An important change in practice has just been announced by the Swiss authorities regarding trademarks containing a geographical name. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property has decided to make its practice much more flexible. An indication of source is no longer per se found misleading if its correct use is possible. Therefore, under Art. 2 (c) TmPA, it will no longer be a requisite to limit the list of goods and services to their geographical origin for trademarks containing an indication of source. The limitation is requested for some specific indications only. For these indications, the limitation requirement will be based exclusively on the violation of the law in force (Art. 2 (d) TmPA) namely if the sign is in conflict with national law or with Switzerland’s commitments under international treaties.
This new practice is subject to a public consultation until November 15, 2021. It should come into force on January 1st, 2022. It is already recommended to request the suspension of examination of trademark applications containing an indication of source.
The new practice in light of the recent case law and along with our recommendations are outlined in our article “Swiss authorities relax examination practice for trademarks featuring a place name”, which is available in PUBLICATIONS tab.