The Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Administrative Court recently handed down conflicting decisions in two ostensibly similar cases concerning disputed family names. The cases demonstrate that while the use of family names in company names is permissible even if the family name is part of an older name of a company active in the same industry, no equivalent rule exists in trademark law.
New provisions amending the Patent Act recently entered into force. The revised act includes two additional exemptions from patent protection that aim to safeguard the professional use of pharmaceuticals in favour of patients. Further, patent owners may now request to extend their patent protection for six months if they conduct clinical studies concerning the paediatric use of a pharmaceutical.
Under Swiss copyright law, which sets out a number of lawful ways to use copyrighted works, Replay TV constitutes private use and is covered by the respective statute of limitations. However, as users receive TV programmes via a third party (ie, Replay TV service providers), a statutory copyright levy is imposed on Replay TV. Unsurprisingly, TV stations are unhappy with this arrangement and have attempted to contest it before the courts.