Trademark Registration in Switzerland

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In Switzerland, trademark applications must be filed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE in German, IPI in French). Please keep in mind that Switzerland is NOT a member of the European Union and therefore European Union trademarks do NOT provide protection in Switzerland.

Switzerland is a member state of the Madrid Protocol. As a result, this country can use the Madrid System to extend the international registration of a trademark.

Minimum of filing documents in Switzerland

For the obtainment of the date of filing a trademark application in Switzerland must contain:
– name and address of the applicant;
– representation of the mark;
– payment of the filing fees;
– list of goods and services according to Nice Agreement.

Requirements to the Power of Attorney

At the time of filing, a copy of a simple signed Power of Attorney should be provided. There is no need for notarization or legalization.

Priority document

If you want to claim priority, you must file a priority document within six months of the priority date. No further translation is required for a priority document written in English, German, Italian, or French.

Opposition period

Opposition against trademark registration in Switzerland may be filed within three months from the publication of the registration. The opposition fee must also be paid within this time limit.

Validity term and trademark renewal

Protection begins starting from the date of application. Trademark registration is valid for ten years from the date of application. The registration is renewable for ten-year periods. The application for renewal may be filed within six months prior to the expiration date. The trademark in Switzerland may be also renewed within six months after the renewal due date. The simply signed POA is sufficient.

Use requirement

If the trademark has not been used in Switzerland within five years from registration, it may be subject to cancellation.

Representation by a trademark attorney

An agent, registered Swiss trademark attorney, must be appointed for foreigners to perform the trademark prosecution.

What can be registered as a trademark in Switzerland?

All distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, holograms, combinations or shades of colors, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging, and any combination of the mentioned signs, including sound marks graphically represented, but no olfactory marks. The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks and service marks, collective marks, and guarantee marks.

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