Corporate News

Walder Wyss' IP team achieves far-reaching injunctions for the German science and technology company Merck against its US competitor MSD.

5 dicembre 2022 – Merck, which is based in Darmstadt, Germany, is the oldest pharmaceutical company in the world. Following World War I, its US subsidiary, which was founded in 1890, became an independent business. Since then, there have been two international businesses that use "Merck" in their company name. In a dispute that has been pending for about ten years before the courts of a number of countries (including Switzerland), Merck and MSD argue inter alia whether or not MSD is entitled to use "Merck" as a part of its .com addresses of various websites and social media sites. After a landmark remand decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which had held the internet presences at dispute had a commercial effect in Switzerland and that, therefore, there was use in Switzerland, the Commercial Court of Zurich now grants most of Merck's requests. As a consequence, MSD has to implement geoblocking measures on its .com internet presences containing "merck" so that access to those presences out of Switzerland will be prevented to at least 95%. Where this is not possible, MSD has to cease the use entirely. Further, MSD's Swiss companies are prohibited from using their email addresses ending with "" in the future. An appeal against this decision with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court is available to MSD.

Walder Wyss represents Merck in the Swiss proceedings. The team is led by Roger Staub (Partner, IP) and includes Manuel Bigler (Managing Associate, IP) and Lucina Herzog (Associate, IP).