As the owner of a registered design, you can exclude others from using it. This means third parties are not allowed to sell, manufacture or import your design into Switzerland. However, you are responsible for ensuring this doesn’t happen. Therefore, observe the market and in particular your competitors and their products. Remember, design rights are often infringed unintentionally.
Is someone benefiting from your design without your permission? Act judiciously in such cases. Carefully document the unlawful act and involve a specialist as soon as possible to help you analyse the situation. Often, all that’s needed is a warning letter to the offender. In the letter, indicate the offence concerning your design in a factual manner. Present the legal situation and the consequences should the transgression continue. Try to settle the matter out of court – it is quicker and less expensive than legal proceedings. If this approach isn’t successful, you can bring a civil claim or a criminal complaint for design infringement before the court.
Do you have evidence that goods which infringe your registered design are entering Switzerland from abroad? In such instances, the Swiss Customs Administration may be able to help you by refusing to clear the goods at the border. Find out how you can make an application for assistance:
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Roundtable on the protection of computer-implemented inventions