How to Register a Trademark in Switzerland?

When we talk about a trademark, what comes to your mind?

Any specific logo or a catchphrase?

Well, then you have got it right!

Technically speaking, a trademark can be understood as a specific word, symbol or design that has left its footprints in people's minds.

Any business, be it small or large, has got certain specific creations that become a mode of representing the product or service's identity.

These human-mind creations are known as Intellectual Properties, and the trademark is one of the major segment in the IP umbrella.

Switzerland: A Ground for Business Investors

Switzerland provides a favourable economic framework for business investors to come forward and start their own business.

One of the growing tax-haven jurisdictions, Switzerland, has provided lucrative business opportunities right from entrepreneurs who want to start their business units to investors who are planning to invest in the offshore business.

Are you wondering what’s onshore and offshore?

Well, then, have a look at our latest guide: Difference between onshore and offshore business

However, the jurisdiction demands the business investors get their trademarks registered for the safety and security of the business and also prevent the creations from the competitors available in the market.

Trademark Registration in Switzerland

When it comes to trademark registration in Switzerland, one needs to be sure that the specific logo or tagline needs to be creative and unique from the competitors in the market.

However, while choosing one, the following particulars are to be taken into consideration:

  • Descriptive words directly related to the products or services sold can’t be used but can be used for a field not related to the meaning of the words.
  • A common word can be used as a trading name until and unless the business owners use his/her name along with the existing name.

*As compared to the other offshore jurisdictions, it takes less time for trademark registration in Switzerland.

Classification for Swiss Trademarks

The Swiss trademarks can be bifurcated as:

1)Individual Trademarks

This trademark would assist in differentiating the products of a Swiss company from another.

2)Collective Trademarks

The collective trademark is employed to represent the products of an association of companies.

3)Guarantee Trademarks

This trademark represents the products with certain specific and special qualities or properties.

After deciding what kind of trademark you need to register, you need to follow the following steps to register a Switzerland trademark.

What Can be Registered as a Trademark in Switzerland?

When it comes to company registration in Switzerland, and trademark registration, the following list is registerable under Swiss Law:

  • Words, letters and numerals
  • Figurative images
  • Three-dimensional figures and shapes
  • Colours
  • Holograms
  • Slogans
  • A combination of these elements

It is to be noted that under Swiss Law, the following are also recognized as trademarks.

  • Acoustic trademarks- deals with sounds
  • Olfactory trademarks- deals with smell
  • Motions
  • Taste

What if Certain Signs are Not Registered?

In case, if any sign is not registered as per the governed rules, then the unregistered signs may be protected under:

  • Federal Act against Unfair Competition 1986
  • As moral rights to the name
  • As geographical registrations
  • By copyright law

What are the Benefits of Trademark Registration in Switzerland?

Proceeding ahead with the trademark registration in Switzerland provides the jotted benefits:

  • Prohibits others to use your trademark
  • Oppose subsequent conflicting applications
  • Sue third-party who gets indulge in infringement
  • Request custom authorities to confiscate counterfeited goods being imported into Switzerland

How to Register a Trademark in Switzerland?

To get a trademark registered, one has to deal with the following procedure:

1.Prepare your Trademark

The first and foremost task is to be crystal clear regarding the trademark to be protected.

Designing the logo or taglines is an integral part when it comes to company formation in Switzerland, and being a business owner, you have to get clarity regarding the ultimate design that you want your business to hold.

2.Apply along with the Required Documents

Once you are clear regarding the design, you need to apply to the registration of the same.

The registration process demands the business owners to submit the following set of documents:

  • A duly filled application form stating the applicant’s details
  • A clear representation of the trademark
  • The proper list of goods and services that will claim the trademark
  • Dedicated payment of the filing
  • A copy of Power of Attorney

Apart from the above-stated, the priority document can be claimed at any point. It should be submitted within six months from the priority date, and the document can be drafted in English, German, Italian or French.

3.Clear the Examination Process & Get the Required Approvals

The complete set of documents will be submitted to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). After inspection, if it is approved, it will be registered in the Swiss Trademark Register.

4.Visibility at SWISSREG & Obtain the Certificate of Registration

Up next, once it is sent to the register, the same shall be published online at www.swissreg.ch. The business owner can collect the certificate of registration at ease from the authorities.

5.The Opposition Process

As soon as the trademark is registered, the three-month period for the trademark opposition would begin. This means that the owners of a trademark similar to yours can file an opposition to the trademark. In case anyone has already registered a related or identical trademark, they can file for an objection or claim before a civil court.

After the registration, your specified trademark would be protected for the next ten years. However, if, after five years, you do not use your trademark, in this case, you can lose the rights to your trademark.

Today, protecting business creations is a major part of business incorporation that can’t be ignored. Setting up a business in Switzerland has turned out to be an easy process if carried under an expert’s guidance.

Be it an onshore or offshore business that you carry out in the jurisdiction, the protection of business trademarks is an essential process. Business investors often find the registration process a hassle due to the legal complications that arise in the process.

One of the easy moves to carry out the process smoothly is to get in touch with certified business experts.

At Business Setup Worldwide, we understand the core business moves and legal proceedings that are to be cleared.

Since its inception, our team of experts has helped business investors incorporate their business units and assist them right from accounting to clearing intellectual property matters.

If you are looking forward to safeguarding your business creations, feel free to discuss them with our business experts.

Contact us today-we’d be glad to assist!

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About the Author

AshishKumar@bsworlwide.com's picture

Ashish Kumar has completed his PGDM in finance and has got a newfound love for content writing. He loves to curl up in his bed with a good book and when not in front of a laptop, he can be found trying out new cuisines.