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Christoph Gasser

Christoph Gasser

BianchiSchwald LLCSt. Annagasse 9PO Box 1162ZurichSwitzerlandCH-8021

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Christoph Gasser is “great on complex cases” and “a very sharp lawyer” according to sources. He is frequently involved in advising clients on trademark oppositions, prosecutions and litigation.

Questions & Answers

Christoph Gasser (Dr iur (Bern) LLM (Michigan)) is a partner in the Zurich office of the Swiss business law firm BianchiSchwald LLC and heads the firm’s IP department. He teaches IP and unfair competition law at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property; and he serves as the executive secretary of the Swiss IP association INGRES, an adjunct judge of the Swiss Federal Patent Court and an expert examiner for the Swiss Patent Bar examination.

What motivated you to pursue a career in intellectual property law?

During my studies at the Universities of Bern and Michigan (Ann Arbor), intellectual property law was taught very vividly, thanks also to the often “funny” cases. Sometimes there are easily understandable everyday matters in dispute, sometimes there are technically complex matters, but one way or another they trigger considerable dogmatic difficulties and are of high economic significance. In the 1990s, the Swiss government intended to join the European Union, which led to the enactment of EU-compatible legislation on intellectual property in Switzerland. These new decrees in turn provided space for publications. And so, I did my doctorate in copyright law at the University of Bern, where I also lectured in intellectual property classes, and contributed to legal commentaries in trademark, patent and copyright law.

How does the academic study of law influence your practice?

Academic studies enable a constant exchange in the pursuit of dogmatic depth and comprehensive legal analysis, on the one hand, and the needs of the client for practical grounding, on the other hand. In addition, the development and renewal of lecture materials and the elaboration of examination questions ensure my own continuing education. This also applies to my task as the managing director of the Swiss IP Association INGRES, which brings me into constant professional exchange with colleagues from law firms, patent agencies, courts and legal teaching.

How has your role as an adjunct judge in the Swiss Federal Patent Court impacted how you practise as a litigator?

Experience as a part-time judge in the Swiss Federal Patent Court makes it easier to understand what is important to a court, but also to learn what it does not wish to read or hear.

What challenges do the increasing complexity of rules in intellectual property law pose for lawyers?

These challenges require a greater knowledge of intellectual property law and also the examination of legal systems and jurisdictions, which for political reasons have a greater weight than our own national legal systems, but which can lead to setbacks in legal finesse and balance.

What impact has harmonisation in trademark law had on the trademark litigation field?

In principle, harmonisation leads to less work for lawyers, in particular, at the application level, while this development may less affect the dispute level of our intellectual property practice. Still, also in litigation, foreign precedents become more important as the substantive legal systems converge and the decisions of the courts are easier to compare.

What distinguishes BianchiSchwald from its competitors in the Swiss legal market?

At BianchiSchwald, we maintain an extremely high level of responsiveness and strive to work very quickly with high quality and rather moderate prices. It is also important for us that the client does not pay for the training of the young lawyers as a result.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

I find that young lawyers often work shorter hours, are less willing to go the extra mile, are stronger in information technology and social media issues, and have different language skills than their predecessors (often better English, but worse German and French). For our firm, the most important thing is to support and promote the young colleagues who are willing to invest time in their careers over the years and thus to introduce them to their role as future partners.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

We expect more competition from abroad and an increasing number of clients who focus more on the price and possibly less on the quality of the work. The current mass business in intellectual property law (applications, validations) is coming under pressure. Clients continue to seek support in complex cases. These generate the main turnover of the intellectual property practice.

Global Leader

Trademarks 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christoph Gasser is "a brilliant practitioner" who is hailed by peers as "one of the most responsive and hard-working lawyers in Switzerland".

Biography

Christoph Gasser (Dr iur (Bern); LLM (Michigan)) is a partner in the Zurich office of BianchiSchwald LLC and the head of the firm's IP department. His practice includes litigation and advice in all fields of intellectual property, including the prosecution and enforcement of trademark, design, copyright, domain name and unfair competition matters, and the enforcement of patents, in particular in the mechanical and pharmaceutical areas.

Mr Gasser has acted as trial counsel and has otherwise litigated IP cases before numerous cantonal courts and arbitration panels, including UDRP, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, the Swiss Federal Patent Court and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

Clients include international corporations, such as leading providers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, toy manufacturers, companies doing business in the railway, furniture and building industries, as well as multinational manufacturers and service providers active in healthcare, security, electronics, telecommunications, and tourism. He advises and represents advertising agencies and major producers and retailers in the food, clothing and consumer electronics sectors.

Mr Gasser is the executive secretary of INGRES, the Swiss IP association, which organises several major IP conferences on Swiss and European law every year. INGRES publishes a monthly periodical on IP. Mr Gasser has published substantial contributions to leading Swiss and international treatises on trademark, patent, copyright, and design law.

Mr Gasser is an adjunct judge of the Swiss Federal Patent Court. He has lectured on trademark and copyright law at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, teaches IP at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Bern, and serves as an expert examiner for the Swiss patent Bar examination.

National Leader

Switzerland - Patents

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christoph Gasser is “well known in the IP business" according to market commentators, who identify him as "an outstanding lawyer by all accounts".

Biography

Christoph Gasser (Dr iur (Bern); LLM (Michigan)) is a partner in the Zurich office of BianchiSchwald LLC and the head of the firm's IP department. His practice includes litigation and advice in all fields of intellectual property, including the prosecution and enforcement of trademark, design, copyright, domain name and unfair competition matters and the enforcement of patents, in particular in the mechanical and pharmaceutical areas.

Mr Gasser has acted as trial counsel and has otherwise litigated IP cases before numerous cantonal courts and arbitration panels, including UDRP, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, the Swiss Federal Patent Court and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

Clients include international corporations, such as leading providers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, toy manufacturers, companies doing business in the railway, furniture and building industries, as well as multinational manufacturers and service providers active in healthcare, security, electronics, telecommunications, and tourism. He advises and represents advertising agencies and major producers and retailers in the food, clothing and consumer electronics sectors.

Mr Gasser is the executive secretary of INGRES, the Swiss IP association, which organises several major IP conferences on Swiss and European law every year. INGRES publishes a monthly periodical on IP. Mr Gasser has published substantial contributions to leading Swiss and international treatises on trademark, patent, copyright, and design law.

Mr Gasser is an adjunct judge of the Swiss Federal Patent Court. He has lectured on trademark and copyright law at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, teaches IP at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Bern, and serves as an expert examiner for the Swiss patent Bar examination.

Switzerland - Trademarks

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Christoph Gasser is “great on complex cases” and “a very sharp lawyer” according to sources. He is frequently involved in advising clients on trademark oppositions, prosecutions and litigation.

Biography

Christoph Gasser (Dr iur (Bern); LLM (Michigan)) is a partner in the Zurich office of BianchiSchwald LLC and the head of the firm's IP department. His practice includes litigation and advice in all fields of intellectual property, including the prosecution and enforcement of trademark, design, copyright, domain name and unfair competition matters and the enforcement of patents, in particular in the mechanical and pharmaceutical areas.

Mr Gasser has acted as trial counsel and has otherwise litigated IP cases before numerous cantonal courts and arbitration panels, including UDRP, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, the Swiss Federal Patent Court and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

Clients include international corporations, such as leading providers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, toy manufacturers, companies doing business in the railway, furniture and building industries, as well as multinational manufacturers and service providers active in healthcare, security, electronics, telecommunications, and tourism. He advises and represents advertising agencies and major producers and retailers in the food, clothing and consumer electronics sectors.

Mr Gasser is the executive secretary of INGRES, the Swiss IP association, which organises several major IP conferences on Swiss and European law every year. INGRES publishes a monthly periodical on IP. Mr Gasser has published substantial contributions to leading Swiss and international treatises on trademark, patent, copyright, and design law.

Mr Gasser is an adjunct judge of the Swiss Federal Patent Court. He has lectured on trademark and copyright law at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, teaches IP at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Bern, and serves as an expert examiner for the Swiss patent Bar examination.

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