Switzerland continues to be innovative during the pandemic

Swiss companies demonstrated their innovative spirit once again during the second year of the pandemic. More trade mark applications were filed in 2021 than in the previous year. Additionally, around 1,000 innovators carried out a search with the IPI to examine their inventions in detail.


More trade mark applications are filed every year in Switzerland. This upward trend also continued during the pandemic. Last year, 19,279 trade mark applications were filed (18,678 in 2020). As of the end of 2021, a total of 534,960 trade marks were in force in Switzerland. 97% of applications are submitted online via the eTrademark platform. If the IPI examination shows that the trade mark fulfils the legal requirements, it is entered in the Swiss trade mark register and therefore protected. In 2021, 17,250 trade marks were registered in this way (previous year: 16,322). Over 60% of applicants benefit from early trade mark examination as it increases the chance of their trade mark being registered more quickly. Only 3% of trade marks filed are not registered.

Almost 1,000 new ideas examined closely

Switzerland’s innovative spirit is also reflected in the figures for the Assisted Patent Search service, which was used 996 times last year (2020: 1,117). Independent inventors, SMEs and researchers can carry out an assisted search to find out whether their invention is novel and therefore whether it is worthwhile applying for a patent. The search also provides an overview of similar inventions and competitors. Last year, most clients came from the canton of Zurich (288), followed by Bern (133) and then Aargau (92).


Patents and designs


In 2021, patent applications were filed for 1,555 inventions in Switzerland (2020: 1,590), and a total of 6,623 Swiss patents were in force. The latter figure jumps to 146,716 if patents with effect in Switzerland filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) are also included.

Design applications are on the rise. Last year, 811 designs were registered with the IPI (2020: 613). As of the end of 2021, 9,545 design rights were active in Switzerland, providing protection for 33,686 objects (previous year: 9,212 rights protecting 31,686 objects). The high number of objects is explained by the fact that several objects of the same category can be registered in a single application for design protection. The IPI receives the most applications for clocks, watches and measuring instruments, packaging and furniture.

More statistics on trade marks and designs in Switzerland: https://www.ige.ch/en/services/publications/statistics

The IPI’s blog about Swiss inventors: https://www.ige.ch/en/blog