Registering a trademark in Switzerland provides the owner of the trademark with exclusive rights to use a certain signs for goods and/or services or it allows them the possibility to grant the said rights for others to use it by trademark licensing. The owner of the trademarks has also the right to prevent others from using signs that are identical or similar for goods and services that are also identical or similar.
Registration fees for a trademark in Switzerland are 550 CHF for a period of 10 years for three classes of goods and services. There is also a surcharge for each additionally designated class of goods and/or services of 100 CHF. The trademark can be renewed for each 10 years indefinitely.
After the trademark application is submitted, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property examines the application and, under normal circumstances, it is examined in approximately six days. Under special circumstances, the trademark registration period can take up to three months.
It is important to note that, if you want to register for a trademark in Switzerland, it is not allowed to use promotional or descriptive words, because they are meant to remain available for the general public. It is also necessary to analyze any potential trademark to prevent any types of conflicts due to the fact that Switzerland has multiple official languages. Descriptive words in English are also not allowed.
If the trademark is not used for the specific goods and services indicated in the trademark application within five years from the registration of the trademark, it is possible to lose the trademark protection.
A trademark in Switzerland shouldn’t be misleading regarding the characteristics of the goods and services protected, especially when it involves characteristics such as origin, quality and properties. Trademarks that contain a Swiss indication of source may be registered only for goods and services that are of Swiss origin, under the provisions of “The Swissness Act”.
It is not possible to register as trademark or as element of a trademark the coat of arms of Switzerland, the coat of arms of the cantons and communes or the coat of arms of Swiss public authorities.
A trademark in Switzerland is protected after it has been entered into the trademark register. Trademarks are protected either by registering the trademark nationally, to offer protection in Switzerland only, or by extending the trademark protection in Switzerland for a trademark registered abroad.
The Trade Mark Protection Act stipulates that if no color that is part of the sign has been claimed at the time of the trademark registration, the respective trademark is protected for all its colors. If the color has already been claimed, the trademark protection is limited to the trademark in the respective color only.
In the case that new products of the same company are added to the category of goods and services that are trademark protected, the respective trademark must be re-registered with and expanded list of trademark protected goods and services.
International trademark applications can be filed with the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property, under certain conditions.