The new "Swissness" legislation strengthens the designation "Switzerland" and the Swiss cross. It helps to prevent and curb their misuse so that the value of the "Swiss" label is maintained in the long term.
The designation “Swiss” – used alone or in combination with other terms such as “Made in Switzerland”, “Swiss recipe” or “Swiss quality” – is an indication of source, i.e. a direct reference to the geographical source of the designated goods or services (Article 47 Trade Mark Protection Act, TmPA). Figurative marks such as the Swiss cross, the Matterhorn or Wilhelm Tell are also considered Swiss indications of source.
In general, a producer or service provider does not need authorisation to use “Swiss” as an indication of source. It may be freely used, as long as it is appropriate, i.e. the goods or services in question actually originate in Switzerland. Companies that want to use “Swiss” as an indication of source must ensure that their goods and services meet the legally defined criteria for originating in Switzerland. Any proof of origin must only be presented in the event that there is a legal dispute.
The legal criteria for indications of source are based on the particular special quality of a product. The Trade Mark Protection Act (TmPA) divides goods into three categories: natural products, foodstuffs and industrial products. There is a separate category for services.
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