What can be registered as a trademark?
Marks and logos that consist
- only of a picture without text (figurative marks)
- of graphic elements combined with text (mixed mark) and
- of plain text (word mark)
Why protect a trademark?
Registering a trademark gives you the exclusive right to use a mark for specific goods and services or to grant someone else the right to use it (e.g. licensing). As a trademark owner you can prevent others from using an identical or similar sign for the same or similar goods and services.
A trademark is valuable capital and a lot of money and time is often invested in building up its market presence. No one should be able to imitate your trademark: Your trademark advertises your products and services and distinguishes you from your competitors. The first one who has registered a trademark has the legal advantage. If a competitor is ahead of you in trademark registration, your marketing activities can be heavily limited or even ruled out. As the owner of a registered trademark, you can license the mark, lease it or sell it.
The fact that your firm name is registered with the Commercial Registry does not give you full protection. The Commercial Registry examination depends on other criteria than those used for trademark examination. An entry in the Commercial Registry is no guarantee for the registerability of a trademark. Besides, the geographic scope of protection of your company name is dependent on the form of the company. Trademark protection is for all of Switzerland.
Who can register a trademark?
Individuals as well as companies or associations. It does not matter if the trademark holder has his domicile or residence in Switzerland or abroad. However, the application must be filed by a person with an address in Switzerland.
What is the meaning of the symbols ® und ™ ?
The symbol of trademark registration, ®, may only be applied to a trademark if it has been legally registered as such in Switzerland, i.e. entered into the Swiss Trademark Register. It is not compulsory to use the registered trademark sign ® and in Switzerland it makes no difference in the owner's rights. However, it can alert other people to the fact that the trademark is registered and prevent infringement cases.
Do you have further questions?
Please do not hesitate to contact trademark attorney Nicolas Schwarz, should any further questions arise (please refer to the footer for the contact details).