As already set out in the answers to questions 1, 2 and 4 above, trademark law may very often be involved. In this case it should be noted that, if the authorities and groups concerned so desire and are so authorized, they may file a geographical indication as a guarantee mark or collective mark. A guarantee mark is a sign used by several companies under the supervision of its holder, with a view to guaranteeing the quality, geographical origin, method of manufacture or other characteristics of these companies‘ products or services. In particular, the following are deemed to be such characteristics: quality, identical geographical origin, similar method of manufacture (such as environmentally friendly products), special technical characteristics (approved products), “fair-trade” products or services. To avoid any conflict of interest, the guarantee mark may not be used by the holder or by a company with which he/she has close economic ties. For a consideration, the holder must authorize the use of the guarantee mark for products or services with the common characteristics guaranteed by the trademark regulations (Article 22 Trademark Act). The guarantee mark may be used in addition to indications registered under the applicable Swiss agricultural or viticultural provisions (see the answer to question 2 above), if the product concerned includes other essential features not linked to the geographical place. A collective mark is the sign of a group of production, trade or service companies. It is used to distinguish the products or services of members of the group from those of other companies (Article 23 Trademark Act).
[Answer 1: Protection for geographical indications is provided through the law of 12 December 1996 regarding the protection of trademarks and geographical indications (Trademark Act; Liechtenstein Law Gazette 1997, No. 60 2 ). Unfair competition law (Unfair Competition Act, Liechtenstein Law Gazette 1992, No. 121 3 ) applies only if there is no specific provision in the Trademark Law. Concurrent application is possible in civil law, but not to obtain an extension to the protection afforded by the Trademark Act (as special IP law). The recognition of geographical indications as such does not require registration. Nevertheless, if such indication is part of a trademark, it has to be registered.]
[Answer 2: There is not one single regime of protection for all products. As indicated under question 1 above, geographical indications for products and services are protected by the Trademark Act. Within the framework of the Customs Union Treaty between Liechtenstein and Switzerland of 1923 4, parts of the Swiss Law on Agriculture, in particular the Swiss Ordinance of 28 May 1997 concerning the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications with respect to Agricultural Products and Processed Agricultural Products (RS 910.12, RO 1997 1188), are applicable in Liechtenstein. For further information about the system for the registration of geographical indications under this Ordinance, which provides for an additional protection for agricultural products including spirits, see document IP/C/W/76/Add.5/Suppl.1 and the Swiss answers to the related questions of the Checklist. Liechtenstein producers face the same registration requirements as Swiss producers under this Ordinance. As far as wines are concerned, reference is made also to the new Swiss Ordinance on Viticulture and the Importation of Wine (SR 916.140, AS 1999, 86) as far as applicable subject to the bilateral Customs Union Treaty. As the product-specific law applicable in Liechtenstein is not national law but Swiss law, it will not be elaborated in detail in our answers to this Checklist. Furthermore, the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992 (EEA Agreement) contains extensive references to European Community legislation on definition, description and presentation of wines and spirits in its Annex II, Section XXVII.]
[Answer 4: The relevant provisions are contained in Articles 45 et seq. of the Trademark Act of 12 December 1996. For cases not covered by the provisions of the Trademark Act, Article 3(b) of the Unfair Competition Act may apply. 5]