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The Geographical Trade Mark: A Swiss Innovation Worth Copying?

Abstract

The Swiss legislature found the international protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) to not be satisfactory. To address this problem, it implemented into the “Swissness legislation” – a legislative project to safeguard and preserve the added value of the “Swiss” label for Swiss goods and services, which has been in force since 1 January 2017 – a new type of trade mark: the Geographical Trade Mark (GTM), which may be registered for specific GIs. The legislature expected that GTMs will primarily facilitate the enforcing of the protection of GIs abroad by enabling access to the Madrid System. However, as a result of the adjustments to the GTM which have been needed to fit it into a system designed around distinctive individual marks owned and used by a single commercial entity, its wings have been dramatically clipped: the GTM is largely characterised by the principle of dependence, meaning that a GTM registration requires a pre-existing GI which has already been examined in a registration or a legislative procedure. Although the possibility for owners of GTMs to benefit from the international trade mark framework does exist, the actual potential advantages are rather limited; for example, in the EU the owner of a GTM would get as an “equivalent” a weak EU collective mark.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A GI is an indication which identifies a good or service as originating from a particular region, place or country, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good/service is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

  2. 2.

    For example, the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (the SCT) has been working on the issue of protection of country names against their registration and use as trademarks since 2009. On 25 February 2016 it submitted, inter alia, as “possible area of convergence No. 2” (non-registrable if considered descriptive) the proposal that trade marks consisting solely of a country name should be refused where the use of that name is descriptive of the place of origin of the goods or services. However, under the new legislation, as we will see, country names such as “Switzerland” can also be registered as GTMs, for example, for “watches” (class 14) based on the Ordinance on the Use of the Name “Switzerland” for Watches.

  3. 3.

    Echols (2017), p. 183.

  4. 4.

    Cf. for example, Bolliger and Réviron (2008).

  5. 5.

    Swiss Institut Fédéral de la Propriété Intellectuelle (FOFIP) (2017b), The new “Swissness” legislation, para. 3.

  6. 6.

    FC (2006), p. 7.

  7. 7.

    FC (2009), pp. 8533, 8534; FOFIP (supra note 5) para. 2.

  8. 8.

    FC (supra note 15) 8555; FOFIP (supra note 5) para. 3.

  9. 9.

    Cf. for example, swissinfo.ch (2004), Swiss get fired up over pan promotion.

  10. 10.

    Cf. for example, Schwager (2004).

  11. 11.

    Zuppiger interpellation 05.3211 2005, Wrongful Use of the Swiss Cross; the Hutter postulate 06.3056 2006, Protecting the “Swiss” Brand; the Fetz postulate 06.3174 2006, Strengthening the “Made in Switzerland” brand; the Reymond question 07.1001 2007, The Importance of a Real “Swiss Made” for the Watch Industry, and the Berberat interpellation 07.3666 2007, The Watch Industry: Strengthening the “Swiss Made” Designation of Origin.

  12. 12.

    The main amendment of the new “Swissness” legislation is the introduction of new criteria that make it possible to determine more precisely the geographical origin of a product or service.

  13. 13.

    Another aspect of the Swissness legislation package is the total revision of the Swiss Coat of Arms Protection Act (Bundesgesetz über den Schutz des Schweizerwappens und anderer öffentlicher Zeichen, SCAPA) of 21 June 2013, SR 232.21. Prior to January 2017 the Act only permitted use of the Swiss cross for Swiss services. The Swiss cross may now be used on Swiss goods as well (FOFIP 2015a, Swissness legislation – the most important changes, p. 4). On the contrary, the Swiss coat of arms may be used exclusively by the Swiss Confederation (SCAPA, Art. 8; however, cf. SCAPA, Art. 35.).

  14. 14.

    Gangjee (2017), p. 131.

  15. 15.

    Cf. also Sect. 3.1 below; the European Union is also currently contemplating extending GI protection to non-agricultural products, cf. European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 on the possible extension of geographical indication protection of the European Union to non-agricultural products (2015/2053(INI)) (Pai and Singla 2017, p. 340).

  16. 16.

    A guarantee mark is a sign that is used by several undertakings under the supervision of the proprietor of the mark and which serves to guarantee the quality, geographical origin, the method of manufacture or other characteristics common to goods or services of such undertakings (STMA, Art. 21(1)). In principle, anyone may apply for a guarantee mark, provided that such person does not carry on a business involving the supply of goods or services of the kind certified (STMA, Art. 21(2)). An application for a guarantee mark must be accompanied by a copy of the regulations which govern the use of the certification or guarantee mark (STMA; Art. 23(1)); for the international approach with respect to certification and guarantee marks, cf. WIPO Secretariat (2010), para. 15.

  17. 17.

    Cf. Sect. 3.4 regarding non-registrability of a direct indications of source as individual marks.

  18. 18.

    Simon (2005), pp. 141, 143 et seq; Hirt (2012), p. 234; critically, Schröter (2017b), Vorbemerkungen Art. 21–27e, para. 38.

  19. 19.

    These are names of a region, a place, or, a country used to describe a product (i) originating in that particular region, place or country; (ii) the quality or characteristic of which is essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent, natural and human factors; and (iii) the production, processing and refining of which take place in the defined geographical area; for the precise Swiss legal definition and criteria, see Art. 2(1) of Verordnung über den Schutz von Ursprungsbezeichnungen und geografischen Angaben für landwirtschaftliche Erzeugnisse, verarbeitete landwirtschaftliche Erzeugnisse, waldwirtschaftliche Erzeugnisse und verarbeitete waldwirtschaftliche Erzeugnisse (PDO/PGI Ordinance for Agricultural Products, PDO/PGI-OAP) 28 May 1997, SR 910.12, and Art. 2(a) of Verordnung über das Register für Ursprungsbezeichnungen und geografische Angaben nicht landwirtschaftlicher Erzeugnisse (PDO/PGI Ordinance for Non-Agricultural Products, PDO/PGI-ONAP) 2 September 2015, SR 232.112.2.

  20. 20.

    A PGI is the name of a region, a place, or a country used to describe a product: (i) originating in that particular region, place or country; (ii) which possesses a specific quality, reputation or other characteristic which can be attributed to that geographical origin; and (iii) the production, processing or refining of which take place in the defined geographical area. For the precise Swiss legal definition and criteria, see Art. 3(1) of the PDO/PGI-OAP and Art. 2(b) of the PDO/PGI-ONAP.

  21. 21.

    Cf. Swiss guarantee marks “GLARNER-KALBERWURST” (a Swiss PGI for sausages) CH 473510 and “VACHERIN” CH 469377 (“Vacherin fribourgeois” and “Vacherin Mont-d’Or” are both Swiss PDOs for cheese).

  22. 22.

    FSC, June 7, 2005, Case No. 4A.6/2004 – Felsenkeller, para. 4.

  23. 23.

    Holzer (2005), pp. 811 and 814.

  24. 24.

    STMA, Art. 2(a).

  25. 25.

    In general, acquired distinctiveness is only accepted if a sign has been used continuously in connection with the relevant goods and services for 10 years.

  26. 26.

    Holzer (2005), pp. 811 and 814.

  27. 27.

    FOFIP (2017a), Richtlinien, part 5, para. 8.7.4.

  28. 28.

    Affirmative Marbach (2009), para. 1797; Bigler (2016), para. 12; Holzer and Schröter (supra note 18) para. 14; negative Hirt (2005), pp. 495 and 497; Meisser and Schmidt (2005), pp. 135 and 138; Simon (supra note 18) 144; Piaget (2007), pp. 256 and 260; Hirt (supra note 18) 229; cf. also FOFIP (supra note 27) part 5, para. 8.7.4.

  29. 29.

    PDO/PGI-OAP, Art. 1 et seq.

  30. 30.

    Bundesgesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb 19 December 1986, SR 241; David (2016e), Vor Art. 47–51, para. 52.

  31. 31.

    Gangjee (2012), p. 1.

  32. 32.

    Ibid. p. 1.

  33. 33.

    Micara (2016), p. 674.

  34. 34.

    WIPO Secretariat (2002), para. 9; Ribeiro de Almeida (2014), pp. 640 and 644.

  35. 35.

    Micara (supra note 33) p. 673.

  36. 36.

    More than 70 countries, including Switzerland, as already mentioned, and the EU provide for protection through a sui generis regime, Micara (supra note 33) pp. 673 and 674.

  37. 37.

    The only exception to that is the protection afforded to appellation for wines, which are protected under a system that could be defined as a sui generis system, Pai and Singla (supra note 15) p. 342.

  38. 38.

    Pai and Singla (supra note 15) p. 339.

  39. 39.

    Micara (supra note 33) p. 674.

  40. 40.

    WIPO Secretariat (supra note 34) para. 95.

  41. 41.

    WIPO 2017, WIPO-Administered Treaties. http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ActResults.jsp?act_id=50. Accessed 1January 018.

  42. 42.

    Compared to trade mark owners, even the groups of producers that registered a PDO/PGI have only a limited set of rights.

  43. 43.

    Bentley and Sherman (2014), p. 1129.

  44. 44.

    FC (supra note 7) 8563.

  45. 45.

    Bentley and Sherman (supra note 43), p. 1129.

  46. 46.

    FOFIP (2018) The “Swissness” legislation.

  47. 47.

    FC (supra note 7) 8581.

  48. 48.

    FC (supra note 7) 8557.

  49. 49.

    The list of possible owners of the GTM is limited, cf. Sect. 3.2 below.

  50. 50.

    FC (supra note 6) 11.

  51. 51.

    As mentioned, PDOs/PGIs can be registered as guarantee marks.

  52. 52.

    Different FOFIP (supra note 27) part 5, para. 8.7.4.

  53. 53.

    STMA, Art. 27a.

  54. 54.

    STMA, Art. 27c (2).

  55. 55.

    Cf. Sect. 3.4.

  56. 56.

    STMA, Art. 35(d); cf. also Sect. 3.3.

  57. 57.

    STMA, Art. 27a.

  58. 58.

    Bundesgesetz über die Landwirtschaft (the Swiss Agricultural Act, the AgricA) 29 April 1998, SR 910.1. In accordance with what is referred to as the national treatment obligation, foreign PDOs/PGIs can also be registered.

  59. 59.

    Cf. PDO/PGI-OAP, Art. 1 et seq; a list of registered PDOs/PGIs is available online: https://www.blw.admin.ch/blw/de/home/instrumente/kennzeichnung/ursprungsbezeichungen-und-geografische-angaben.html. Accessed 1 January 2018.

  60. 60.

    PDO/PGI-ONAP, Art. 1 et seq; to date no PDOs/PGIs have been registered and no applications have been filed.

  61. 61.

    A list of the protected wine designations of origin is available online at: https://www.blw.admin.ch/blw/de/home/nachhaltige-produktion/pflanzliche-produktion/weine-und-spirituosen.html. Accessed 1 January 2018.

  62. 62.

    FC (supra note 7) 8561.

  63. 63.

    Verordnung über die Benützung des Schweizer Namens für Uhren (Ordinance on the Use of the Name “Switzerland” for Watches) 23 December 1971, SR 232.119; cf. namely Art. 3.

  64. 64.

    Verordnung über die Verwendung von schweizerischen Herkunftsangaben für kosmetische Mittel (Ordinance on the Use of Swiss Indications of Source for Cosmetic Products) 23 November 2016, SR 232.112.3.

  65. 65.

    FC (supra note 7) 8565.

  66. 66.

    STMA, Art. 27b(a).

  67. 67.

    PDO/PGI-OAP, Art. 5; PDO/PGI-ONAP, Art. 4.

  68. 68.

    PDO/PGI-ONAP, Art. 4(4).

  69. 69.

    In Switzerland only the Appenzell Innerrhoden and Jura cantons have not exercised their right to adopt provisions regarding the protection of protected wine designations of origin.

  70. 70.

    STMA, Art. 27b(b).

  71. 71.

    STMA, Art. 27b(c).

  72. 72.

    STMA, Art. 27c(1).

  73. 73.

    STMA, Art. 27c(2).

  74. 74.

    FOFIP (supra note 27) part 5, para. 10.4; FC (supra note 7) 8580; Schröter (2017c), Art. 27c, para. 1.

  75. 75.

    FOFIP (supra note 27) part 5, para. 10.4.

  76. 76.

    STMA, Art. 27c(2).

  77. 77.

    FC (2007), p. 40; cf. FC (supra note 7) 8580.

  78. 78.

    Affirmative David (2016b), Art. 27c, para. 20; hostile Schröter (supra note 74) paras. 6 et seq.

  79. 79.

    E.g. Verordnung über die Ausdehnung der Selbsthilfemassnahmen von Branchen- und Produzentenorganisationen (Ordinance concerning the extension of the producer organisations’ self-help measures) 30 October 2002, SR 919.117.72.

  80. 80.

    Schröter (supra note 74) para. 8.

  81. 81.

    PDO/PGI-OAP, Art. 16a(1); PDO/PGI-ONAP, Art. 20.

  82. 82.

    STMA, Art. 23(4) in conjunction with STMA, Art. 24.

  83. 83.

    Schröter (supra note 74) para. 3.

  84. 84.

    FC (supra note 7) 8582, and Buri (2016), Art. 35, para. 16, do not mention the fact that Art. 35(d) of the STMA must apply by analogy to all application scenarios listed in Art. 27a of the STMA.

  85. 85.

    Cf. Rule 16 of the Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration; Art. 9 of the Geneva Act.

  86. 86.

    Federal Administrative Court, February 18, 2015, Case No. B-5024/2013 – Strela, para. 3.2.

  87. 87.

    Federal Administrative Court, 4 December 2015, Case No. 4A_357/2015 – Indian Motorcycle, para. 4.4; Federal Administrative Court, 3 July 2015, Case No. B-6503/2014, para. 3.5 – Luxor; Federal Administrative Court, 2 March 2015, Case No. B-3149/2014 – Cos, para. 3.5.

  88. 88.

    FSC, 24 September 2002, Case No. BGE 128 III 454 – Yukon, para. 2.1.

  89. 89.

    STMA, Art. 27e(1). While a prohibition against licensing makes sense – the individual GI regulations will specify the terms on which a producer has permission to legitimately use the GI and these also apply with regard to the GTM (Art. 27d(1) of the STMA) – the prohibition against assignment is more questionable: for example, the legislature had already anticipated the possibility of a change of ownership in Art. 27b of the STMA. Where the relevant PDO/PGI group no longer exists, the representative group which has assumed the role of protecting the PDO/PGI may register a GTM. A restriction on assignability seems only justified to enforce Art. 27b of the STMA to guarantee the representativity of the entitled person to register a GTM (David 2016d, Art. 27e, para. 3). Therefore it should be required that in cases where the initial representative PDO/PGI group no longer exists, and only an actual succession has taken place, assignment must be allowed (David 2016d, Art. 27e, para. 5; affirmative also Schröter 2017e, Art. 27e, para. 4).

  90. 90.

    Vorentwurf MSchG (Draft STMA) 28 November 2007, Art. 31 Abs. 1ter.

  91. 91.

    STMA, Art. 27e(2). In the Dispatch FC the rationale for excluding this basis for opposition was that the FOFIP will apparently not register marks which would infringe any GTMs (FC (supra note 7) 8581). While the risk of such registrations may be modest, it is inappropriate to exclude such a right to oppose before the FOFIP. Mistakes can always happen, and there is no reasonable reason to force the owner of a given GTM to appeal to the Federal Administrative Court or to bring a claim before the civil courts (David 2016d, Art. 27e, para. 3; Schröter 2017e, Art. 27e, para. 9 et seq.). The owner of a GTM must also have the option of a simple and cost-efficient opposition proceeding.

  92. 92.

    STMA, Art. 27e(3). This was justified by the alleged fact that such a requirement had already been specified through the previous PDO/PGI registration (FC (supra note 7) 8581); however, that justification is not convincing. Nevertheless, while the obligation to use the GTM may not apply in Switzerland, when it comes to international protection, Art. 24(9) of the TRIPS states that there will be no obligation for the Member States to protect GIs which are no longer used in the country of origin.

  93. 93.

    FC (supra note 7) 8581.

  94. 94.

    According to Art. 13(1) of the STMA a trade mark right confers on the holder thereof the exclusive right to use the trade mark to identify the goods or services for which it is claimed and to dispose of it.

  95. 95.

    Setting out the infringement criteria relating to identity or similarity of marks and of goods or services which would result in a likelihood of confusion.

  96. 96.

    It follows from a systematic, historical and teleological interpretation of the provision that the scope of protection also includes signs that are similar to the given GTM. According to FC (supra note 7) 8581, the requirements of Art. 50a(5) of the STMA – which include identical or similar signs – also apply for a GTM. A look into other materials supports this conclusion too. For example, the preliminary draft provided to the GTM’s holder the ability to oppose the registration of an identical or similar sign which is intended for the same goods (Draft STMA, Art. 31(1ter)). Although this provision was been removed during the legislation process, that has not changed the material scope of the GTM.

  97. 97.

    On the product side, the scope of protection also includes – against the wording – services (likely different Simon 2016, pp. 73 and 74). According to Art. 50(2) of STMA, in conjunction with Art. 27a(c) of the STMA, a Swiss indication of source can be protected for goods and services and can also serve as a basis for a GTM. The omission of the mention of services from Art. 27d(2) of the STMA must be qualified as a drafting, or rather editorial, mistake (Schröter 2017d, Art. 27d of the MSchG, para. 5). A reason why such an ‘error’ could have happened might be the general impression that GTMs are – as PDOs/PGIs for agricultural products – primarily reserved for goods and not for services (David 2016a, Art. 27a, para. 13).

  98. 98.

    STMA, Art. 27d(2).

  99. 99.

    David (2016c), Art. 27d, para. 5.

  100. 100.

    Ibid. para. 6.

  101. 101.

    FC (supra note 7), 8604.

  102. 102.

    David (supra note 99) para. 6; FC (supra note 7) 8604.

  103. 103.

    Maradan (2000), pp. 84, 89 et seq; David and Reuter (2015), para. 630.

  104. 104.

    David (supra note 99) para. 7.

  105. 105.

    Cf. Sect. 3.

  106. 106.

    Cf. David and Reuter (supra note 103) para. 630.

  107. 107.

    STMA, Art. 51a.

  108. 108.

    The principle of exhaustion is not grounded in legislative provisions but emerges from doctrine and scholarly commentary. See FSC, 23 October 1996, Case No. BGE 122 II 469 – Chanel, para. 5e.

  109. 109.

    STMA, Art. 14.

  110. 110.

    Schweizerisches Zivilgesetzbuch (Swiss Civil Code) 10 December 1907, SR 210, Art. 29, states that if a person is adversely affected because another person is using his or her name, he or she may seek an order prohibiting such use and, if the user is at fault, may bring a claim for damages, and, where justified by the nature of the infringement, for satisfaction.

  111. 111.

    FC (supra note 7) 8605; Pfister (2016), Art. 50a, para. 31.

  112. 112.

    Commission (1976), para. 68.

  113. 113.

    Ferrari (2014), pp. 222 and 223.

  114. 114.

    STMA, Art. 27e e contrario in conjunction with STMA, Art.; cf. Felsenkeller (supra note 22) para. 4, in which the FSC stated that Art. 1(1) of the STMA applies to the whole of trade mark law.

  115. 115.

    Different without any reasoning, Schröter (2017a), Art. 27a, para. 3.

  116. 116.

    Cf. STMA, Art. 15(1); the legal terms of a famous trade mark and a trade mark with a reputation according to Art. 9(2)(c) EUTMR are not identical. For example, as to the necessary extent of reputation within the meaning of Art. 9(2)(c) of the EUTMR, the CJEU hold that the degree of knowledge required must be considered to be reached when the trade mark is known by a significant part of the public concerned by the products or services covered by that trade mark (CJEU, 6 October 2009, Case No. C-301/07 – Pago, para. 24. On the contrary, in Switzerland an outstanding reputation in a wide audience all over Switzerland is necessary (FSC, 24 March 1998, Case No. BGE 124 III 277 – Nike).

  117. 117.

    The main feature of a collective mark is that it is used as an indication to the relevant public that goods or services originate from a member of a particular association. Additional features may include common quality or accuracy, geographical origin or other characteristics set by the association (STMA, Art. 22). It signals membership of a club or association, which in turn depends on certain requirements being met. An application for a collective mark must be accompanied by a copy of the regulations which govern the use of the collective mark (STMA, Art. 23(1)).

  118. 118.

    Holzer and Schröter (supra note 18) para. 31.

  119. 119.

    STMA, Art. 23(3).

  120. 120.

    A guarantee mark is a sign that is used by several undertakings under the supervision of the owner of the mark and which serves to guarantee the quality, the geographical origin, the method of manufacture or other characteristics common to goods or services of such undertakings. It may not be used for goods or services of the owner of the mark or of an undertaking with which he has close economic ties (STMA, Art. 21). An application for a guarantee mark must be accompanied by a copy of the regulations which govern the use of the collective [guarantee?] mark (STMA, Art. 23(1)).

  121. 121.

    PDO/PGI-OAP, Art. 18; PDO/PGI-ONAP, Art. 15; Verordnung über den Rebbau und die Einfuhr von Wein (Wine Ordinance) 14 November 2007, SR 916.140, Art. 21(4); regarding GTMs according to Art. 27a(c) Schröter (supra note 115) para. 15.

  122. 122.

    E.g. the derogation of Art. 2(a) and 11 et. seq. of the STMA, the limitation of the permitted applicants, the limitation of the scope of protection to pre-registered signs, and the right of free use.

  123. 123.

    Cf. Sect. 2.2 above.

  124. 124.

    WIPO (2018), Intellectual Property Handbook, paras. 2.318 et seq. However, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (the Paris Convention) of 20 March 1883, as amended on 28 September 1979, only contains provisions on individual marks Art. 6 et seq) and collective marks (Paris Convention, Art. 7bis).

  125. 125.

    Cf. for example, WIPO MM2 form No. 9d.

  126. 126.

    Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement 1 January 2013, http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/wipo_treaties/text.jsp?file_id=281712. Accessed 1 January 2018.

  127. 127.

    Paris Convention, Art. 6quinquies A(1); Ricketson (2015), p. 533, para. 12.06.

  128. 128.

    Paris Convention, Art. 6quinquies B.

  129. 129.

    Ricketson (supra note 127) 538, para. 12.14; US – Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 (WT/DS176/AB/R) (Appellate Body Report, adopted 1 February 2002), DSR 2002:II, 589, paras. 122 et seq and 144 et seq.

  130. 130.

    US – Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 (supra note 129) paras. 122 et seq and 144 et seq.

  131. 131.

    WIPO (supra note 124) para. 5.103.

  132. 132.

    Ricketson (supra note 127) 539, para. 12.16; WIPO (supra note 124) para. 5.103.

  133. 133.

    Consolidated Version of Commission Regulation (EC) 2868/95 of 13 December 1995 implementing Council Regulation (EC) 40/94 on the Community trade mark [1995] OJ L303/1.

  134. 134.

    Cf. Regulation (EU) 2015/2424, para. 145 e contrario; the EUIPO Information Centre Customer Management has confirmed by email that Rule 121 of Regulation (EC) No 2868/95 will be applicable after the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 in that way that the international registration based on a collective, certification or guarantee mark will be dealt with as an EU collective mark (email from EUIPO Information Centre Customer Management to the author (10 February 2017).

  135. 135.

    As seen above Sect. 3.6, the GTM can be qualified as a guarantee mark sui generis as its quality function – as it is with the case of certification marks – is paramount.

  136. 136.

    EUTMR, Art. 74a et seq, will, pursuant to Art. 4 of Regulation 2015/2424, apply from 1 October 2017.

  137. 137.

    Dissmann and Somboonvong (2016), pp. 657, 657.

  138. 138.

    Commission (2013) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark, COM/2013/0161 final, Art. 74b(3) reads as follows: “By way of derogation from Art. 7(1)(c), signs or indications which may serve, in trade, to designate the geographical origin of the goods or services may constitute European certification marks.”.

  139. 139.

    EUTMR, Art. 74a(1); International Report LIDC Geneva Congress 3–6 October 2016, para. 108.

  140. 140.

    Cf. Sect. 3.6 above.

  141. 141.

    Ribeiro de Almeida (supra note 34) 640 and 651; Gangjee (2015), slide 14.

  142. 142.

    Ribeiro de Almeida (supra note 34) 640 and 651; Gangjee (supra note 141) slide 14.

  143. 143.

    This passage has also been emphasised by Opinion of AG Wathelet, 1 December 2016, Case No. C-689/15 – Cotton Flower, para. 39.

  144. 144.

    The Trade Mark Act of 1994 (UK), sch 2(3)(1).

  145. 145.

    EUTMR, Art. 66(2).

  146. 146.

    Second Board of Appeal, 10 May 2012, Case No. R 1007/2011-2 – representation of a flag with stars, para. 13; a different Second Board of Appeal, 15 February 2011, Case No. R 675/2010-2 – BIODYNAMIC, paras. 19 et seq, in which the Board of Appeal, based on Art. 68(2) of the EUTMR, ruled that it is not possible to register a mark that is indicated by its applicant as comparable to a “seal of guarantee, because the consumer can trust in the special production and processing of the foodstuff and the organic quality of the products”.

  147. 147.

    EUIPO (2017b), European Union Collective Marks, para. 3.1.

  148. 148.

    Ibid. para. 1.

  149. 149.

    Leister and Romeike (2016), pp. 122 and 126.

  150. 150.

    EUTMR, Art. 66(1).

  151. 151.

    As explained above in Sect. 3.1, in the case of PDOs/PGIs for non-agricultural products a single person can, under certain conditions, be treated as equivalent to a group.

  152. 152.

    As seen above in Sect. 3.1, it might be possible for a GTM to have co-owners.

  153. 153.

    EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 2; EUIPO (2017a), Formalities, para. 8.2.2; EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 2; also Dani (2014), p. 31.

  154. 154.

    As seen above in Sect. 3.1, each Swiss canton is also under certain circumstances allowed to file for a GTM.

  155. 155.

    EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 2.

  156. 156.

    EUTMR, Art. 67(2); for the detailed content which must be specified in the regulations cf. Rule 43(2) of Commission Regulation (EC) 2868/95.

  157. 157.

    STMA, Art. 27c(1); cf. also above Sect. 3.2.

  158. 158.

    EUTMR, Art. 68(1).

  159. 159.

    Knaak (2015), pp. 843 and 859.

  160. 160.

    In such cases, the regulations governing use of the mark do not need to contain details concerning membership as the requirement concerning the conditions for membership under Art. 67(2) of the EUTMR is not applicable at all (cf. representation of a flag with stars (supra note 146) para. 17; EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 2). It is only necessary that the regulations accurately reflect the fact that they refer to the use of the mark for goods complying with the GI(s) (EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 1).

  161. 161.

    First Board of Appeal, 5 October 2006, Case No. R 280/2006-1 – VINO NOBILE, para. 17.

  162. 162.

    Dani (supra note 153) 14.

  163. 163.

    Cf. 3.2.

  164. 164.

    David (2016b), Art. 27c, para. 18.

  165. 165.

    EUTMR, Art. 68(2).

  166. 166.

    EUIPO (supra note 147) para. 2; Joint Statements by the Council and the Commission of the European Communities as embodied in the minutes for the adoption of the CTMR on 20 December 1993, OHIM OJ 5/96, 619, as reported in Annand and Norman (1998).

  167. 167.

    EUTMR, Art. 66(3); General Court, 2 October 2015, Case No. T624/13 – The Tea Board v OHIM, para. 35.

  168. 168.

    Dani (supra note 153) p. 43.

  169. 169.

    Cf. Sect. 4.1.2.2 above.

  170. 170.

    EUTRM, Art. 66(2); Dani (supra note 153) p. 44.

  171. 171.

    Fourth Board of Appeal, 10 October 10, 2016, Case No. R 3095/2014-4 – MR HALLOUMIS, paras. 44, 47, 52; Fourth Board of Appeal, 16 March 2017, Case No. R 497/2016-4 – BBQLOUMI, para. 11.

  172. 172.

    BBQLOUMI (supra note 171) para. 13; MR HALLOUMIS (supra note 171) para. 44.

  173. 173.

    Rangnekar (2004), p. 24; Dani (supra note 153) p. 24.

  174. 174.

    Ribeiro de Almeida (supra note 34) p. 640.

  175. 175.

    General Court, 13 June 2012, Case No. T-534/10 – HELLIM I, para. 52; affirmed in CJEU, 21 March 2013, Case No. C-393/12 – HELLIM II, para. 33.

  176. 176.

    On an EU level, “HALLOUMI” is not yet protected as a PDO. Cyprus filed an application with the European Commission on 17 July 2014, which was published on 28 July 2015 (OJ C 246/9). In addition, the Fourth Board of Appeal held that “HALLOUMI” is not a geographically descriptive term (MR HALLOUMIS (supra note 218) para. 45). Nevertheless, for the here relevant question regarding the scope of protection, the “HALLOUMI’” cases serve as excellent examples.

  177. 177.

    BBQLOUMI (supra note 171) para. 16.

  178. 178.

    BBQLOUMI (supra note 171) para. 31.

  179. 179.

    Opposition Division, September 14, 2015, Case No. B 2 130 923 – CAVANAGH, para. c.

  180. 180.

    General Court, 2 October 2015, Case No. T-624/13 – Darjeeling, para. 108; affirmed in CJEU, 20 September 2017, Joined Case No. C-673/15 P to C-676/15 P – Darjeeling.

  181. 181.

    EUTMR, 66(3).

  182. 182.

    Heath (2017), p. 204.

  183. 183.

    CJEU, September 20, 2017, Joined Cases Nos. C-673/15 P to C-676/15 P – The Tea Board v Delta Lingerie, para. 63.

  184. 184.

    CJEU, September 20, 2017, Joined Cases Nos. C-673/15 P to C-676/15 P – The Tea Board v. Delta Lingerie, para. 64.

  185. 185.

    Schoene (2017), § 100, para. 13.

  186. 186.

    Cf. the Swiss guarantee marks “GLARNER-KALBERWURST” (a Swiss PGI for sausages) CH 473510 and “VACHERIN” CH 469377 (“Vacherin fribourgeois” and “Vacherin Mont-d’Or” are both Swiss PDOs for cheese) are both trade marks with acquired distinctiveness.

  187. 187.

    Knaak (supra note 159) 859.

  188. 188.

    Cf. Sect. 1.

  189. 189.

    A list of the filed GTM applications is online available by pressing the “search button” at https://www.swissreg.ch/srclient/faces/jsp/trademark/sr1.jsp. Accessed 1 January 2018.

  190. 190.

    Hirt (supra note 18) p. 237.

  191. 191.

    Knaak (supra note 159) pp. 856 and 857.

  192. 192.

    EUTMR, Art. 9(2)(c).

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Abegg, B. The Geographical Trade Mark: A Swiss Innovation Worth Copying?. IIC 49, 565–590 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-018-0694-2

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Keywords

  • Trade marks
  • Geographical indications
  • Designations of origin
  • Swiss law
  • EU law