Dr Dre trademark divorce battle; Louisville counterfeit seizure; WIPO’s Gurry looks to the future – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a UK drinks firm being sued by Sazerac Brands, an AI-based start-up launching a new online brand protection offering, how filings are holding steady during the pandemic, and much more.

Dr Dre trademark divorce battle; Louisville counterfeit seizure; WIPO’s Gurry looks to the future – news digest
Innovation at the Swiss IP Office: spotlight on non-core tools and services
25 Aug 2020

Innovation at the Swiss IP Office: spotlight on non-core tools and services

The director general of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) shares the innovative tools and services it has launched or is developing for the future.

Singapore’s Daren Tang wins nomination to be next WIPO director general
4 Mar 2020

Singapore’s Daren Tang wins nomination to be next WIPO director general

After weeks of lobbying, Daren Tang of Singapore has won the nomination to be the next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.


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27 Aug 2020

SUNDAY v KOLID SUNDAY: strict criteria for proving that a trademark is notorious in Switzerland

This decision of the Swiss Federal Administrative Court shows that, while prima facie evidence of notoriety may be sufficient, it must be strong enough to convince the court that the mark was well known before the date of application of the later trademark. Read more

22 Jul 2020

SWISS RE – WE MAKE THE WORLD MORE RESILIENT found to not be misleading

This decision of the Federal Administrative Court will be welcome news for global companies registered in Switzerland which seek to protect signs that incorporate geographical indications and use Switzerland as the starting point of their international filings. Read more

16 Jul 2020

Overview of appellations of origin and GIs in Switzerland in light of the forthcoming ratification of the Geneva Act

In a move that indicates major progress towards the enhanced protection of Swiss geographical indications, the Federal Council has proposed the ratification of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on appellations of origin and GIs, and to amend the Trademark Protection Act accordingly. Read more

18 Jun 2020

Revisions to the Swiss Copyright Act

Switzerland has revised its copyright rules, which now provide remuneration for all authors of copyrighted works used online and allow digital use in the fields of research, education and the preservation of cultural heritage. Read more


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17 Mar 2020

Trademark procedures and strategies: Switzerland

Any natural or legal person can apply for trademark registration in Switzerland (restrictions apply to geographical marks). Read more

26 Jun 2019

FIFA reflects on scoring an IP enforcement win at the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Daniel Zohny, IP head at FIFA, looks back at the intense workload taken on by his team during the 2018 World Cup and looks forward to the next tournament as the worthy winner of WTR’s Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year. Read more

15 Mar 2019

Plain packaging is a trademark issue, not a tobacco issue – exclusive interview with JT International

Ronald van Tuijl of JT International explains to WTR the distinctive set of trademark challenges that his team faces, what he looks for when enlisting law firms, how plain packaging is affecting his practice, and more. Read more

12 Mar 2019

Alibaba reaches settlement, new Hong Kong IP director, and Swiss IP office issues fakes warning: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the New Zealand IP office issuing a stark warning against misleading mislead invoices, $1.1 million worth of counterfeits stopped on Canada-US border, and much more. Read more

Brand management

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24 Jul 2019

China, India, US rise; Japan, Singapore, UK fall – Global Innovation Index 2019 report released

WIPO has revealed the world’s most innovative countries. In a new report it places Switzerland, Sweden and the United States at the top of the list, with the Netherlands, Singapore and the United Kingdom falling down the rankings. Read more

21 Feb 2019

Why every trademark lawyer should spend time in-house: exclusive interview with Bacardi’s Anna Panka

While legal know-how is critical for law firm practitioners, an understanding of the corporate business environment should not be underestimated. That is the message conveyed by Anna Panka, senior counsel at Bacardi, in an exclusive interview with WTR. Read more

31 Jan 2019

How Novartis is building a consistent brand strategy across four business units

In an exclusive interview, Myrtha Hurtado Rivas from pharmaceutical giant Novartis reveals how changes to the company’s trademark strategy created more effective cross-unit cooperation. Read more

24 Jan 2019

How collaboration in the Swiss watch industry keeps brands one step ahead of infringers

Vincent Stauffer, trademark counsel at the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, speaks exclusively to WTR about his industry's fight against fakes and struggle to protect Swissness rights worldwide. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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4 Mar 2020

Jägermeister logo does not offend religious feelings, says court

In a victory for German liquor company Mast-Jägermeister SE, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refusing to register a figurative trademark consisting of a stag and a Christian cross. Read more

28 Jan 2020

easyJet v easyBet - hosting provider ordered to take down infringing website

In a landmark decision, the Commercial Court of Argovia has held that the website at ‘easybet.com’ infringed the famous EASYJET trademark and ordered the Swiss hosting provider to take down the website. Read more

11 Dec 2019

Federal Administrative Court confirms that figurative mark containing the word ‘Paris’ is deceptive

In a blow to German supermarket chain Lidl, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court has confirmed that the figurative mark ESMARA SEE YOU IN PARIS was deceptive. Read more

26 Sep 2019

OTTO v OTTO's: Federal Supreme Court partially upholds Swiss retailer's appeal

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has recently considered a trademark and unfair competition dispute between two companies that owned trademarks containing the element ‘OTTO’. Read more


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18 Feb 2020

WIPO director general elections: Colombian nominee Marco M Alemán exclusive interview

We speak to Colombia's candidate for the WIPO director general position, Marco M Alemán, who explains how his expertise and intimate understanding of WIPO’s inherently multilateral ethos make him the ideal candidate for the job. Read more

13 Feb 2020

Inside the WIPO director general candidate interviews – exclusive guest post

Last week, behind closed doors, interviews took place with the eight candidates for the WIPO director general position. In this exclusive guest post, Dr Sarasija Padmanabhan provides observations from diplomatic sources that attended. Read more

5 Feb 2020

WIPO leadership field narrows as call made to shift focus away from political power plays

The WIPO director general election has become mired in backroom manoeuvring, with one IP expert urging the various countries to “focus on who is the right person for the job”, rather than political point scoring. Read more

15 Oct 2018

Can beer that is not brewed in Lucerne be labelled as “beer from Lucerne”? The Supreme Court decides

The Swiss Supreme Court has held that beer sold under the name Lozärner beer (“beer from Lucerne”) would mislead the average consumer into believing that it was brewed in the city or canton of Lucerne. Read more

Law Firms

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8 Jan 2019

Protecting and enforcing design rights: Switzerland

Swiss design is characterised by its hybrid status – it is influenced by the German tradition of functionalism and the Italian radical design of the 1960s. Swiss design lies somewhere between ‘form follows function’ and ‘anything goes’ – it is functional yet rich; linear while unexpected; practical and refreshing. Read more

29 Jun 2018

Positive ‘Swissness’ results, IACC and EURid partner up, and the first family of counterfeit hunting: news round-up

We look at a new law in China that could boost the fight against fakes, a comedian seeking over $100 million in infringement damages, a leaked email revealing “efforts to trademark Clean Meat”, and much more. Read more

IP Offices

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6 Apr 2018

Trademark offices prepare for the future as users give poor performance grades

The performance levels of the Chinese, Brazilian and Indian trademark offices have clear room for improvement but change could be afoot. Read more

11 Jun 2013

Increase in trademark fees announced

The Federal Institute of Intellectual Property has announced that the fees for trademarks and patents are due to rise. Although the fees for trademark applications and registrations will remain the same, the fees for renewal will increase from Sfr550 to Sfr700. The increase is due to take effect as of January 1 2014.

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13 Mar 2017

Federal Supreme Court: forum delicti requires specific proof of actual or imminent harmful act in relevant territory

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled that, for a court to have jurisdiction based on <i>forum delicti</i>, a harmful act must have actually taken place, or be imminent, in the territory of that court. As the claimant was unable to provide sufficient proof of an infringement within the relevant territory, its claim of trademark infringement and unfair competition was dismissed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

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30 Jan 2015

'Renewal snatching' found to constitute unfair competition

A WIPO expert's decision under the SWITCH dispute resolution policy (for ‘.ch’ and ‘.li’ domain names) is the first case under Swiss law that deals with ‘renewal snatching’ - that is, the practice of registering lapsed domain names. Although the expert found that there was no clear infringement of the claimant's trademark rights, he held that the snatching of the domain name constituted unfair competition and ordered its transfer.

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1 Sep 2014

Mark owner forfeits rights in domain name by waiting eight years to file complaint

A WIPO panellist has refused to order the transfer of the domain name 'ergoline-service.ch' to JK-Holding, the owner of the ERGOLINE mark. Among other things, the panellist held that JK-Holding had forfeited its rights, if any, by waiting for eight years to file the complaint after becoming aware of the allegedly infringing use.

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24 Apr 2013

WIPO expert refuses to recognise well-known status of ELLE mark

A WIPO expert has held that the domain name 'elle-agency.ch' did not infringe Hachette Filipacchi Presse’s trademark ELLE. Although it was established that <i>Elle</i> is a widely-known fashion magazine which sells over six million copies per issue in over 90 countries, the expert refused to recognise its status as a famous trademark in Switzerland.

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Portfolio Management

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14 Nov 2019

Protecting and enforcing design rights: Switzerland

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10 Jun 2019

Swiss Federal Supreme Court rules in Apple’s favour in landmark decision

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has recently had to decide whether the Swiss public understands the term ‘apple’ to be a type of fruit or a reference to the US tech company Apple, and has ruled in the company’s favour. Read more

14 May 2019

TICK DIFFERENT: Apple loses to watchmaker Swatch before Swiss court

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has considered an opposition filed by US tech giant Apple against Swiss watchmaker Swatch’s application for the registration of the mark TICK DIFFERENT for Class 14 goods, including jewellery and watches. Read more

6 Feb 2019

Success for Richemont as court finds that fish mark does not offend religious feelings

In a victory for luxury goods company Richemont, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refusing to register a mark consisting of a fish design in Class 14. Read more

Trademark law

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10 Sep 2018

Trademark procedures and strategies: Switzerland

Any natural or legal person can apply for trademark registration in Switzerland (restrictions apply to geographical marks). Foreign applicants must indicate a service address for use in Switzerland. Read more

5 Jul 2018

Federer logo clash with Nike highlights contractual pitfalls for sports stars

This week the Wimbledon tennis tournament got underway, with media reports noting how reigning champion Roger Federer “stunned onlookers by turning out on Centre Court in Uniqlo gear”. The focus then turned to the absence of his often-used RF logo, which is caught up in an ownership wrangle.

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30 May 2018

Blow for Storck as sweets packaging is held to lack distinctiveness

In a decision which highlights its strict approach to packaging registration, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court has upheld the refusal of Storck's application for blue, white and grey packaging in Class 30.

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26 Apr 2018

In-house perspectives on diversity in the trademark industry: “All of us in this field need to do more”

The theme of today’s World IP Day is ‘Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’. In the first of a two-part piece, corporate trademark professionals reflect on the topic of the day.

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