International protection of Swiss food names to be improved

Baking a Zuger Kirschtorte © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss producers will find it easier to have geographical indications for their products protected internationally – for example Zuger Kirschtorte (kirsch cake from Zug), Bündnerfleisch (dried meat from Graubünden) or Tête de Moine cheese from the Jura.

This content was published on March 3, 2021 - 12:14

The House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon AgreementExternal link. This should make it easier to protect geographical indications for Swiss products in several countries at the same time. At present, Swiss producers have to submit a separate application for the protection of their geographical indication in each state.

The act applies to goods “containing the name of a geographical area, or another denomination known as referring to such area, which serves to designate a good as originating in that geographical area, where the quality or characteristics of the good are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors, and which has given the good its reputation”.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said the new system was uncomplicated and inexpensive. “There will be no costs for the government and the cantons and no need to adapt the existing system,” she said.

The Senate approved the agreement last autumn. With the approval of both chambers, the Swiss Trademark Protection Act will be supplemented by a number of points, for example on registration, authorisations and regulations on fees and competences.

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