The legal basis for using care labels

Textile care labels benefit from international protection.

GINETEX – a pioneering project from the textile industry

GINETEX – the international care labelling organisation – initiated the care labelling system by means of symbols in the 1960s.

To ensure the correct use of care labels, care symbols are protected trademarks in most countries (international trademark registration via WIPO under a range of a numbers, including collective trademark No. 849 319). Trademark protection is accepted by the states that have signed the Madrid Agreement.


At a national level, the old and new sequences for the series of symbols are registered with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. The washing symbol and ironing symbol (Switzerland trademark protection no. 415.150 as well as 515.334, 515.333 and 515.332 [list not complete]) are also registered in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The symbols are registered in the following goods and/or service classes:

  • 23 (yarns and threads for textile purposes)
  • 24 (textile goods – namely fabrics, drapes, curtains, net curtains, household laundry, table and bed linen)
  • 25 (items of clothing, footwear and headwear)
  • 26 (lace and embroidery, strips from textile materials)
  • 27 (carpets and floor coverings made from textile materials)
  • 40 (treatment of textiles)