Trademarks are protected signs that are used to distinguish the products or services of one business from another. Registering a trademark gives you the exclusive right to use a certain sign 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 only protected when it has been entered in the trademark register. In Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (the ´Institute´) is responsible for registering and administering national Swiss trademarks.

When you apply to register a trademark, the Institute does not search for already registered identical or similar trademarks. Your trademark could be infringing on trademarks which are identical or phonetically or visually similar.

A trademark may be assigned in its entirety or in part to another person. A trademark proprietor may also grant licences permitting others to use the trademark.

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