Updated Procedural Rules for .ch and .li Domain Name Disputes with a Focus on Efficiency, Costs and Environmental Impact

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center – in collaboration with SWITCH – offers an alternative and highly popular dispute resolution mechanism for .ch and .li domain name disputes. Since 2004, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has administered more than 450 .ch and .li proceedings involving more than 600 domain names. As per 1 January 2020, the rules of procedure for dispute resolution procedures for .ch and .li domain names (“Rules”) have undergone some modifications. These updates have been made in accordance with the Swiss ordinance on internet domains (“OID”). While the revised Rules bring about some key changes, the general characteristics of the procedure remain unchanged.

New provisions have especially been introduced as a result of the ongoing digitalization and with a focus on efficiency, costs and environmental impact. Thus, from now on, parties will file the request and response (including any annexes) via email only. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center will notify the request to the respondent via email and send a written notice via post. All other communications are via email only.

Furthermore, the suspension procedure and the role of the registry have been clarified whereas the conciliation procedure remains unchanged. The language of the procedure remains English, German, French or Italian. However, the language will no longer depend on the language of the registration agreement. Finally, the OID specifies that (i) the experts may only decide on the legitimacy of the allocation of a domain name and they may not award damages or assess the validity of a trademark claim and (ii) the parties’ names and other personal information may only be published if such details are essential in order to understand the expert decisions.

Involvement of MME Experts

The new Rules are a reasonable update and the result of an extensive collaboration between SWITCH, the Federal Office of Communication and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.