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Patent in Switzerland

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  • Patent fees

Fees associated with filing patent applications in Switzerland as well as other patent fees are available in the fee calculator.

  • Term for filing a patent application in Switzerland

Term for filing the patent application in Switzerland claiming priority is 12 months from the priority date. The restoration of this term is not possible.

  • Filing requirements in Switzerland

The official languages for patent registration in Switzerland are German, French and Italian. Translation into one of the official languages is required simultaneously with filing a patent application.

A patent application in Switzerland should contain:
- applicant's and inventor’s details;
- specification in German, French or Italian;
- payment of the prescribed fees.

A certified copy of a Priority Document with the translation into one of the official languages or in English should be submitted within 16 months of the earliest priority date.

It is not usually required to submit a Power of Attorney. However, it may be requested by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI).

  • Examination of the Swiss patent application

Applications are subject to formal and substantive examinations. The Swiss Patent Office does not carry out the examination for the novelty and inventive step. The applicant must pay the examination fee before the start of the substantive examination upon request by the IPI and within the deadline set by the IPI.

  • Novelty grace period

The disclosure of the invention does not disprove its novelty and is not considered part of the state of the art if the disclosure has been made within six months prior to the filing or priority date under one of the following circumstances:
- an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or his legal predecessor;
- the fact that the applicant or his legal predecessor has displayed the invention at an official or officially recognised international exhibition falling within the terms of the Convention on International Exhibitions of November 22, 1928, and he has declared the fact at the time of filing and has produced sufficient supporting evidence in due time.

  • Grant, validity term and maintenance fees

When the examination procedure is successfully completed, the IPI shall register the patent in the Swiss Patent Register. After registration, the IPI shall publish a patent specification for a patent granted. The date of publication is the date of the grant. No grant and publication fees are required. The annual fees should be paid for each patent application or granted patent from the fourth year after the filing date. Patents are valid for 20 years from the filing date in Switzerland. Annuities should be paid annually on the last day of the month in which the patent application was filed. Patents in Switzerland may be renewed within six months after the due date by paying the surcharge.

  • Duration of registration procedure

In case the prosecution process goes smoothly, it takes an average of 4-5 years to obtain a patent in Switzerland.

  • Utility Model

Protection of the invention as a Utility Model is not possible in Switzerland.

  • Representation by a patent attorney

Foreign applicants should appoint an agent, a registered Swiss patent attorney to represent them before IPI.

  • Notes

1. Online Search Databases: Swiss Patents, European Patents (EPO).
2. Swiss patent is automatically valid in Liechtenstein as the countries have the same patent regulations based on a bilateral treaty.
3. Patent protection in Switzerland may be obtained via EPO route without validation action.

The above information was verified on 20.03.2024
Please contact us if the above information is not in conformity with Swiss IP Laws.