When you apply to register a trade mark in Switzerland, the IPI does not search for identical or similar trade marks that have already been registered in Switzerland. Your trade mark could therefore infringe on either identical or similiar trade marks. In the event of a conflict, the owner of the prior trade mark could then potentially demand the cancellation of your sign as well as financial compensation – even years after the registration of your own trade mark.
A similarity search protects against this. It identifies whether either similar or identical trade marks have been registered or if a trade mark application has been received.
After a trade mark has been registered, it’s up to you to defend your rights and to quickly take legal action if a trade mark that could easily be confused with your own is later registered. Because when a new sign is submitted, the IPI doesn't search the register for existing trade marks that could be identical or similar to it.
A trade mark search provides you with ideas for the creation of your trade mark. A sequence search provides you with a list of all registered trade marks that contain a particular sequence of letters; an identity search supplies you with all information on a specific trade mark or trade mark application.
An owner rights search tells you about trade marks that have been registered or applied for in Switzerland by a particular owner. Consequently, it allows you to gain an insight into your competitors' brand strategy. And it also provides you with an overview of your own brand portfolio.