18 December 2002

Jim Runsten

NIC-SE Network Information Centre Sweden AB (“NIC_SE”) is the registry and co-ordinator of the Swedish top level domain ("TLD") ".se". NIC-SE was formed by the II-foundation who is also responsible for setting the regulations for registration under the ".se".

The regulations for registration under ".se" are very restrictive since only locally registered companies may register a domain name. However, the II-foundation has now decided to issue new regulations for the ".se" which are far more liberal than the current ones. The new regulations are planned to enter into force during April 2003. The details of the new regulations are not yet set but the main changes are the following.

  • Everyone will be entitled to register a domain name under ".se". This covers companies as well as individuals and is irrespective of where they are situated.
  • There will be no preliminary examination of the applications for domain names under the ".se".
  • It will be possible to register domain names which include only two letters, instead of the requirement of at least three letters in the current regulations.
  • It will be possible to register geographical words as domain names.
  • Some sort of dispute resolution procedures will be presented in due course.

The above clearly shows that the ".se" regulations will be far more open than they are today. The II-foundation will, during an introductory phase, give priority to holders of trade marks both those having registered their trade marks under the subdomain "tm.se" and those having not yet registered their trade marks under the abovementioned subdomain.

As soon as the new regulations have entered into force NIC-SE will apply the first-come-first-serve principle. However, before applying such principle there will be a so called "sunrise-period" where individuals and companies may file their applications. All applications received by NIC-SE during the sunrise-period will be considered to have been received at the same date. The exact dates for the sunrise-period or the procedures to be used by NIC-SE if competing applications are received have not yet been set.

The Swedish ccTLD has until now been spared from cyber squatters due to the restrictive regulations. With the new regulations the cyber squatters will most probably also come. It is therefore advisable for companies and individuals wanting to protect any right to a certain domain name under the ".se" to be ready and apply for such domain name during the sunrise period.

Important - The information in this article is provided subject to the disclaimer. The law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.