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Ministers keep "made in Switzerland" Swiss

Products claiming to be "made in Switzerland" are increasingly in violation of trademark laws, prompting the government to try to tighten them.

The cabinet on Wednesday took up the issue of "Swissness" in an effort to protect the commercial use of national emblems or words like "Swiss quality" or even "Switzerland" on goods and services sold within the country.

"How much 'Switzerland' must be in a product or a service for it to be labeled 'Switzerland'?" asks a government statement. "The existing laws leave a lot open and take too little account of economic reality."

To fight what it called increasing abuse, the government says it will propose revisions to trademark laws to enhance the protection of the Swiss brand, which has come to stand for quality and reliability.

Among the proposed revisions: Plants would have to be harvested in Switzerland to carry a Swiss label; industrial products, like knives, would have to incur 60 per cent of their production costs in Switzerland (including research and development); and in the case of processed products, they would have to would have to gain their "defining characteristics" in Switzerland – one example being turning milk into cheese.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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