Guide for Innovative and Creative Minds


Do your research!

Try to find out whether your idea or something similar has already been done. Do searches in internet databases, search the technical, scientific and patent literature, and inform yourself at trade exhibits and by looking through product catalogs.

Patents reflect the innovations which 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. You can use this information to avoid beginning development on something which has already been developed. 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 professional. This person can search specific patent databases as well as the technical literature for solutions identical or similar to yours.

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

Good to know

  • Research is 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 the translation of a patent.


  • The official publication of Swiss patents, trade marks, and designs contains information on published Swiss applications and Swiss patents as well as granted European patents effective in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
  • The online database of the European Patent Organisation containing over a million patent documents from all over the world.
  • 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 patent and trade mark office of the U.S.A.

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.
  • Search for a Swiss Patent Application: 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.