Objectives and the most important changes in the revision of patent law

Protection of innovation is of fundamental importance for the Swiss economy. In order for Switzerland to remain competitive, patent law must be regularly reviewed and amended if necessary: it should meet international standards, provide applicants with the best possible patent protection and help ensure that Switzerland remains one of the world’s most innovative countries. A key aim of the Patents Act revision is therefore to upgrade the Swiss patent system.


Strengthened Swiss patent thanks to supplementary search and full examination on request

At present, inventions filed for patent protection in Switzerland are not examined for novelty and inventive step, which are required for such protection. The validity of the patents granted therefore remains uncertain. Hence, the IPI will carry out a search for each patent application in future to establish the state of the art in the field of the invention. The results will be published and they will make clear whether the invention is eligible for patent protection. This will significantly increase transparency and legal certainty for applicants and third parties. In line with international standards, applicants will be able to request the IPI to examine their application for all patentability requirements. The patent will then only be granted if the invention is actually innovative. The fully examined patent is thus a strong IP right for innovations.



Streamlined appeal procedure

Applicants and third parties may appeal against decisions of the IPI. These appeals will now be judged by the Federal Patent Court instead of the Federal Administrative Court, as the Federal Patent Court has the necessary technical expertise. The opposition procedure at the IPI, which has never been used to date, is to be abolished.