Guide for Innovative and Creative Minds


Filing a patent application

You can find out how to apply for a patent and what the procedure is on our website.


  • An invention must be novel in order for it to be protected. In Switzerland, however, the patent examination does not include novelty. This means that it is possible to have a patent granted for an invention which is not novel (e.g. a patent for a record player). However, this makes it possible for someone else to contest the novelty of your invention, and your patent could be revoked (declared invalid).
    Perhaps you want to extend protection for your invention to other countries. When an application to the European Patent Office (EPO) is submitted and processed, the invention is examined for novelty — and will be rejected if it doesn’t meet the requirement.
    We strongly recommend that you determine the novelty of your invention first. If you have applied for a patent, you can have us conduct a Prior Art Search for a Swiss Patent Application. Novelty is examined in the European and PCT procedures.
  • The material examination of a patent application usually takes place 3-4 years after the application has been filed. In the meantime, i.e. 18 months after the filing date (or, if applicable, the priority date), the patent application is published electronically on If any weaknesses have been discovered in the patent application, you must rectify them (e.g. revise the technical claims) without, however, going beyond the content of the original documents submitted. If all deficiencies have been corrected, the patent is granted.
  • We recommend that you draw up the technical specifications with a patent attorney. Prepare the patent claims very carefully because these define exactly what will be protected and what not (scope of protection).


Further information



  • Patent database: It provides information on all active Swiss patents, published Swiss patent applications and European patents effective in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. You can also manage your IP rights and applications via the database.
  • 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 new grants and register changes.
  • The online database of the European Patent Organisation with over a million patent documents from all over the world.