According to the Swiss legislation on the protection of intellectual property, a trademark is any graphic sign that is employed to distinguish goods or services. One of the steps for trademark registration in Switzerland is the examination of the trademark by the Patent and Trademark Office. In order to make sure there are no objections to the registration, the Swiss Patent and Trademark Office will first publish the trademark in the Official Gazette. During the time the trademark is published any person considering the trademark will damage his or her reputation may file an opposition. A person opposing the registration of a trademark in Switzerland may file a petition within three months from the publication date.
Owners of previously registered trademarks or owners of other registered intellectual property rights are usually the ones opposing trademark registration in Switzerland. The opposition will be filed in writing and together with it proof of payment of the official opposition fee must also be submitted. Furthermore, the opponent must also provide valid reasons for the trademark not to be registered. The grounds for opposing a trademark registration in Switzerland must show how the trademark would damage the petitioner. A statement of the reasons for opposition must also be submitted.
The following step consists in the notification regarding the trademark opposition of the applicant. He or she will be given a “notice of opposition” containing the opponent’s claims. The applicant will then file an answer to the opponent’s claim. If no answer is provided, the trademark application will be dismissed by the Swiss Patent and Trademark Office. The answer to the trademark opposition usually consists of few numbers of denials of the notice.
Our law firm in Switzerland will help clients with filing the application for trademark opposition.
The most common procedure in a trademark opposition case in Switzerland is a settlement agreement between the applicant and the opponent. However, if that does not happen, the opponent will be required to file any relevant evidence that will support his or her claim. The opponent must also provide proof of use of the registered trademark for more than five years before the last application. In return, the applicant will file his or her evidence. Based on the evidence submitted by both parties, the Swiss Patent and Trademark Office will decide on whether to approve or not the registration of the trademark. An opposition may be appealed within maximum 30 days from the decision before the Swiss Federal Administrative Court.
For legal representation in litigation cases you can contact our Swiss attorneys.
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