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What is a trade mark?

You can protect the signs with which you designate your products with a trade mark - so that these are recognised in the market as your products. For example:

  • Products or company names such as “Beltina” or “Fahrrad Meier AG” for the designation of bicycles
  • Logos, such as for example, the lettering “Beltina” or the “Fahrrad Meier AG”

As the owner of a trade mark right, you alone have the right to use your trade mark. You can prohibit others from marking identical or similar products with a trade mark which could be confused with yours. In addition, you can do business with the trade mark, for example sell or license its use.

Good to know:

  • 10 years of trade mark protection in Switzerland for three classes of goods or services costs CHF 550.
  • Protection begins as soon as the trade mark is filed – provided that it is later registered. You can prolong the 10 year term of protection as often as you like, each time for a further 10 years (cost: CHF 700).
  • If you enter a company in the Commercial Register, this doesn’t also mean that the company name is protected as a trade mark.
  • Protected trade marks can be - but do not have to be - marked with the proprietary notice ® (registered).  The ® informs others about the trade mark protection and can discourage them from copying your trade mark.
  • Even if you don’t want to have the name of your products or logos protected as a trade mark, avoid conflicts and ensure that these signs haven’t already been protected by someone else. You’ll find further information in the chapter Define a protection strategy.