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June 26, 2019

Switzerland updates its annual fees for patents

The intellectual property office of Switzerland (IPI) has updated its annual fees for maintaining patent validity. The changes have been published following the approval by the Federal Council on April 17, 2019, with the amended fees entering into effect as of July 1, 2019.

The amendments primarily affect annual fees for a patent and are set to largely benefit patent rights holders with significant decreases. Whilst the initial annual fee payable from the fourth year remains unchanged at 100 CHF, the annual fees for each following year until the 19th have all been reduced. For example, the fee for the fifth year now constitutes 120 CHF as opposed to the previous fee of 150 CHF, demonstrating a 20% decrease. The reductions in fees reach up to 32%, with the 12th annual fee constituting 340 CHF compared to the previous fee of 500 CHF. The fees begin increasing with the 19th annuity, which has experienced an upsurge from 850 CHF to 860 CHF, whilst the 20th annuity has risen from 900 CHF to 960 CHF. In total, the fee amendments will save patentees 1440 CHF throughout the 20-year validity term of a patent.

In addition, patents with a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) will be subject to the increased SPC annual fees after the 20th year of the initial protection period. The fees for maintaining validity of an SPC have increased, with the first year fees rising from 950 CHF to 1060 CHF, and each following year increasing by an average of 235 CHF. Since the maximum term of protection for an SPC constitutes 5.5 years, a maximum of half of the 6th annual fee (780 CHF) will be due. Despite the increase in fees for an SPC, patent right holders will still benefit from a total saving of 210 CHF throughout the lifespan of the patent, including the SPC.

Author: Danielle Carvey