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.
In principle, any sign that is capable of being represented graphically can be a trade mark, provided that it is able to distinguish the goods or services of your company from those of your competitors. However, there are certain requirements for protection:
Due to the multilingualism of the country, we always examine signs filed on the basis of all three national languages as well as English.
We don't examine the application to see whether there is a likelihood of confusion with a trade mark already registered. Applicants have to ensure that their trade mark does not infringe older IP rights by carrying out an appropriate search, for example. (Trade mark searches)
Please note that as the owner of a trade mark, you must also conform to other legislative regulations, particularly the laws on foodstuffs, therapeutic products and narcotics. We examine trade mark applications without knowing the exact properties of the product or service for which you want to use the trade mark.
Trade marks can also come into conflict with domain and company names (see information leaflet on conflicting signs). We therefore recommend that you check to see whether identical or similar signs have already been registered in the relevant registers before applying to register your trade mark. To do this, refer to the Federal Commercial Registry Office (in German, French or Italian) or a search specialist.
Harmonisation and partial revision of guidelines as of 1 July 2023
Conference on Intellectual Property & Sustainability at the University of Geneva
Symposium: "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – NFTs not your cup of tea? Well, they should: NFTs as a new way of fighting counterfeiting and piracy"