SafeBrands.

As such, you will be required to expend the following fees:

    •  Domain name transfer fees and a minimal one-year subscription at the cost of the domain extension in which it is registered.
    • Owner change fees corresponding to the domain



The domain name holder may wish to receive a certain amount in exchange for the domain name transfer: if the owner is experienced, he or she might think that transferring the name without going through arbitration proceedings means you are saving money and will thus ask for a slightly

In some cases, the owner may purely and simply refuse to transfer the name by arguing that the claimed rights are weak, or may request a larger sum.

It will therefore be up to you to decide whether you buy the domain name back under new conditions or launch arbitration or judicial proceedings, even though buyback would allow for a faster recovery.

Our experts are available to make specific analyses of possible additional actions which may crop up during the file in light of our discussions and the information collected.

Lifting anonymity

Domain name holders’ contact information is occasionally hidden in WHOIS databases. However, finding an owner’s identity is an essential prerequisite to initiating any kind of process, because it enables us to take the best actions for the situation, or even to decide, once we have all the information, not to take action if the owner turns out to be acting legally. Processes differ depending on the type of de-identified WHOIS.


    Some ccTLD registries such as the CIFA/ACEI (.CA), AFNIC (.FR) or NASK (PL) automatically register domain names requested by private persons as “restricted.” In fact, in compliance with different registries’ policies for protecting the privacy of personal information, an owner’s contact information is unavailable by default within the WHOIS database.

    In that case, the legitimate third party cannot identify the cybersquatter who requested the reservation for the contentious domain name. Fortunately, most registries provide tools for brand owners to obtain disclosure of WHOIS data.

    The process varies depending on the registry, but you often have to justify the request with a prior brand right corresponding to the domain name in the country of the domain extension.


    Some domain name holders call on third party providers to de-identify their WHOIS contact information when registering their domain names. They may have legitimate reasons (brand application being reviewed, spam prevention, etc.), but unfortunately, these services are often used by cybersquatters. In this way, they seek to impede the actions taken against them. In such a situation, the tools available to legitimate third parties depend on the provider’s identity.

    Our legal department’s experience and our numerous industry contacts allow us to send your request to dispense with anonymity to the aforementioned registries and proxy service providers with high chances of success. To this end, our team will build a case, submit it and monitor it until the case is closed for you and the others involved.

Protection against contentious content

You have intellectual property rights and notice a third party is unlawfully using a term covered by these rights on a website. SafeBrands offers to take action on your behalf and put an end to the problem.




Management of your brand and its image on the internet is an essential preoccupation. It is important to control the use third parties make of it, because they often have bad intentions.

Whether you continually monitor the use of your brands or discover something that has been flagged up, learning that a third party seems to be using your brand on the internet for a nefarious purpose is always concerning: is it an attempt at defamation, copyright infringement, phishing, etc.? You must respond quickly! Our priority is to end the infringement of your rights without having to wait for a court or arbitration forum’s decision.

Such infringements require a very quick and informed intervention, and the expertise of SafeBrands lawyers will be a considerable asset to quickly putting an end to the issue. Furthermore, if there were to be a dispute, being able to list the actions you have taken before the court would constitute an advantage in the proceedings.

SafeBrands can support these steps with an initial report in order to define the infringement of your rights before taking action. We offer to act on your behalf by claiming your rights in order to have the contentious content taken down.

The mandate may be initiated to resolve different kinds of cases:

    • A phishing site or emails (copying of a site’s content, fake president fraud, identity theft, etc.),
    • Fraudulent content on a platform operated by a third party (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ),
    • A former distributor hidden behind a private WHOIS

In most cases, an action targeting the owner will have the opposite effect than what is intended. In that case, solutions include looking into other actors on the chain such as registrars, registries or content distribution platforms. Due to the severity of the infringement, the voluntarily fraudulent owner cannot be expected to cooperate. In such a case, deleting or recovering the name becomes of secondary importance due to the infringement and may, of course, occur as a result of the action taken with the provider or be recovered through an amicable recovery mandate.



The fees for this service are non refundable and billed, for each takedown request, at the flat rate found in the appendix. They pay for our team of experts to build the case and for all actions aimed at having the infringement withdrawn.

In certain cases, if the time required for the file exceeds the current standard duration (approximately two hours), continuing the procedures will result in additional billing for the time involved. In this case, you will be consulted beforehand so you can decide whether to continue or end the procedure.

SafeBrands cannot guarantee that the provider housing the contentious content will accept your arguments. We may discover, once the process is initiated, that the provider has prior rights to the domain name. Rest assured that our expertise in the field of domain names enables us to handle all of the different foreseeable courses of action.




Before any action is taken and for us to better plan out our task, it will be necessary to build a case. You may then be asked to send us copies of any official document certifying the intellectual property rights that you seek to assert.

Based on these, our legal department will establish an action plan and identify the best steps to take for your situation.

A status report will also be created and the following elements recorded and archived: 

    • Copy of the domain name WHOIS data, if relevant
    • Screenshot of the page(s) in question
    • Screenshot of the source code of the page(s) in question
    • The result of in-depth research to identify the type of domain name holder and the different possible contact methods

These steps are taken to be able to identify any change in situation, to make sure we can move forward on a case even if the provider refuses to cooperate.





After the case is built, the contact means identified by our legal department—email addresses, phone number, social media, mailing address, etc.—will be used successively to issue one or several formal demand(s) to the provider.

We will use all available means and send demands by registered mail with notification of delivery. We will notify you as soon as we have contacted the provider and will let you know what his/her position is.

Our knowledge of the industry and its stakeholders will enable us to adapt our necessary requests to the providers while leaving the owner in the dark to avoid any action on his/her part that would prevent us from reaching a resolution based on the initially identified infringement.

The success of this process also depends on the attitude of the provider, who sometimes prefers to ignore our requests and wait for a binding decision. The relevance of your intellectual property rights in the potential case will be very important as well.

If the provider first refuses to put an end to the issue, we will send the request again to remind him/her of your rights and the risk incurred. If, over a three-month period, the provider cannot be reached or refuses to comply with the request, we will inform you and close the case. A report of our research and actions will be sent to you.


Verification of registration data


    You notice that a registered domain name that you are interested in acquiring or to which you have intellectual property rights is owned by an individual or corporation, and you suspect that the owner does not meet the domain extension’s eligibility criteria.


    Some registries offer a WHOIS information verification procedure (Ex: gTLDs, .FR, .CA, etc.) to get the domain name holder to update his/her WHOIS information.

    However, in some cases, the owner cannot or will not update the WHOIS information. In this case, depending on the domain extension, the domain name may then be blocked, suspended or even deleted. The experience of SafeBrands’ legal department and its numerous contacts with registries improve our chances of succeeding in such a process to have a domain name deleted.

    The process can also be a preliminary step to initiating a mandate to maximize the chances of establishing contact or, if not, to potentially block or delete the name. If new contact information is obtained, we will be able to redirect or even close the case if the owner turns out to be acting legally.

Administrative and arbitration procedures


If all amicable options have been exhausted, you must turn to the binding option with specialized agencies.

Our legal department will first study the chances of success of the process based on the domain name and its domain extension as well as your rights. If you choose to initiate the process, we will then proceed to the necessary formalities to file your request. Our expertise and the contacts we have had for more than 20 years with local registries are particularly useful for conflicts with ccTLDs.

There are two types of proceedings:



      As opposed to legal proceedings, which are often long and costly, an arbitral or extra-judicial action will allow you to assert your rights faster and at a lower cost.

      Proceedings vary based on domain extension. For gTLDs, rules are harmonized via the ICANN who, with the WIPO, created the UDRP and URS.

      The case of country codes or ccTLDs is more complicated, because national registries are free to offer or not an extra-judicial case settlement process. Most domain extensions have followed the principle of the UDRP or a local equivalent (the DPRS of the .UK or INDRP of .IN). This involves about 70 countries, such as Canada (.CA), Chile (.CL), Brazil (.BR), Mexico (.MX), India (.IN), China (.CN), South Korea (.KR) Greece (.GR) and France (.FR).


Some registries do not offer arbitral conflict resolution settlement methods. Nonetheless, some of them offer bridging processes before a judicial procedure—this is the case for .DE in Germany, for instance—or allow you to object to a registration, as with .HU in Hungary. Other domain extensions offer internal solutions, such as the United Arab Emirates’ .AE (where your rights must be claimed with the registry), Tunisia’s .TN (where the request is made with the national telecommunications regulation authority) or the Italian .IT, which offers a mediation service. 

In such cases, the claimant cannot obtain the litigious domain name’s transfer with the registry. However, it is possible to block, suspend or even delete the domain name and thus indirectly register the domain for your benefit through automatic recovery as soon as it becomes available in the public domain.