Swiss speed up international trademark examinations


The Federal Institute of Switzerland has adopted an accelerated examination procedure for marks that are registered in a country that is a signatory to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol concerning the international registration of marks.

Among other things, these World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreements allow foreign trademark owners to obtain international registrations protectable in Switzerland based on applications or registrations in their home countries.

Pursuant to the Federal Institute's new procedure, it will examine an international registration's extension to Switzerland immediately upon receiving payment of Sfr400. Previously, international registrations were examined 11 months after publication in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks. If the examination reveals no absolute grounds for refusal, the Federal Institute will issue a declaration after the opposition period has lapsed - that is, three months from the date of publication. As a result, owners of internationally registered marks will know up to eight months earlier whether their marks are protectable in Switzerland.

Peter E Wild, Wild Schnyder AG, Zurich

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