New Swissness Regulation enters into force on 1 January 2017

Swissness, Geographic Indications

 

On 2 September 2015, the Federal Council approved the new "Swissness" legislation which will enter into force 1 January 2017. The new "Swissness" regulations strengthen the protection of the designation "Made in Switzerland" and the Swiss cross both domestically as well as regarding its enforcement outside Switzerland. The legislation - part of the trademark regulations - establishes the conditions under which a product or service may be labelled as being Swiss. In a nutshell:

  • Natural products (e.g. corn): Place of harvesting or extraction (depending on product)
  • Foodstuffs (e.g. bread): Min. 80% raw materials from CH (milk: 100%) and essential processing steps in CH
  • Industrial products (e.g. machinery): Min. 60% manufacturing costs in CH and essential manufacturing steps in CH
  • Services: Headquarters and actual administration center in CH

Providers may use the Swiss cross in combination with their products and services if the above criteria are met. However, the use of the Swiss coat of arms remains reserved for the commonwealth.

The legislation strengthens the existing enforcement possibilities. In particular, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property will have the right to civil and criminal claims against misconduct. 

* Dr. Andreas Glarner

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