News

11.07.2022 | Law and policy

Substantive patent law harmonisation: consultation completed

The consultation period on the substantive patent law harmonisation has come to an end and we draw some preliminary conclusions based on the received comments. Check our website!

06.07.2022 | Law and policy

WIPO Director Daren Tang commends the good WIPO-IPI relationship

On 5 July 2022, the WIPO Director General Daren Tang made an official visit to Bern. Tang and his delegation visited both the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The aim of Daren Tang’s visit was to exchange ideas with the Swiss delegation: Catherine Chammartin, Director General of the IPI; Felix Addor, Deputy Director...

17.05.2022 | Patents, Trade Marks, Law and policy, Designs

Termination of the Agreement between Switzerland and Germany on Reciprocal Protection for Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

By means of notices dated 30 April and 29 December 2021, Germany terminated the Agreement of 13 April 1892 between Switzerland and Germany on Reciprocal Protection for Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (SR 0.232.149.136). This decision follows a judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union dated 22 October 2020 (joined cases C-720/18 and C-721/18) in which the court ruled that the above...

04.04.2022 | Patents, Law and policy

Consultation from 4 April to 20 May 2022 on the harmonisation of substantive patent law

Substantive patent law is to be harmonised internationally. The European Patent Organisation and the intellectual property offices in 45 industrial countries, including Switzerland, have been pursuing this objective since 2014. The aim of harmonisation is to simplify and accelerate procedures, lower the costs for obtaining and enforcing patent rights, and increase the predictability of procedures,...

03.09.2021 | Law and policy, Partners and initiatives

Second online workshop CIPCO/IPI ‘Legal framework of intellectual property for AI - technical and economic aspects’ on 13 September 2021

The IPI is very pleased to present the second online workshop of the Center for Intangible Property and Competition Law (CIPCO), in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). After a successful first edition on the topic: Legal framework of intellectual property for AI - status quo and perspectives on June 11, 2021, we are repeating the experience by...

18.08.2021 | Patents, Media release, Law and policy

Modernising the patent examination procedure

The Federal Council acknowledged the results of the consultation on the partial revision of the Patents Act at its meeting of 18 August 2021 and decided on the further course of action. Modernising the patent examination procedure was, in principle, welcomed in the consultation. The Federal Council has decided to take into account the criticism voiced in individual areas by making adjustments to...

18.08.2021 | Media release, Law and policy, Indications of source

Swiss producers to benefit from better international protection for geographical indications

Swiss producers will in future be able to register geographical indications in several states simultaneously via a simple procedure. At its meeting on 18 August 2021, the Federal Council approved the entry into force of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications as well as the implementing ordinances per 1 December 2021. You can find further...

01.07.2021 | Law and policy

Digital transformation, data and frontier technologies

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), headquartered in Geneva, is conducting a survey on the impact of frontier technologies on intellectual property (IP). This questionnaire on frontier technologies and data begins with general questions about the use of frontier technologies and IP, and then moves on to focus on data as a driving force behind these technologies. The responses...

02.06.2021 | Law and policy, Partners and initiatives

CIPCO/IPI ‘Intellectual property law in the age of artificial intelligence’ workshop on 11 June 2021

Is intellectual property protection becoming superfluous? Or will there soon be no need for patent or trade mark examiners? Following the prevalent views on the future role of artificial intelligence, one would have to answer such questions with a yes. A new series of events on the topic of ‘AI & IP’ attempts to provide a more differentiated picture, taking into account views from different...

26.05.2021 | Media release, Law and policy

Digital economy performs well

At its meeting on 26 May 2021, the Federal Council took note of the report (in German and French, pdf) by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) entitled ‘Access to non-personal data in the private sector’. The digital economy significantly contributes to the economic performance of Switzerland. To facilitate access to non-personal data held by the private sector, the report...

01.04.2021 | Media release, Law and policy, Law enforcement

United against ‘Swissness’ misuse – the IPI and Swiss exporters are working together

Statutory regulations have been in force since 1 January 2017 for products and services that producers want to promote with ‘Swissness’, such as with a Swiss cross or a ‘Swiss Made’ label, for example. The aim of these rules is to protect the ‘Swiss’ brand from misuse and secure companies that produce in Switzerland an important long-term competitive advantage. The ‘Swissness’ legislation...

05.03.2021 | Law and policy

Suspension of the TRIPS Agreement during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At the WTO/TRIPS Council of 15 and 16 October 2020, India and South Africa submitted a TRIPS waiver request. In it, they propose that the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights should be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. See our page on the Suspension of the TRIPS Agreement for further information.

22.02.2021 | Law and policy, Copyright, OTM

Limitless film consumption?

Thanks to tablets and laptops, you can consume films and series anytime, anywhere. If you are abroad, however, the screen often remains black due to what is known as geo-blocking. The EU has taken individual measures to this end. The OTM examined what the situation is like for Swiss nationals staying abroad as part of the Digital Switzerland Action Plan. For example, online content services...

01.01.2021 | Law and policy

The sic! journal in partnership with the Helbing Lichtenhahn Verlag from 2021

The sic! journal for intellectual property, information and competition law has been published since 1997 and is indispensable to the professional community. For more than 23 years, an independent editorial board has ensured that this high-quality publication keeps Swiss IP lawyers up to date with the latest case law and academic discourse. It is supported by the IPI, the International Association...

18.12.2020 | Media release, Indications of source, Law and policy

The ‘Swiss’ brand is adequately protected

The legal criteria for the long-term protection of ‘Swissness’ are fulfilling their purpose. This has been confirmed in studies commissioned by the Federal Council. They are adding value to the Swiss economy and are also leading to a decrease in cases of ‘Swissness’ misuse, particularly within Switzerland. However, in a report approved on 18 December 2020, the Federal Council sees potential for...

11.12.2020 | Law and policy

Indonesia removes local manufacturing requirement from its patent law

The dialogue between Switzerland, most notably the IPI, and the relevant Indonesian authorities has borne fruit with the adoption of the Omnibus Law, in autumn 2020. At the beginning of October 2020, the Indonesian Parliament passed the Omnibus Law. This legislative amendment concerns the revision of a total of 76 laws covering areas such as labour, taxation and intellectual property.On...

14.10.2020 | Media release, Patents, Law and policy

An attractive Swiss patent system for SMEs – the consultation procedure on the Patents Act revision has been opened

The Federal Council wants to modernise the Swiss patent system and adapt it to international standards. It opened the consultation procedure on the partial revision of the Patents Act on 14 October 2020. The consultation proposes that a patent should only be granted if the invention to be patented is novel and innovative. This would lead to more legal certainty and increase the value of granted...

04.09.2020 | Law and policy

Switzerland ratifies the constitutional reform of WIPO

Switzerland yesterday ratified the constitutional reform of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), thereby accepting an institutional reform drawn up by the member states. The reform amends ten international treaties to which Switzerland is a party, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.“The constitutional reform of...

10.07.2020 | Copyright, IP news, Law and policy

WIPO launches its own digital evidence service: WIPO PROOF

With WIPO PROOF, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a global online service that provides proof of the existence of a digital file at a specific point in time. The new service complements WIPO’s existing intellectual property systems by helping creators to take verifiable measures to better protect the results of their work. The system is intended to reduce the...

04.06.2020 | IPI, Law and policy

The IPI is actively participating in the WIPO dialogue on intellectual property and artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution. It is already having an impact on daily life around the world, and equally is influencing intellectual property. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a Revised Issues Paper on Intellectual Property Policy and Artificial Intelligence. Within the framework of an open-ended...

26.05.2020 | Law and policy, Patents, Media release

Daren Tang appointed as next WIPO Director General

At their General Assembly, the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appointed Daren Tang of Singapore as the new Director General. He will succeed Francis Gurry, who has led the organisation for twelve years. Mr Tang’s six-year term of office will begin on 1 October. With reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Director General emphasised that, more than...

20.05.2020 | Law and policy

The USA welcomes the partial revision of the Swiss Copyright Act

In response to criticism from the US entertainment industry, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) placed Switzerland on a ‘watch list’ in 2016 in its annual report on countries that insufficiently protect American IP interests (the Special 301 Report). The USA argued that it was not sufficiently possible to enforce copyright on the internet in Switzerland. In recognition of amendments to...

26.04.2020 | IP news, Law and policy

Green inventions shape our future

Every 26 April marks World Intellectual Property Day. This year, the focus is on how innovation can create a green future and the various ways in which IP can be used to achieve this. Intellectual property has a key role to play in tackling climate change. “New climate-friendly innovations and new ways of thinking are urgently required to tackle the climate crisis and achieve a green future,”...

01.04.2020 | Copyright, Law and policy

From now on, even your amateur snaps are protected by copyright!

Whether an artistic photograph, an amateur snap, or a standard product photo – under the modernised Copyright Act (CopA) all photos are now protected, whether analogue or digital, or taken by an amateur or a professional. This applies whether the photographs have individual character or not. The extended protection for photographs is one of the main changes in the new Copyright Act. It comes into...

24.02.2020 | Law and policy, Event, Training

«CAS IP Law»: Course begins in autumn

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is launching the certification course CAS IP Law this autumn. The course was developed in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). The goal of the cooperation is to foster knowledge about intellectual property. The IPI supported the ZHAW in the conception of the course and is also providing several experts as...

11.02.2020 | Law and policy, Copyright

Switzerland ratifies two international treaties on copyright

On 11th February 2020, Switzerland ratified two agreements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Beijing Treaty improves protection for actors at international level by enabling them to make a case against any unauthorised use of their performances. Actors already have this level of protection at national level. The Marrakesh Treaty improves access to copyright-protected...

15.01.2020 | Media release, Law and policy

Greater efficiency in the fight against counterfeiting

Whether it is counterfeit watches or handbags, it should soon be easier for the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) to destroy fake products in small consignments. A new procedure aims to reduce the administrative effort by giving the authorities more leeway for their checks. These checks are essential – the importation of small consignments from Asia into Switzerland increased sixfold between...

18.12.2019 | IPI, Law and policy

The motion “Towards a modern Swiss patent” has been approved – the IPI is preparing a preliminary draft of the revision of the Patents Act

The National Council, as second chamber, has approved the motion “Towards a modern Swiss patent” from Councillor of States Thomas Hefti. The motion, which was approved on 12 December 2019, has three objectives: a full patent examination for Swiss patent applications, the introduction of a utility model, and an extended opposition procedure. The IPI, as the competent federal authority, will now...

18.09.2019 | Law and policy, IP news, Conference

Conference on the Future of IP

From 11 to 13 September, IP experts from around the world gathered in Zurich for the European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) Conference. The topic: the future of IP. Over the course of three days at ETH Zurich, attendees took part in lectures, panel discussions and workshops on IP rights. Well-attended IPI panel As one of the conference sponsors, the IPI organised a panel entitled...

02.09.2019 | Media release, Law and policy, Indications of source

Better international protection for Swiss quality products

The agreement between Georgia and Switzerland on the protection of geographical indications and use of the indication of source “Switzerland” comes into force on 1 September 2019. It protects well-known Swiss indications and contributes to maintaining the long-term reputation of Swiss quality products. Key points at a glance: The agreement lists protected designations. This means that, in...

22.05.2019 | Media release, Indications of source, Law and policy

Geographical indications – Swiss producers should benefit from a simple international protection system

Bündnerfleisch, Formaggio d'alpe ticinese or the designation “Swiss” for watches – geographical indications offer an important competitive edge in the global market. This is why it should in future be possible for Swiss producers to obtain protection for such indications in all member states of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement via a simple, cost-effective application procedure. The Federal...

30.04.2019 | Media release, Law and policy, Law enforcement

The measures introduced to combat “Swissness” misuse yield results

Successful measures in the fight against misuse of “Swissness” and fewer offences in Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) reports a positive result for the year 2018. The key points at a glance: In 2018, the IPI did not have to initiate any criminal proceedings in Switzerland. In the 78 interventions led by the IPI, all of the companies involved were...

13.12.2018 | Law and policy

Successful interregional collaboration in the field of patents and health

Switzerland introduced two proposals concerning the field of patents and health, together with Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Canada, to the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP). Both proposals were taken up in the committee's Work Program on 6 December, resulting in a successful interregional collaboration between countries with frequently opposing stances in the...

22.10.2018 | Law and policy, Patents

Granting of supplementary protection certificates

In response to the Federal Supreme Court decision 4A_576/2017 of 11 June 2018, the IPI is changing the practice for granting supplementary protection certificates (SPCs).It is no longer essential that the product to be protected falls within the scope of protection of the basic patent (as in Federal Supreme Court decision 124 III 375 “Fosinopril”); instead, it is essential that the product is...

21.09.2018 | Law and policy, Media release

Revisions to Patents Act as per 1 January 2019

A partial revision to the Patents Act and its implementing provisions will come into force together with an ordinary revision of the Therapeutic Products Act on 1 January 2019. This was decided by the Federal Council at its meeting on 21 September 2018 (Media release of 21 September 2018 in German/French/Italian).The partial revision introduces the following improvements for medical personnel,...

21.09.2018 | Law and policy

Information event on the revised Patents Act for experts and practitioners

An information event will take place at the IPI on 16 October 2018 on the changes to patent law that will come into force on 1 January 2019. The IPI will present the new procedures for the ‘paediatric extension’, while Swissmedic representatives and the pharmaceutical industry will highlight other aspects that should be considered in practice. There will also be the possibility to discuss together...

31.05.2018 | Law and policy, Media release

Better international protection for Swiss quality products

Georgia and Switzerland have today signed a bilateral agreement on the mutual protection of their geographical indications and the indication of source Switzerland. The agreement protects well-known Swiss indications and thus contributes to the preservation of the reputation of Swiss quality products over the long term. “Geographical indications and indications of source are an important marketing...

18.12.2017 | Law and policy, Copyright

New IPI directive for the supervision of the collective rights management organisations

From 1 January 2018, the new IPI directive for the supervision of the collective rights management organisations comes into force. It sets out guidelines for the IPI as supervisory authority when reviewing the management of the collective rights management organisations. The new directive will apply as of the reporting for the business year 2018.  The goal of the modernisation was to bring the...

22.11.2017 | Law and policy, Copyright, Media release

Federal Council adapts copyright law to the digital age

With the revision to the Copyright Act, the Federal Council wants to strengthen the rights and interests of creative artists and the cultural industries by taking a resolute approach to pirated online content. At the same time, it upholds the principle that consumers who take advantage of such illegal offers will not be criminalised. By providing measures that support research and libraries, it...

13.11.2017 | Law and policy, Patents

A patent database that serves public health

Pat-INFORMED is the name of the most recent initiative which WIPO launched on 3 October 2017 in Geneva at the WIPO annual general meeting in cooperation with the research-based pharmaceutical industry.According to the Media Release from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) the Pat-INFORMED database will be made publicly available mid-2018. The aim of...

29.09.2017 | Media release, Law and policy

Monitoring Office for Technological Measures to be transferred to the IPI

On 1 January 2018, the Monitoring Office for Technological Measures (OTM) will be transferred to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). The Federal Council adapted the Copyright Ordinance accordingly at its meeting of 29 September 2017. Media release in German, French, Italian (pdf)

02.03.2017 | Law and policy

Modernisation of copyright law – compromise in the AGUR12 II

The copyright working group AGUR12 II concluded its work on 2 March 2017 and reached a compromise on various issues. The Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) will take into consideration the results of the AGUR12 II on the revision of the Copyright Act and submit a proposal on how to proceed to the Federal Council by July 2017. Media release (pdf)Glossary (pdf)Chronology

10.02.2017 | Law and policy

WTO revises TRIPS Agreement

The TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was revised on 23 January 2017. The revision of the agreement provides poorer WTO members with access to generic drugs. This change is in particular important for those countries that do not have their own pharmaceutical industry. This is the first revision of a WTO agreement since the organisation was created in 1995. Switzerland had...

01.02.2017 | Law and policy

Sino-Swiss cooperation on intellectual property confirmed during state visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping

On 16 January 2017, Switzerland and China signed a declaration of continued cooperation between the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and the Chinese State Intellectual Property Organization in Bern.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has existed between the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) and the Chinese State Intellectual Property Organization (SIPO) since...

31.01.2017 | Law and policy

First Swiss depositary institution under the Budapest Treaty

Microorganisms can now be deposited for the purposes of a patent procedure at the Culture Collection of Switzerland (CCOS), which is headquartered in Waedenswil (Notification of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) of 16 January 2017).Other depositary institutions recognised by the IPI: International depositary institutions under the Budapest Treaty.

22.05.2015 | Law and policy

Negotiators approve revision of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva: Signing the final Act at an official ceremony on 21 May 2015, delegates concluded the diplomatic conference and 10 days of intense negotiations to revise the Lisbon Agreement which provides for the protection and international registration of appellations of origin. In honour of the venue of the diplomatic conference, the now revised version...

25.08.2014 | Law and policy

Demonstration projects in the field of health research and development

These projects aim at developing health technologies (medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, etc.) for diseases that disproportionally affect developing countries and for which there are gaps in research and development due to market failure. The projects aim to highlight the effectiveness of alternative, innovative and sustainable approaches to financing and coordination. For more...

07.08.2014 | Law and policy

Audit of supervision of the collecting societies

The Swiss Federal Audit Office (EFK) conducted an audit of the IPI’s supervision of the collecting societies in February 2014. The audit report, published in July 2014, gives the IPI a good report card. But it also includes four recommendations for action. Report (in German)Summary (in German)

07.08.2014 | Law and policy

New advance in collective rights management for copyrights

The interpellation Quadri 12.3396 - Der Auftrag der Suisa an die Yacast schadet der schweizerischen Musikproduktion (‘Suisa’s contract to Yacast damages Swiss music production’) was submitted during the Spring session 2014. It involves the automatic reporting of works of music played in clubs and discos.

01.07.2014 | Law and policy

Free Trade Agreement with China

On 1st of July 2014, the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China has entered into force. This treaty contains a chapter dedicated to the protection of intellectual property. For more information.

30.06.2014 | Law and policy, Media release

Better protection for 'Made in Switzerland' and the Swiss cross

The Federal Council began the consultation procedure for the four 'Swissness' implementing regulations on 20 June 2014. See press release (available in German, French and Italian only, pdf 24 KB). These ordinances further specify the improvements adopted by Parliament on protecting the 'Made in Switzerland' designation and the Swiss cross with precise rules and lead to more clarity and legal...

27.06.2014 | Law and policy

Electronic Trade Mark Examination Support Tool: new contents and new functions

Since Tuesday, 24 June 2014, the electronic trade mark examination support tool now contains all geographical indications protected through international treaties in Switzerland. However, as this involves more than 8,000 indications, the international treaties are not displayed in a standard search. To search for protected geographical indications, the 'international treaties' option should...

25.06.2014 | Law and policy, Media release

Tajikistan and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding

Tajikistan and Switzerland signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a new cooperation project focusing on intellectual property (press release, pdf 388 KB).

24.06.2014 | Law and policy

Adaptation of the trademark guidelines as of 1st of July 2014

The Institute has revised its trademark guidelines. The revised guidelines come into effect on 1st of July 2014 and are published on the site of the Institute in German, French and Italian.Complete news text in German, French or Italian.

06.06.2014 | Media release, Law and policy

Modernisation of copyright

The Federal Council is aiming to modernise copyright law and adapt the rights and obligations of creative artists, consumers and providers to the realities of the internet through targeted measures. The Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) will draft a bill for the consultation procedure by the end of 2015. For this draft bill, the FDJP will draw up on recommendations approved by the...

05.06.2014 | Law and policy

European Patent Office closes its Swiss correspondent account

The European Patent Office (EPO) currently maintains euro accounts in various member states for the purpose of fee payments. The EPO has recently communicated that it will close its account at the UBS AG Zurich at the end of August 2014. From 1 September 2014, payments to the EPO are to be paid to the following account: IBAN DE20 7008 0000 0333 8800 00BIC DRESDEFF700Commerzbank AGPromenadeplatz...