In autumn 2015 the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) will introduce the new .swiss-TLD. The Federal Government applied for this new TLD in order to protect the community interests of Switzerland and to provide an additional promotion tool. The .swiss-TLD has its legal basis in art. 49 seq. Internet Domain Ordinance (IDO).
The sunrise period for the new domain will be from 7 September to 9 November 2015 and the domain names will be generally available from 11 January 2016.
A company that aims to register a .swiss-domain has to have a sufficient link to Switzerland, the intended use has to be legal and there has to be an objective relationship between the applicant and the domain name (trademark, company name, geographic relationship).
There will be two types of domain names: generic, such as hotel.swiss, and regular domain names.
Only regular domain names can be registered in the usual form and cost 90 CHF/year (wholesale price). All applications for regular domain names will be published for 20 days to give other interested parties the chance to apply for the same domain names. In case of registration conflicts, the OFCOM has published a resolution scenario based on the type of registrants (public body, company with trademark, others) and in case of two registrants of the same types, different criteria to determine which party will get the domain name.
The OFCOM will publish a list with generic domain names. These names will be assigned in a separate process by way of time-limited naming mandates. The application fee for such a naming mandate will be 2800 CHF and the yearly fee 360 CHF (wholesale prices). The requirements for being awarded a naming mandate are much higher compared to regular .swiss-domain names.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.