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Military brands

Through the commercialisation of the term «Swiss Army Knife» in the USA, the first military brand of the Swiss Confederation was created in the period after the Second World War.

The term Swiss military brands covers signs or trademarks which consist of two or more words, one of which is «Swiss» or «Switzerland» or a word derived from either of these (irrespective of the language used) and whose other component has a military meaning.

Victorinox AG has been supplying the Swiss Armed Forces with the soldier’s knife since 1891. After the Second World War, US soldiers stationed in Europe imported this pocket knife into the USA, commercialised as the «Swiss Army Knife». At the beginning of the 1990s, Victorinox AG applied for the trademark «Swiss Army» for knifeware in the USA and as a result it was registered with the support of the former Defence Procurement Agency (EMD). Since then, the brand «Swiss Army» has experienced global expansion and recognition.

The Swiss Confederation could only carry out the first trademark registrations at the beginning of the 1990s due to the lack of basic legal principles in Switzerland. According to the adjudication, the military brands are considered as official signs which may not be used by private companies without the consent of the Swiss Confederation. Today, based on a parliamentary motion, the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport DDPS is responsible for protecting and managing the military brands, specifically the brands «Swiss Army» (except for knifeware), «Swiss Military» and «Swiss Air Force».

Military brand communications

Specialist department for law, transport and duty Guisanplatz 1
3003 Bern


Specialist department for law, transport and duty

Guisanplatz 1
3003 Bern