.swiss internet addresses: generalised opening

Biel/Bienne, 05.01.2016 - The 11 January launch of the second phase of registration of .swiss internet addresses extends the range of possible domain names and potential candidates. It also opens up the possibility for umbrella organisations or sector representatives to submit a dossier in order to obtain a generic address, such as hotel.swiss or watch.swiss, which will then be put at the disposal of the sector as a whole. The first phase has already enabled some 7000 .swiss internet addresses to be assigned.

From 11 January 2016, the .swiss internet domain will be opened up to numerous possible new addresses and will no longer be restricted to company names and trademarks. Thus applicants will be able to submit applications for names of products, slogans, geographical designations or made-up names. The applicant will still have to have a registered office and an actual administrative site in Switzerland and a clear connection with the requested internet address. Whereas they were excluded from the first phase, associations and foundations which are not listed in the commercial register will also be able to aspire to a .swiss address. However, the launch does not extend to private individuals.

In so far as they meet the basic conditions, new applications will be published weekly on the www.nic.swiss site for a period of 20 days in order to allow comments or rival applications to be submitted. If they are not contested, the domain names will be assigned at the end of this period. Otherwise, OFCOM will arbitrate disputes on the basis of the rules of the Ordinance on Internet Domains. In particular, priority will be given to public bodies and then to entities which exercise a right related to the requested name. Depending on the individual cases, auctions, drawing of lots or an evaluation of the best added value brought to the Swiss community will be used to decide between candidatures which are equivalent in every respect.

Generic addresses

January 11 also marks the opening of applications for generic addresses which relate to a sector as a whole. The procedure, termed a naming mandate, enables an umbrella association, an entity which represents a trade or an industry sector to submit a dossier to OFCOM for a domain name such as, for example, hotel.swiss or watch.swiss. The applicant will then have to make these addresses available to the entire community which it represents.

OFCOM will process each application for a generic domain name individually. It will charge a one-off fee of CHF 2900 per dossier, and CHF 360 per annum for its monitoring activities. The applicant will pay these amounts in the total invoice which its registrar will submit to it.

7000 .swiss addresses already assigned

In the course of the launch phase which ended on 9 November 2015, a total of 9738 .swiss domain names were applied for. At the end of the publication period for applications, some 7000 .swiss addresses had already been assigned.


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