Notification under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement (Laws and Regulation)
49. I would like to thank the WTO Secretariat for circulating to the membership the recent update of our notification under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. This update contains all IP and TRIPS relevant changes in the Swiss legislation between February 2017 and December 2021. For the sake of brevity, I will not present the notified changes in a comprehensive manner. Short descriptions of every notified modification are included in the written document submitted to the WTO Secretariat. Two points may nevertheless deserve mentioning.
50. First, on 1 December 2021, Switzerland acceded to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. Under the Geneva Act, beneficiaries of geographical indications can obtain effective protection in the contracting parties through a single, simple and inexpensive notification procedure. The Swiss Federal Law on the Protection of Trademarks and Indications of Source and its ordinance were amended accordingly to implement Switzerland's adherence to the Geneva Act.
51. Second, the Swiss Copyright Act was partially amended and entered into force early 2020. The revised Act strengthens the rights of creative artists and cultural industries. The main objective of the revision was to step up the fight against Internet piracy. Furthermore, the revised Copyright Act extends the term of protection for performers and producers from 50 to 70 years and brings important innovations for photographers, namely the protection of all photographs, both analogue and digital, whether photographers are professionals or amateurs. The revised Copyright Act also takes into account Switzerland's ratification of two international treaties administered by WIPO: the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. For further information on our notification up-date, we refer Members to the documents indicated in the Council's agenda for the present meeting under agenda item 1.
Checklist of issues on enforcement
52. By decision of 21 November 1995, the TRIPS Council agreed on a checklist of questions and issues for Members to provide responses regarding their national enforcement laws and practices, as well as on the status of national implementation of the provisions on enforcement as contained in Part III of the TRIPS Agreement. Switzerland submitted its response to the Checklist in communication in 1997 and in an up-dated version in 2014 in document .
53. Since 2014, IP enforcement rules in Switzerland have again undergone a number of changes. Accordingly, the present up-date of our answers to the checklist of questions as contained in document reflects the state of laws and regulations in relation to IP enforcement in Switzerland as of 1 January 2022. Again, we will not present these changes in detail and refer Members to document , as notified.
54. As one illustrative example, let me nevertheless mention that the so called "Swissness" legislation, which strengthens the protection of the "Swiss Made" designation and of the Swiss cross, came into force on 1 January 2017. This new legislation lead also to a number of amendments on enforcement. More specifically, criteria applicable for the use of Swiss indications of source in relation to goods or services were specified and simultaneously, the Swiss Federal Institute of IP has been empowered with further competences to enforce these rules.
55. We encourage Members, which have not yet done so or which, at their domestic level, have made changes in their enforcement laws and practices to update this information. Members thereby contribute to transparency in this Organization, a key commitment Members agreed to when founding the WTO for the sake of promoting a regulatory environment that fosters global trade for the benefits of Members.
56. Finally, my delegation would like to thank the WTO Secretariat, specifically Ms Natalie Carlson and Ms Sandra Smith, for their much appreciated assistance in the process of up-dating our notification and answers to the checklist through the e-TRIPS Submission System and for making them available through the e-TRIPS Gateway. While this required some adjustment to our previous approach to notifications, we see the benefits of the e-TRIPS Submission System. It supports Members in notifying promptly and efficiently new laws and regulations instead of doing so in bulk and in longer time intervals.