Region: Switzerland

Battle over registration of ‘absinth’ as GI continues

The registration of ‘absinth’ as a GI in Switzerland had led to 42 appeals by Swiss and foreign professional associations and enterprises. Three of the appeals have now been rejected by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court for procedural reasons - namely, because the appellants lacked standing to appeal.

10 October 2013

Court considers whether use for specific goods is sufficient to establish use for class

The Federal Administrative Court has considered whether the use of a trademark for specific pharmaceuticals - "antibiotic creams for the treatment of burns" - was sufficient to uphold protection of the mark for the claimed goods - namely, "pharmaceuticals" without further specifications.

18 September 2013

"Cigars" and "operation of cigar lounge" held to be similar

The Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property rejecting an opposition by the owner of the mark LA CASA DEL HABANO for goods in Class 34 against the registration of the mark CLUB PASSION HABANOS for services in Class 43. Among other things, the court found that smokers were likely to believe that cigar lounges and cigars bearing the same mark originated from the same company.

10 September 2013

Rebadging of sports car held to constitute unfair competition

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has held that the defendant, a car tuner, had acted unfairly by making references to Ferrari’s history and by using a picture of a car that was confusingly similar to a Ferrari F430, as well as the designations 'AAC 1260' and 'Auto-Avio Costruzioni'. The court found that the defendant sought to free-ride on Ferrari’s reputation and that such use created a likelihood of confusion with the Ferrari cars.

05 September 2013

Administrative Court again reverses IPO in geographic mark case

The Federal Administrative Court has reversed a decision of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office in which the latter had refused to extend protection to Switzerland of the international trademark KALMAR. The office had found that Kalmar was a town in Sweden and, therefore, the sign was deceptive when applied to goods not originating from Sweden.

18 July 2013

Geographical indication unknown by Swiss consumers may be registered as trademark

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has confirmed that a geographical indication that is not known by the relevant Swiss public may benefit from trademark protection in Switzerland. The decision is significant because the Federal Institute for Intellectual Property usually refuses to register all trademarks that have a geographical meaning on absolute grounds.

12 June 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.

11 June 2013

Federal Administrative Court considers distinctiveness of 'colour + label' mark

The Federal Administrative Court has overturned a decision of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in which the latter had refused to register Philip Morris AG's mark BLACK LABEL for various goods in Class 34. Among other things, the court found that the combination of the element 'label' and the colour black was not descriptive of tobacco goods, especially as 'black' is not a commonly used description in relation to these goods.

24 May 2013

'Inside' mark found to be confusingly similar to Intel’s INTEL INSIDE

The Federal Administrative Court has held that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks GALDAT INSIDE and INTEL INSIDE with regard to data carriers in Class 9 and the development of computer hardware in Class 42, but not with regard to other goods and services in Classes 9, 38, 35 and 42.

17 May 2013

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

A WIPO expert has held that the domain name '' 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.

24 April 2013

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