- Data protection officer
- Collection and processing of personal data
- Purposes of data processing and legal basis
- Cookies / tracking and other technologies in connection with the use of our website
- Transfer of data to third parties
- Duration of personal data storage
- Data security
- Duty to provide personal data
- Profiling and automated decision-making
- Rights of the person in question
Legal Services - General Law, Designs and Enforcement is responsible for ensuring compliance with the applicable provisions on data protection. If you have concerns regarding data protection, you may send them to us at the following address:
Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
Legal & International Affairs Division
Legal Services - General Law, Designs and Enforcement
We process the personal data that we receive within the scope of implementing intellectual property laws, in particular the administration of industrial property rights (patents, trade marks, designs and topographies), the administration of the Patent Attorney Register, and the supervision of the collective rights management organisations for copyright. In addition, we process personal data within the scope of our information services (patent and technology searches) and our range of training courses.
To the extent permitted, we gather certain data from publicly accessible sources (e.g. debt enforcement registers, land registers, commercial registers, the press, the internet) or receive such data from authorities and other third parties for the specific purpose of being able to conclude or process contracts with you or correctly register your IP rights in the register.
To conduct conference calls, online meetings, video conferences and/or webinars, we use the ‘Zoom’ service, which is deployed on premises. The following data is processed in this respect: username, general information about service preferences, information about each user’s device and network and internet connection, for example IP address(es), MAC address, other device IDs (UDID), device type, operating system type and version, client version, information about usage of or other interaction with Zoom products (usage information), other information uploaded, provided or created by the user while using the service, and metadata used to maintain the service provided. As is generally the case with collaborative tools, other personal data may be exchanged where necessary between the IPI and meeting participants, e.g. chat messages, images, files, audio or video recordings, contact details and metadata used to maintain the service provided. Only a minimal amount of data is processed if you attend an online Zoom meeting but do not have a Zoom account. Meetings are only recorded with prior consent, and recordings are saved locally. You can find more information about the processing of personal data in Zoom’s Privacy Statement.
We use the personal data that we collect for examining, granting and administering industrial property rights (patents, trade marks, designs and topographies) and for maintaining the Patent Attorney Register. In addition, we use the data for the purpose of processing and concluding contracts with our customers and business partners, particularly within the scope of search services for our customers and the purchase of products and services from our suppliers and subcontractors, as well as to fulfil our legal responsibilities domestically and abroad. Your personal data can of course also be involved if you work with such customers or business partners in this capacity.
In addition, we also process personal data from you and other persons, to the extent permitted and deemed appropriate by us, in which we (and sometimes third parties) have a relevant legitimate interest for the following purposes:
- Providing information about offers, services, websites and other platforms where we have an online presence
- Communicating with third parties and processing their queries (e.g. applications, media queries)
- Examining and optimising needs analysis procedures for the purpose of directly addressing customers, as well as collecting personal data from publicly accessible sources for the purpose of customer acquisition
- Advertising and providing information about our services and offers (including conducting events and sending the annual report) if you have not refused permission for the use of your data (if we send you advertising as a current customer, you may refuse permission at any time and we will place you on a list to block the sending of further advertising)
- Market surveys, opinion research, media monitoring
- Asserting and defending legal claims in the context of legal disputes and official procedures
- Preventing and investigating crimes and other misconduct (e.g. conducting internal investigations, data analyses to combat fraud)
- Safeguarding our operations, in particular our IT, our websites and other platforms
- IT, building and system security measures to protect our employees and other persons, as well as assets that belong to us or have been entrusted to us (e.g. access controls, visitor lists, network and mail scanners, telephone records)
- Protecting our website from abusive access by bots, that is, preventing spam and attacks (e.g. mass requests)
- Conducting online meetings
If you have given us consent to process your personal data for specific purposes (e.g. when you register to receive newsletters or submit other requests via online forms on our website), we will process your personal data within the scope of and based on this consent if we do not have another legal basis and we need such a basis. Consent that has been given can be revoked at any time but has no effect on any data processing that has already been carried out.
If the processing of your personal data is within the scope of the administration of industrial property rights, the relevant federal act and ordinance stipulate what data we may process and in what form. We are legally obliged to inform the general public about IP rights valid in Switzerland and the personal data associated with them.
Necessary cookies are essential for the functionality of the website. These cookies are only used during a session, and they are deleted after your website visit (session cookies). An exception applies for the cookie that is set in the banner to reflect your choice. If you reject optional cookies, this exceptional cookie will only be saved for the current session. If you accept them, it will be saved for a month.
Analytical cookies are only used by our website if you agree to them. These cookies allow us to find out more about the use of our website based on anonymised data and to continually improve it. Analytical cookies (permanent cookies) are saved for a specific period (e.g. two years). If you visit the website again, we will thus be able to recognise you, even if we don't know who you are. You can accept or reject the cookies in the cookie banner on the homepage. You can change this choice at any time via the cookie settings in our website's footer.
You can also adjust your browser settings so that it rejects (essential and optional) cookies, only saves them for one session, or deletes them after a set time. Most browsers are pre-set to accept cookies. If you block cookies, it is possible that certain functions (e.g. language options) will no longer work.
5.2 Newsletters and marketing emails
To the extent permitted, we sometimes integrate visible and invisible figurative elements into our newsletters and marketing emails which, when retrieved from our servers, allow us to know if and when you have opened the email. In this way, we can also measure and better understand how you use our offers, and can tailor them to you. You can block them in your email program.
By using our web pages and giving your consent to receive newsletters and other marketing emails, you agree to the use of these techniques. If you do not want this, you must adjust the settings of your browser and email program accordingly.
5.3 Google Analytics
We sometimes use Google Analytics on our web pages, which is a service by third parties that could be located anywhere in the world (in the case of Google Analytics, it's Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA).
Google Analytics allows us to measure and evaluate the use (non-personal) of the website. For this purpose, permanent cookies are also used, which are set by the service provider. You can agree to these cookies in the cookie banner or reject them.
The service provider does not receive any personal data (and does not store any IP addresses) but can track your use of the website, combine this information with data from other websites you have visited and which are also tracked by the service provider, and use these insights for its own purposes (e.g. to tailor advertising). If you have registered yourself with the service provider, then this service provider also can identify you. The processing of your personal data by the service provider is therefore the responsibility of the service provider in accordance with its own data protection provisions. The service provider merely informs us as to how our respective website is used (no personal information about you).
We have activated IP anonymisation on this website, which means that the IP addresses of visitors to the IPI website that must be sent to the Google Analytics server are automatically shortened by removing the final digits within a very short time. For more information, see Google Marketing Platform.
5.4 Friendly CAPTCHA (bot/spam protection)
Our website uses the "Friendly Captcha" service (www.friendlycaptcha.com). This service is provided by Friendly Captcha GmbH (Am Anger 3-5, 82237 Wörthsee, Germany).
Friendly Captcha is a privacy-friendly security solution that makes it difficult for automated programs and scripts ("bots") to use our website. We use Friendly Captcha to protect online forms on our website. Friendly Captcha checks whether data entered on our web pages (e.g. in a contact form) comes from a person or an automatic program.
For this purpose, we have integrated a program code from Friendly Captcha into the forms on our website so that the visitor's end device can establish a connection to Friendly Captcha's servers in order to receive a computational task. The visitor's end device solves the computational task, which requires certain system resources, and sends the computational results to our web server. Our server contacts the Friendly Captcha server via an API and receives a response stating whether the task was solved correctly by the end device. Depending on the result, we can apply security rules to requests via our website and thus, for example, further process or reject them.
Friendly Captcha does not set or read cookies on the visitor's end device.
IP addresses are only stored in hashed (one-way encrypted) form for up to 30 days. They do not allow us or Friendly Captcha to draw any conclusions about an individual person. The data is used solely for the above-mentioned protection from spam and bots.
Further information on data protection when using Friendly Captcha can be found at friendlycaptcha.com/legal/privacy-end-users/.
5.5 Social media plug-ins
We also use plug-ins on our web pages for social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Xing and LinkedIn, which are clearly indicated (usually with a corresponding icon). We have configured these elements to be disabled by default. If you activate them (by clicking on them), the operator of the corresponding social network registers that you are on our website and where you are, and can use this information for its own purposes. The processing of your personal data by the operator is therefore the responsibility of the operator in accordance with its own data protection provisions. We do not receive any information about you from the operator.
5.6 Other third-party services
- YouTube: As soon as you open a page that has a YouTube video embedded in it, a connection is established to the YouTube servers, and plug-ins are occasionally used by YouTube (YouTube LLC, 901 Cherry Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066, USA; subsidiary of Google LLC). YouTube is then informed of which page was visited and from which IP address.
- Google Maps: The Google Maps map service by Google LLC (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA) is occasionally used to display an interactive map and to provide directions. When using Google Maps, information about your use (e.g. IP address) may be stored and transmitted to a Google server in the USA.
Your personal data is neither transferred nor sold or otherwise transmitted to third parties in any form, unless this is required for the purpose of processing a contract or to fulfil our statutory tasks, or if you have expressly consented to this (e.g. to ensure the security of the entry forms on our website). In addition, data may be transmitted to third parties if we are under obligation to do so by law or by an enforceable official or court order.
Some recipients of such data are located in Switzerland but can also be anywhere in the world. If we transmit data to a country that does not have appropriate data protection, we ensure an appropriate level of protection by employing contracts accordingly, or we act on the basis of the following statutory/legal exemptions: consent, performance of the contract, the establishment, execution or enforcement of legal claims, overriding public interests, published personal data, or the need to protect the integrity of the persons in question.
The ‘Zoom’ service used for online meetings is supplied by a provider in the USA. Therefore, personal data is also processed in a third country. A suitable level of data protection is contractually guaranteed. Even with a local, on-premises deployment, user and meeting metadata and cloud recordings are managed in the public Zoom cloud. For additional protection, our Zoom solution is configured in such a way that only data centres in Switzerland and the EU are used for online meetings.
At any time, via the office specified under Section 2, you may request information about the contractual guarantees mentioned. However, we reserve the right to censor copies, or to supply them only in part, for data protection reasons or reasons of confidentiality.
Anyone is allowed by law to inspect the registers maintained by us and thus become the recipient of personal data processed therein. The same applies for the inspection of the dossier from the point in time that the IP right is entered in the register or the unexamined patent application is published. Under certain conditions, an inspection of the dossier can be requested prior to this point in time. The conditions are regulated in the respective ordinances.
Register data and other documents such as published unexamined applications, patent applications and search reports can, within the scope of legal provisions, be transmitted to international organisations (EPA, WIPO, EUIPO) and other trade mark and patent offices.
We process and store your personal data to the extent that it is required to fulfil our contractual and legal obligations or for the purposes pursued by the processing, which means, for example, for the entire duration of the business relationship (from the initiation and performance of a contract to its conclusion) and beyond that in accordance with legal obligations for storage and documentation. It is therefore possible that personal data is stored for the period of time when claims can be made against the IPI and to the extent that we are legally obliged or authorised to do so, or legitimate business interests necessitate this (e.g. for evidence or documentation purposes). Within the scope of the administration of industrial property rights, the duration for storing of dossiers is regulated in the respective ordinances and in general is five years after the cancellation, withdrawal or rejection of the IP right (patents, trade marks, designs, topographies).
Please be advised that the data in our intellectual property rights registers also remain visible after their cancellation because the register must also provide information about past legal relationships. This data therefore also remains visible in the electronic organ of publication Swissreg after its cancellation.
We take appropriate technological and organisational security precautions to protect your personal data against unauthorised access and misuse, such as issuing instructions, training, IT and network security solutions, access controls and restrictions, encrypting data carriers and transmissions, pseudonymisation and checks.
Within the scope of our business relationship, you must provide those items of personal information required to be able to commence and carry out a business relationship and fulfil the associated contractual obligations (you usually are not obliged by law to provide us with data). However, without this data we are generally not able to conclude a contract with you (or with the office or person that you are representing), to process it nor to fulfil our legal tasks.
Personal data is not subject to any automated decision-making. We do not conduct profiling with personal data.
Within the scope of the applicable data protection law and to the extent required by the law (e.g. in the case of the GDPR), you have the right to information, amendment, deletion, the right to restrict the processing of data and otherwise to refuse permission to our processing of the data as well as the publication of certain personal data for the purpose of transfer to another office (known as data portability). Please note, however, that we reserve the right to enforce the restrictions required by law, for example in cases where we are obliged to store or process certain data, have an overriding interest to do so (to the extent that we may call on it) or require it to assert claims. We will inform you in advance if this incurs any costs for you. We have provided information about your option to revoke your consent under Section 4. Please note that exercising your rights can conflict with contractual agreements, which can have consequences, such as the premature termination of a contract or incurred costs. In such cases, we will inform you in advance where this is not already contractually or legally regulated.
The exercise of such rights generally requires that you clearly prove your identity (e.g. with a copy of an ID card, if your identity cannot otherwise be clearly verified). To assert your rights, you can contact us via the address provided under Section 2.
Furthermore, every person affected has the right to legally enforce their claims or to submit a complaint with the responsible data protection authority. The responsible data protection authority in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (http://www.edoeb.admin.ch).
The following technologies are used on our site. You can find detailed information about these tools via the links provided.
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600 Amphitheatre Parkway
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Am Wehrhahn 41, D-40211 Düsseldorf
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Harmonisation and partial revision of guidelines as of 1 July 2023
The IPI simplifies IP rights management with new online services
Online service providers are to remunerate use of journalistic works
Greater efficiency in the fight against counterfeiting
Conference on Intellectual Property & Sustainability at the University of Geneva
Symposium: "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – NFTs not your cup of tea? Well, they should: NFTs as a new way of fighting counterfeiting and piracy"