World Intellectual Property Organization

Switzerland (CH)

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As Office of a Designated Contracting Party

Republication

The Office does not republish notifications of international registration, subsequent designation or renewal received from the International Bureau.

Examination Procedure

Absolute grounds only.
Article 2 of the Act on the Protection of Trademarks (LPM).
The following shall be excluded from protection:

(a) signs belonging to the public domain, unless they have established themselves as trademarks for the products or services concerned;
(b) forms which constitute the very nature of the product and those forms of the product or wrapping which are necessary from a technical point of view;
(c) misleading signs ;
(d) signs contrary to public order, morality or legislation currently in force.

Opposition Procedure

Three months commencing on the first day of the month following publication in the WIPO Gazette (non-extendable).
Article 3 of the LPM.

¹The following shall also be excluded from protection:

(a) signs which are identical to a previously-existing trademark and which are destined to be used for identical products or services;
(b) signs which are identical to a previously-existing trademark and which are destined to be used for similar products or services, where there is a risk of confusion arising as a result;
(c) signs which are similar to a previously-existing trademark and which are destined to be used for identical or similar products or services, where there is a risk of confusion arising as a result.

²Previously-existing trademarks shall be understood to mean:

(a) filed or registered trademarks which give rise to the right to priority under the present Act (Articles 6 to 8);
(b) trademarks which, at the time of filing of the sign falling within the scope of paragraph 1, are well-known in Switzerland in the sense set out in Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883¹ (Paris Convention).

³Only the holder of the previously-existing trademark may invoke the grounds for refusal in accordance with the present Article.

Time Limit for Responding to Provisional Refusal

Five months from date of issue of notification by the Swiss Office (in case of provisional refusal on absolute grounds or both absolute and relative) and three months in case of provisional refusal only on relative grounds (extendable).

Administrative and judicial remedies in case of refusal issued by the Office

The holder may respond to the provisional refusal of protection within a period of 3 months (relative grounds) or 5 months (relative and absolute grounds combined or absolute grounds alone) before the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI).
The holder may also appeal against the IPI’s final decision before the Federal Administrative Tribunal (TAF). Where a decision involves relative grounds, that body shall be the final one to issue a ruling. In cases in which the decision involves absolute grounds, the decision of the TAF may be contested before the Federal Tribunal as a last resort.

Last updated on: September 11, 2012

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