An individual mark is the most common category of trade mark. A company identifies its products and services with an individual mark, (e.g. SWISSCOM).
A collective mark represents the goods or services of an association of manufacturing, trading or service companies, (e.g. FLEUROP, COIFFEURSUISSE). Only associations can file a collective mark, not individuals. Regulations determine who is allowed to use the trade mark.
A guarantee mark provides a guarantee that goods and services possess specific characteristics (for example, regarding quality or geographical origin). The trade mark owner is responsible for meeting the requirements set out in the regulations. Anyone can file a guarantee mark. To avoid any conflict of interest, the trade mark owner is not allowed to use the trade mark himself nor have any business affiliation with users of the mark (e.g. IP SUISSE).
The geographical mark system necessarily implies the existence of a prior registration, a foreign (controlled) designation of origin recognised by Switzerland, a geographical indication, the existence of a Federal Council ordinance or an equivalent foreign regulation.
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