More about intellectual property
Our latest news and answers to your questions
17 January 2022
No exclusive rights to the geographical indication “Gruyère” in the U.S.A.
10 January 2022
Winnie the Pooh has entered the public domain
3 January 2022
The UAE can now be designated in an international trademark
Swiss authorities relax examination practice for trademarks featuring a place name
The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property Institute has decided to significantly relax its practice regarding trademarks containing a geographical name. An indication of source is no longer per se found misleading if its correct use is possible. Therefore, under Art. 2 (c) TmPA, it will no longer be a requisite to limit the list of goods and services to their geographical origin for trademarks containing an indication of source. The limitation is requested for some specific indications only, on the basis of the violation of the law in force (Art. 2 (d) TmPA).
Revision to the Swiss Copyright Act
The growth of the Internet and rapid changes to technology in the digital world have led to creative content being produced, distributed and accessed in myriad new ways. Copyright rules had therefore to adapt to today’s frame. For this reason, the Swiss authorities revised the Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights, which entered into force on 1st April 2020. The main amendments relate to online anti-piracy fight, photographs, performer’s rights, entitlement to digital use in the fields of research, education and cultural heritage, collective remuneration for audiovisual works and the creation of extended collective licences.
The challenge of protecting shape marks in Switzerland
The obtaining of trademark rights over the shape of a product or its packaging remains extremely difficult in many jurisdictions. Switzerland is no exception. The distinctiveness standards are very high, unless a secondary meaning can be shown through a consumer survey. This approach aims to avoid unfair monopolies which could restrict competition. But the question remains of the inherent ability of some of these signs to identify a company and consequently, fulfill the trademark purpose and deserve the corresponding protection.
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