Region: Switzerland

H&M's COS mark not confusingly similar to Greek island of Kos

The Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refusing to register the mark COS in the name of H&M on the ground that the sign referred to the Greek island of Kos and would be deceptive if the goods did not originate from Greece. The decision is interesting as the courts usually examine trademarks as registered, but the court in this case examined the evidence of use submitted by H&M.

26 March 2015

SWITCH in management for '.ch' domain names

The SWITCH Foundation, the organisation responsible for operating the ‘.ch’ ccTLD for Switzerland, has announced that it will no longer be directly handling the registration and management of ‘.ch’ domain names. Instead, SWITCH will be handing over the role of ‘.ch’ domain name registrations and management to accredited registrars.

17 February 2015

Japan Tobacco successfully prevents registration of mark containing eagle device

The Administrative Court has upheld Japanese cigarette manufacturer Japan Tobacco Inc's opposition to the registration of the 3D mark FX BLUE STYLE EFFECTS, which contained the image of an eagle, for Class 34 goods, on the ground that there was a likelihood of confusion with Japan Tobacco's eagle device mark.

04 February 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.

30 January 2015

Federal Administrative Court: affidavits have no special probative value

In opposition proceedings against the registration of the mark PD&C, the Federal Administrative Court has held that opponent Peek & Cloppenburg had failed to prove the genuine use of its earlier mark P&C during the relevant period. The case shows that it is increasingly difficult to prove genuine use in Switzerland, and that the Swiss courts will largely ignore affidavits that would be perfectly suitable to prove genuine use in Germany.

08 January 2015


Featured in Designs 2015: A Global Guide

Switzerland is a party to most international treaties and conventions regarding (industrial) designs, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the Geneva Act and the revised Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs.

11 December 2014

TEGOPORT held to be deceptive if goods do not come from Switzerland

The Federal Administrative Court has upheld a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property refusing to allow the registration of the mark TEGOPORT for various goods in Classes 6, 19 and 20 on the ground that the mark could be deceptive, as consumers would expect the products to originate from the municipality of Port in Switzerland – even though it has only 3,000 inhabitants.

05 December 2014

Supreme Court reaffirms strong protection of Red Cross emblem

The Supreme Court has upheld a decision of the Commercial Court of the Canton of Berne in which the latter had cancelled the registration for a logo that was similar to the Red Cross emblem. The decision confirms that, in principle, it is impossible to use or register a cross-shaped sign in a red (or similar) colour in any class.

23 October 2014

Federal Administrative Court reverses 'absinthe' PGI decision

The Federal Administrative Court has reversed a decision of the Ministry for Agriculture allowing the registration of the terms 'Absinthe', '<I>Fée verte</I>' ('Green fairy') and '<I>La Bleue</I>' ('The Blue') as PGIs. The court found that the relevant public would understand these terms as generic terms for a specific type of beverage.

08 September 2014

Use of mark without graphic element held not to amount to genuine use

The Federal Administrative Court has upheld a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property dismissing an opposition against the registration of the mark ARCTIC VELVET for beverages, on the ground that use of the earlier figurative mark ARTIC for vodka without its ‘polar bear’ graphic element did not amount to genuine use of the mark as registered.

03 September 2014

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