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 specialized tools to recognize similar signs in professional trade mark databases.
- www.swissreg.ch: Swissreg publishes newly registered trade marks as well as modifications to previously registered marks. It is also possible to conduct preliminary searches for nationally registered trade marks. Such a search is not a substitute for a professional search when considering a trade mark registration because Swissreg does not allow similarity searches and the database does not contain international trade marks with extension in Switzerland.
- 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.
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