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Swiss IP News – July 2020

An update on new decisions, the relevant legislative process and other trends in the fields of intellectual property and unfair competition law from a Swiss perspective.

Well-known trademarks in the context of a product’s culinary origin

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court (SFAC) recently clarified (B-622/2018, 8 June 2020) that the “relevant” public, in a legal meaning, for (traditional) pastries comprises all consumers and professionals residing in Switzerland irrespective of the culinary origins of such pastries.

Swiss Federal Supreme Court follows the practice of EPO’s Board of Appeal on singling out

In a recent decision (4A_613/2019, 11 May 2020), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (Supreme Court) followed the practice of the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) as it held that the singling out of single features from two separate lists of features and therefore the combination of these  two specific features constitutes an extension of the subject-matter of the patent application leading to its nullity.

Merck vs MSD – When is online use considered use in Switzerland?

In its landmark decision of 29 April 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the online use of a trademark or other sign must have a commercial effect in Switzerland for such use to be considered use in Switzerland. A global website targeted at a worldwide audience may have a commercial effect in Switzerland.

What does Schrems II mean for the transfer of employee data by Swiss businesses abroad?

In its long-awaited landmark decision «Schrems II», the CJEU invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield while imposing additional requirements on the use of Standard Contractual Clauses. The decision also has implications for Swiss employers when transferring employee data to countries without an adequate level of data protection.

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