Wednesday, January 12 2022   \  Published by Sedin SA.

Swiss Authorities Relax Examination Practice for Trademarks Featuring a Place Name

Historically, trademarks for place names have often been refused registration in Switzerland or, if granted, only for specific goods and services restricted to their geographical origin. However, the Swiss authorities have announced significant changes regarding trademarks whose signs contain geographical indications.

Misleading signs are excluded from trademark protection (Article 2(c) of the Trademark Protection Act). Previously the risk of consumers being misled was assessed particularly strictly by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and the courts. Any trademark containing an indication of source had to be limited to goods and services originating from the country to which the indication refers. One example among others is the trademark LOTERIE ROMANDE (fig.), for which it was held that the mark could only designate goods of Swiss origin, the term ‘romande’ being an indication of source (Federal Administrative Court’s decision B-5280/2018, B-5382/2018, 25 September 2020). Read more

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