The trademark registration is an administrative procedure

The trademark comes into existence upon registration. The application for registration of a sign alone is not sufficient. The application releases the registration procedure. After examination of the conditions for deposit, the Federal Intellectual Property Office admits the application for registration and examines the fulfilment of all formal requirements and also whether there are absolute reasons for a refusal of the sign. If a sign meets the legal requirements, it will be incorporated into the register and published in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC).

Opposition procedure

Trademark against trademark

If an existing mark is infringed by the registration of a recent trademark, e.g. because of its similarity to the older mark, the owner of the older mark can file an opposition against the entry at the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property within the period from three months since the publication of the recent trademark. Compared with a lawsuit before a civil court this opposition procedure is relatively simple and cost-effective. Besides it offers the advantage that the opponent must not prove unlawful acts (e.g. the marketing of falsified branded articles by trademark pirates) and that the evaluation of the trademark infringement is put into the hands of specialists.

(By courtesy of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property)