Search first! Conflict can arise when you register a sign (trade mark) that is identical with or similar to a sign that has already been registered for similar or identical goods and services. The consequence is that your trade mark could be contested during the opposition period (3 months after the publication of a trade mark) or even as part of a litigation process later on. You would be responsible for cancelling your trade mark and liable for damages.
The trade mark owner is responsible for avoiding infringement. During the trade mark application examination, we do not check if other registered marks could be confused with yours. We recommend that you have a professional search for similar trade marks done before you apply for registration. Doing your own searches in online trade mark databases can be insufficient in some cases. For instance, if you want to search for the sign e-sapi, there could be uncountable variations such as isapi, elsap, etc. A search expert uses specialised tools to recognise similar signs in professional trade mark databases.
- Trade mark database: In the IPI's trade mark database, you will find all Swiss trade marks and trade mark applications, and have access to international trade marks with protection extended to Switzerland. In it, you can carry out an initial search for trade marks registered in Switzerland. However, please note that a search in this database is not sufficient to fully clarify whether there is any conflict between one sign and another. You can find more information on this in the help section of the trade mark database.
- www.wipo.int: Search for international trade marks in Madrid Monitor, the online database of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
- www.euipo.europa.eu: Search for community trade marks in the database of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante. Community trade marks are registered at EUIPO and are valid throughout the European Union.
- Professional searches: Searches for identical or similar trade marks protected in Switzerland can be carried out by a variety of professional providers.
Harmonisation and partial revision of guidelines as of 1 July 2023
Conference on Intellectual Property & Sustainability at the University of Geneva
Symposium: "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – NFTs not your cup of tea? Well, they should: NFTs as a new way of fighting counterfeiting and piracy"