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FAQ

  • Is there an obligation to mention design protection? Answer

Established 1925

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

When is use of the ® symbol abusive and what are the consequences?
Use of the ® symbol is improper of course if the trademark is not registered in the country where it is used. Use of the ® symbol is also abusive if the trademark is not formally registered for the product or service for which the mark is used.

Typical cases of improper use might arise in connection with exported products. Thus, if the mark used with the ® symbol is not formally registered for the respective goods in all the countries into which it is exported, use of the ® symbol is abusive in countries where no formal registration of the trademark has been granted.

And if a trademark application has been filed, but is still under examination in a country, use of the ® symbol in that country is also abusive.

Furthermore use of the ® symbol is abusive if the mark with that symbol is used for goods not covered by an existing trademark registration (e.g. use of a trademark with the ® symbol for fax machines but registered for computer software only).

The legal consequences of improper use of the ® symbol vary from country to country: In Switzerland and in Germany, for example, improper use is considered a violation of the laws against unfair competition. In addition to removal of the improperly used symbol from product packaging, advertisements, brochures etc. (and the costs involved therewith) and a cease and desist order issued by a court, the abusive use of the ® symbol can have criminal consequences. When shown to be intentional, improper use of the ® symbol can result in fines of up to CHF 100'000 and/or imprisonment.