Guide for Innovative and Creative Minds


Do your research!

Try to find out whether your idea or something similar has already been done. Gather information by searching internet databases and technical, scientific and patent literature, attending trade fairs and looking through product catalogues.

Patents reflect the innovations that are being developed. Patent databases contain a huge amount of information about technological developments for products and processes – often long before these are on the market or in use. Use this information so that you don't start to develop something that already exists. Patent information can also inspire new ideas or other solutions.

If you’ve never searched for information before, we can help you through our Assisted Patent Search service. You can also go straight to a search professional. They can search specific patent databases and the technical literature for solutions identical or similar to yours.

If you have already filed a patent application, you may, for information purposes, request a Swiss Patent Application Search.


Good to know

  • Searches are valuable at any point in the innovation process. For example, you can find solutions for technical problems, keep informed of new technical developments, search for suppliers or licensing partners, avoid infringement, check the validity of a patent, or even look for a translation of a patent.



  • Patent database: It provides information on Swiss patents, published Swiss patent applications and European patents effective in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

  • You can find the same information in the IPI’s official publication organ as in the patent database. You can also search for specific publications, such as recent grants and register changes.
  • Millions of patent documents from all over the world are contained in the online database of the European.
  • Search for patent documents throughout the world with the online service of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.
  • The digital library of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (for patents, trade marks, and designs).
  • The online database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

You can also use Google or other search machines. Many other patent and trade mark offices have online databases which you can access from their websites.


  • Assisted Patent Search: Make use of the expertise of a patent expert at our office in Bern for a half day: accompanied by an expert, you search online databases and get a first overview of the state of the art for your idea or invention.
  • Professional searches: A technology and patent search by a specialist can help you determine the state of the art in a particular technology sector.
  • Swiss Patent Application Search: You will receive a search report containing a list of the most relevant documents. In this report, the significance of the various documents in terms of the patent claims they refer to is also indicated.