New trademarks practice implemented in Switzerland
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The Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE) has made a number of changes to its practice in the field of trademarks. The most important amendments are as follows:
- Renewal certificates will be sent only to the registered representative and no longer to the representative requesting the renewal (this practice mirrors that of the World Intellectual Property Office's International Bureau).
- The IGE will no longer issue a second reminder letter in relation to renewal.
- Register extracts can now be downloaded online at the following website www.swissreg.ch.
- Power of attorney is no longer required for unrecorded representatives requesting renewal.
- Rulings relating to absolute grounds will contain only a short summary of the facts.
- Provisional refusals of protection will be issued in a standardized format and will contain only a short statement of grounds.
- Objections regarding classification will be dealt with by telephone.
- Rulings terminating opposition proceedings where no costs are awarded will no longer contain a summary of the facts or legal arguments.
- Interim procedural rulings in opposition proceedings will be issued in a shorter, standardized format.
- Rulings in opposition proceedings will contain only a short summary of the facts, but no summary of the arguments advanced by each party.
- Opposition proceedings may be suspended for an indefinite period, but with the possibility of each party opting out at any time.
- The IGE will accept positive or negative description of colour claims to overcome deceptiveness objections raised in connection with flags and armorial bearings of foreign countries.
- The IGE will allow the continuation of proceedings where there is a failure to submit priority documents within the six-month time limit (calculated from filing date).
Alfred Strahlberg, Strahlberg & Partners, Wabern
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