Is there a monopoly on the Christkindl?

Who doesn't fondly remember the carefree Christmases as a child in Switzerland, watching your parents' every move with rosy cheeks and gleaming eyes in joyful anticipation of the Christkindl? Maybe you’ll get to experience this all over again in the coming festive days with your own children. But are you actually allowed to shout throughout the house on Christmas eve, “The Christkindl’s been!”?

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If you consult the international Trade Mark Register, you’ll find the trade mark 'Tchibo – The Official Partner of the Christkindl’ registered in German under registration number 920121A. Is the Christkindl now collaborating with franchisers? There’s no record of a license agreement, yet the question remains: what rights can the trade mark owner assert against anyone using the designation Christkindl?

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