Foreign international registrations

The Lisbon System makes it possible to obtain protection in the other member states for an appellation of origin (AO) or a geographical indication (GI) that is already protected in one member state. Foreign AOs and GIs can therefore be protected in Switzerland.


International registrations of foreign AOs and GIs for which protection is requested in Switzerland are published in the Federal Gazette; this means of publication is valid until a publication system exclusively managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization is established.


A third party may oppose the granting of protection of a foreign international registration in Switzerland. Upon receipt of the opposition, the IPI will issue a provisional refusal of the effects of the international registration in its territory.


Who can file an opposition?

The procedure for opposing the grant of protection of a foreign international registration is open to all third parties who fulfil the legal requirements (Art. 6 APA).


In particular, the proprietor of an earlier trade mark registered in good faith for an identical or comparable product may oppose the grant of protection in Switzerland of a foreign international registration if the international registration is likely to cause serious prejudice to their trade mark.


What is required?

The opposition must be filed with the IPI within three months after the first day of the month following publication of the foreign registration in the Federal Gazette. The opposition fee is CHF 800; it must be paid within the time limit set by the IPI. If not, the IPI will not consider the opposition.


In the notice of opposition, the opposing party must indicate, at least briefly, the reasons why it is requesting the refusal of protection of the foreign international registration in Switzerland. For the grounds for refusal, please see the PAO/PGI Ordinance for Non-Agricultural Products.


If the opposition is based on a trade mark or other earlier right, the opposing party must also indicate the basic elements of this right. If it concerns a trade mark, the number of the trade mark, the filing date and the list of relevant goods and services must be indicated.