Switzerland has a strong economy and is one of the most competitive in the World. It is also a popular destination for businesses, both domestic and international. It is also in the middle of the EU where goods and products go though and where efficiency of services are well-known. If you are planning to do business in Switzerland, it is important to consider registering a trade mark.

A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. It can be a word, phrase, logo, symbol, or a combination of these elements.

Benefits of registering a trade mark in Switzerland:

  • Exclusive right to use the trade mark in connection with the goods or services that you have registered it for. This means that no one else can use the trade mark without your permission.
  • Registering a trade mark helps to protect your brand and reputation. It can also help to prevent counterfeiting and other forms of infringement.
  • Registering a trade mark can make it easier to enforce your intellectual property rights in the event of a dispute.

Competitive Fees for Swiss Trade Mark Registration:

  • To make it easier for you to do business in Switzerland, you can register your trade mark at advantageous and highly competitive rates.
  • Total filing fee for a Swiss trade mark application is CHF 700, which includes official fees (CHF 350) up to three classes and agency fees CHF 350).
  • For each additional class of goods or services from the fourth onwards, an additional CHF 100 must be added to this amount.
  • Goods and services must be classified according to the XIIth Edition of the Nice Classification and must be in one of the three Swiss national languages (German, French, or Italian).

Procedure for filing a trade mark application in Switzerland:

The procedure for filing and registering a trade mark in Switzerland is relatively straightforward but must be done by a local based IP Swiss Agent. You can file an application online and have these official prices. By mail you do not have the discount of the electronic filing. The application must include the following information:

  • The trade mark that you want to register; if a Logo this must be sent in jpeg format
  • The goods or services that you want to use the trade mark for
  • Your name and address as the owner(s)
  • Your name and address as the payer for the Invoice
  • The name and address of your representative in Switzerland (if you do not have a place of business in Switzerland) and the owner(s) must sign his Power of Attorney

* No paper copies and no legalizations are required.

The Swiss Trade Mark Office (IGE) will examine your application and, if there are no grounds for refusal, it will be published and open for the three months opposition period. The owner of an earlier trade mark may oppose a new registration within these three months of the publication of the application. The opposition must be substantiated and sent in writing to the IGE and official fees are at the moment CHF 800. If the opposition is well founded, the registration may be partially or totally revoked. Otherwise, the opposition will be rejected.

If no opposition by third parties will be filed then it may be considered as registered and you may insert the R in the circle. The Swiss Trademark Office does not send any paper Certificate stating the registration therefore the publication will be considered as the definite Certificate. In any case from the online Swissreg Register you may download at any time for free the Swissreg Extract (click here and you may consult for any verbal mark search the following Swissreg official website: https://www.swissreg.ch)and this is to be considered as valid. The registration will be valid for 10 years and can be renewed for further periods of 10 years for indefenite periods.

There are a few things to keep in mind when registering a trade mark in Switzerland:

  • Before filing a trade mark application, it is important to search the Swiss Trade Mark Office’s (IGE) trade mark database to check for existing verbal registrations. This will help you avoid registering a trade mark that is already in use by another party.
  • The IGE classifies goods and services into 45 classes. When searching the database, you will need to select the appropriate class for your goods or services. The correct class will determine the scope of protection that your trade mark will enjoy.

Use of the trade mark, according to Article 12(1) of the Swiss Federal Law on the Protection of Trade Marks (SPLT):

The proprietor who, for an uninterrupted period of five years from the unused expiry of the opposition period or from the end of the opposition procedure, has not used the trade mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is claimed may not assert the right to the trade mark, unless serious reasons justify the non-use“.

Validity and Duration of a Trade Mark in Switzerland:

A trade mark registered in Switzerland is valid for 10 years from the filing date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of 10 years.

If you are considering registering a trade mark in Switzerland, it is important to seek professional advice from an Intellectual Property Swiss IP Agent. An agent or lawyer can help you to ensure that your application is filed correctly and that your trade mark registration is properly protected.

Do you want to register your trade mark in Switzerland? Contact us here!  a team of experienced Swiss IP Agents who specialize in intellectual property law may assist you. Contact us and we are at your disposal for any clarification on how to register a trade mark in Switzerland. We also have an established IP professional relationship with a local Swiss IP Firm, so you can be assured that your interests are in good hands.

Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.