Conditions for generic names

Names of a generic character which are of no particular interest to all or part of the Swiss community are in principle excluded from the .swiss domain.

Domain names which correspond to or which are related to names of a generic character with particular interest for all or part of the Swiss community will be able to be assigned under a naming mandate.

These are designations that refer to or describe in a general manner a category or class of goods (e.g. chocolate, biscuits, pizza, watches), services (e.g. banking, finance, hairdressing, insurance), persons or groups (e.g. consumers, lawyers, students, families), organisations (e.g. universities, federations, associations), products (e.g. machinery, tools, cars), sectors (e.g. bakery, woodworking, construction) or activities (e.g. football, sport, yoga).

OFCOM publishes below a list of examples of names of a generic character which can be assigned under a naming mandate. This list is not exhaustive.

A mandate may include several related domain names, whether in French, German, Italian or English.

However, there are original generic terms that are so individual, for example a brand, a company or a monopoly position, that for the general public they no longer represent a type or category. Such designations no longer allow the conclusion that it is the case of a generic term within the meaning of Article 53 lit. 1f. OID. As a result, brands and company names which correspond, à priori, to a generic name and which (1) are not of particular interest (otherwise a name allocation mandate would be possible), may still be allocated to holders of trademark rights, provided this allocation (2) does not lead to confusion that could harm a third party, or(3) could result in a competitive advantage on the internet.


How to acquire a generic name?

Any candidate for a domain name which must be assigned under a naming mandate must propose a draft mandate to the registry. It is free to provide, in the form of its choice, the documentation which demonstrates how the conditions imposed on the management of a name subject to a mandate are complied with (cf. following section). The candidate also indicates all associated domain names in German, French, Italian or English which are to be the subject of the mandate.

In order to draw up the documentation to be submitted, the applicant may refer to the following document (available in german an french):

Following evaluation of the documentation received, the registry makes contact with the applicant in order to prepare the mandate. If the conditions are met, the registry provides the final version of the mandate to the candidate. The latter can then apply to their accredited registrar or reseller to request registration of the domain name or of all the names related to the mandate.

Registration applications are published by the registry for a period of 20 days to allow third parties to submit a competing application or comments.

Once the period of 20 days has elapsed, provided there are no competing applications or comments, the domain names are
assigned in principle within a period of 3 days. The registrar is informed of the allocation so that he can confirm this to his client.

Any candidate for a domain name which must be assigned under a naming mandate must propose a draft mandate to the registry. It is free to provide, in the form of its choice, the documentation which demonstrates how the conditions imposed on the management of a name subject to a mandate are complied with (cf. following section). The candidate also indicates all associated domain names in German, French, Italian or English which are to be the subject of the mandate.

After an assessment of the draft mandate, the registry publishes the application for a period of 20 days in order to allow third parties to submit a rival application or comments. In the event of multiple applications, the registry assigns the domain name to the candidate whose project brings added value for the community concerned and for the Swiss community which is clearly greater than that of the other projects. If no project meets this requirement and if the candidates cannot agree on a single or joint application, the registry subjects the assignment to a drawing of lots or to an auction.

Conditions relating to the management of a name assigned under mandate

The management of a name assigned under mandate is subject to the following conditions:

  • the domain name is assigned to an organisation which represents all or a major part of the community concerned with the name or which is supported by this community. This may be, for example, an umbrella association of the sector referred to by the domain name, not a priori a company active in this sector;
  • the use of the domain name and the performances or services offered in connection with this name benefit the entire community concerned. In principle, therefore, a name assigned under mandate cannot be assigned to a particular operator in the market who would use the name designating this market for its own interests rather than those of the community oncerned and/or would enjoy a competitive advantage over the other operators in the market;
  • the use of the name provides added value for the community concerned and for the Swiss community;
  • the applicant complies with any additional conditions which may be imposed by OFCOM as a function of the qualities expected of a domain name or of the desired project;
  • the applicant complies with the general and special conditions imposed on the assignment of a domain name;
  • the products offered with the aid of a domain name, the designation of which refers to this product, to its characteristics or to a category of products, comply with the requirements laid down in clause 2 of the Trademarks Act of 28 August 1992 concerning the protection of trade marks (Swissness).
  • Domain names assigned via a naming mandate are subject to an obligation to use. A simple redirection to a website without a .swiss suffix is prohibited. Only links to assigned .swiss domains within the naming mandate are permitted.

Alternative to a domain name assigned under mandate

A name of a generic character may be completed so that it is sufficiently individualised to no longer describe or refer to a category or a class of goods, services, persons, groups, organisations, things, techniques, sectors or activities. In such cases, the domain must not therefore be assigned under mandate, but may be assigned as a simple domain name. Examples: hotel-paradiso.swiss, carrosserie-michel.swiss, hxq-stahl.swiss.
However, an objective relationship must exist between the domain name thus formed and the entity applying for it.

List of names requested within the framework of a naming mandate

The registry publishes the names requested within the framework of a name allocation mandate which have passed the initial evaluation for a period of 20 days.

Access the list

The names are published in the list with the word "Mandate".

The list is in principle updated every Tuesday (2 pm). However, there may be a delay during public holidays.

Other applicants may submit an application for a name allocation mandate for this same domain name to the registry's address domainnames@bakom.admin.ch during the publication period.

It is also possible to notify the registry's address domainnames@bakom.admin.ch of any issues in relation to an application.

What are the costs of a name allocation mandate?

Name allocation mandates are subject to a more complex allocation procedure and regular monitoring of compliance with the allocation conditions is performed. As a result, costs are higher than those for the registration of a simple domain name.

Prices are subject to market forces and are set by the registrar. Please contact your registrar or reseller in order to determine the costs that you will be charged. In principle a one-off charge of several thousand CHF is made upon allocation, in addition to annual management fees of a several hundred CHF per year.

Use of the domain name

A domain name under a naming mandate is assigned for a specified term. It must be used.

A simple redirection to a website without a .swiss suffix is prohibited. Only links to assigned .swiss domains within the naming mandate are permitted.

The registry regularly monitors compliance with these conditions and the implementation of the proposed project.

Last modification 26.04.2018

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