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Lawsuit regarding infringement of Swiss Army brand

Today the Bern commercial court ruled on a lawsuit brought by armasuisse against unauthorized users of the Swiss Army brand. In 2013 the federal parliament had approved a motion to have the Swiss Army, Swiss Military and Swiss Airforce brands registered. The Federal Council commissioned the DDPS/armasuisse with implementing this motion. In recent years, armasuisse has signed licensing agreements with several Swiss companies and is involved in a number of lawsuits both in Switzerland and abroad relating to infringement of the Confederation’s military brands.

15.04.2016 | Communication

On 20.6.2013 parliament adopted motion SiK 12.3667 “Registration of the Swiss Army, Swiss Military and Swiss Air Force” brands. This motion tasks the Federal Council and the DDPS, and specifically armasuisse, with protecting and defending the brands in Switzerland and abroad, and with marketing them through licensing agreements. Products of the Swiss licensees, which have to meet the requirements of the legislation on “Swissness”, are protected on the global markets. Where necessary, armasuisse initiates legal action to prosecute brand infringements in Switzerland and abroad.  Licensing revenues are used to cover the cost of protecting and defending the brand. The proceeds go to the federal finances.

The motion’s brief requires armasuisse to work closely together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) to enforce the “Swissness” legislation and to combat brand piracy. In the present case, such coordination took place. The IPI and armasuisse have repeatedly intervened against illegal use of the Swiss Army brand for chocolate. When it proved impossible to conclude a licensing agreement and after several warning letters had been ignored, armasuisse filed a lawsuit with the Commercial Court of the Canton of Bern to enforce the prohibition on the use of the brand.

The accused users of the Swiss Army brand have accepted this prohibition on its use. This case acts as a signal to deter further infringements of the Confederation’s military brands and with regard to the implementation of the motion.

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Head of Communication armasuisse

Kasernenstrasse 19
CH-3003 Bern

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