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Registrable Swiss Trademarks

In Switzerland all signs capable of being graphically represented and fulfilling the requirements of distinctiveness and novelty are registrable trademarks before the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

According to the Swiss trademark law any graphic representation can be used as a trademark. Therefore words, combinations of letters, numbers, graphic images (logos), three-dimensional forms, slogans, any combination of these elements, series of tones (acoustic trademarks) shall be registered as trademarks.

Swiss trademark registration process

After the filing of the application for the registration of a Swiss trademark, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property performs a formal and substantive examination of the trademark application. Depending on the examination results, the trademark is then entered in the register or refused. If the trademark is registered, it will be published at Swissreg and the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property will send the certificate of registration.

Starting from the publication of the trademark on Swissreg, a three-month opposition period begins. Therefore, according to Swiss trademark law, owners of prior trademarks, which are identical or similar to the published one, can file opposition proceedings against such trademark within this time limit.

In case no opposition proceeding has been filed, the registration of the trademark will be definitive. The registration process takes approximately from 1 to 6 months from the filing date, assuming there are no major objections or oppositions.

Duration and Renewals

Swiss trademarks are valid for 10 years running from the filing date. The registration can be indefinitely renewed for subsequent 10 year periods.

Effects of the registration of a Swiss trademark

A registered Swiss trademark grants the owner the exclusive right to use a certain sign for specific goods and services in the entire Swiss territory. At the same time, a trademark owner shall grant someone else the right to use it for a certain period. A registered Swiss trademark grants as well the owner the chance to prevent others from using an identical or similar sign for the same or similar goods and services.

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