Trademarks—Switzerland—Q&A guide
Trademarks—Switzerland—Q&A guide

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trademarks—Switzerland—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the primary legislation governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?
  • 2. Which international trademark agreements has your jurisdiction signed?
  • 3. Which government bodies regulate trademark law?
  • 4. Who may apply for registration?
  • 5. What may and may not be protected and registered as a trademark?
  • 6. Can trademark rights be established without registration?
  • 7. Is a famous foreign trademark afforded protection even if not used domestically? If so, must the foreign trademark be famous domestically? What proof is required? What protection is provided?
  • 8. What are the benefits of registration?
  • 9. What documentation is needed to file a trademark application? What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application? Is electronic filing available? Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to trademarks in Switzerland published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2020).

Authors: Lenz & Staehelin—Jürg Simon; Sevan Antreasyan; Adrian Wyss; David Hitz

1. What is the primary legislation governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?

The primary legislation governing trademarks is the Federal Act on Trade Mark Protection and Indications of Source accompanied by the Regulation on the Protection of Trademarks and Indications of Source.

2. Which international trademark agreements has your jurisdiction signed?

Switzerland is party to:

  1. the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol Concerning the International Registration of Marks;

  2. the Nice Agreement concerning the International classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks;

  3. the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;

  4. the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights;

  5. the Trademark Law Treaty; and

  6. the Singapore Trademark Law Treaty.

3. Which government bodies regulate trademark law?

The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property is the federal government’s centre of competence for all issues concerning patent and trademark protection, indications of source, design protection and copyright.

4. Who may apply for registration?

In general, trademark applications may be filed by any natural or legal person. However, certain restrictions apply for the registration of collective marks and geographical marks. Applications may be jointly deposited by multiple applicants, in which

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