03.01.2017

Swissness law: more protection for the Made in Switzerland

400The rules governing the new "Swissness" legislation, which strengthens the criteria to define the nationality of products and services, have entered into force since 1 January 2017. In this context, the DOP and IGP denominations acquire the value of geographic marks, making it easier to abroad. The novelty is also applicable to certain industrial products like watches.

Currently, PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (protected geographical indication) offer protection to agricultural products and processed agricultural to those in Switzerland, but not automatically abroad.

The geographical mark will also be useful in industrial sectors, such as watchmaking and textiles about the embroidery of St. Gallen. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) has planned to record items with a geographical trademark: the Geneva manufacturers could, for example, deposit the name "Geneva" as a geographical label for their watches.

The use of a geographical name will be free and will not be subjected to authorization, Tissot explained in a statement. It is not permissible to sell a geographical trademark or grant licenses concerning him. It will also be impossible to submit objections to its creation.

But reliance on overseas production meant many Swiss companies were exposed to significant extra costs as a result of the new rules, said Philipp Aerni, director of Zürich’s Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

“Switzerland is one of the most globalised nations in the world, with its companies integrated into global value chains. To pretend that we produce everything here is just a joke.”

 

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