Better international protection for Swiss geographical indications
Bern, 05.06.2020 - Swiss producers should in future be able to register geographical indications in several states simultaneously via a simple procedure. The Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the approval and implementation (amendment of trade mark law) of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications for submission to Parliament at its meeting on 5 June 2020.
Tête-de-Moine, Zuger and Rigi Kirsch, and Swiss for watches – the principle of protected geographical indications has proven to be of lasting benefit to the value chains of quality products. In times of increasing market liberalisation, this principle should be developed further at international level.
The Lisbon Agreement of 1958 for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, of which Switzerland is not a member, is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Agreement was revised in 2015 by the adoption of the Geneva Act, which, in particular, extends the scope of the system to allow the registration of all geographical indications (both appellations of origin and geographical indications). The Geneva Act is an independent international treaty, which came into force on 26 February following the accession of the European Union.
The Federal Council is proposing that Switzerland accedes to the Geneva Act. The accession will enable Swiss beneficiaries of appellations of origin and geographical indications to obtain protection in all member states of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement through an uncomplicated and inexpensive international registration procedure. Currently, Swiss producers have to submit separate applications in each country to protect their geographical indications.
Address for enquiries
Felix Addor, Federal Institute for Intellectual Property, T +41 31 377 72 01
The Federal Council
Federal Department of Justice and Police
Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research