For IP professionals
This is the portal for professionals working in the field of intellectual property. Here you'll find direct access to all necessary resources.
- Trade Mark Database
- Register changes for trade marks
- Madrid Monitor
- International trade mark registration
- Trade Mark Guidelines (German, French, Italian)
- Classification tool for trade marks
- Trade mark examination support tool
- Trade marks: Costs and fees
- Trade marks: WIPO fee calculator
- Cancellation procedure for trade marks on the grounds of non-use
- Protected public signs: Abbreviations
- Protected public signs: Other signs (emblems)
- Directory of Intellectual Property Offices
- Trade marks: News Service Archive
- Patents: Patent Examination Guidelines (German, French)
- Patents: Fees
Can ideas be protected?
Ideas, as such, cannot be protected, however, under certain conditions the concrete form of the idea can be:
- Technical solutions to a problem can be protected by a patent (e.g. heatable ski boots)
- The name of a product or a logo can be protected by registering a trade mark (e.g. Ricola)
- A product form can be protected by filing a design (e.g. Colani bottle)
- Literary works, art and computer programs are protected by copyright
An idea alone is not patentable, but the exact instructions for arriving at the solution to a technical problem are. The realisation of the idea must be accurately described.
Discoveries, aesthetic forms, and business systems are not considered inventions in Switzerland and thus cannot be patented. A discovery refers to finding something which already exists and simply describing it, or, in other words, an invention expands the technical possibilities of mankind while a discovery only expands our knowledge.
More examples of what is not patentable can be found under What is an invention.
Good to know
- Computer programs, as such, are not patentable, but, inventions based on such programs are (for example, electronic steering). More information on computer-based inventions can be found on page 14 of our patent examination guidelines (available in German (PDF) and French (PDF)).
- What is intellectual property?
- No protection for?
24.05.2023 | Media release, Copyright
Online service providers are to remunerate use of journalistic works
26.04.2023 | Media release, Law and policy
Greater efficiency in the fight against counterfeiting
19.01.2023 | Law and policy, Event
Conference on Intellectual Property & Sustainability at the University of Geneva
Symposium: "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – NFTs not your cup of tea? Well, they should: NFTs as a new way of fighting counterfeiting and piracy"