Exploiting your patent

Patent owners have the exclusive right to exploit the patented invention. This right can bring benefits but is not a guarantee of success. A patent is merely the right to reap the rewards of your invention and development efforts.


The questions of whether and how an invention can and may be exploited are not determined by the patent. Other laws and regulations, applicable legislation and technical implementation possibilities also impose limits. For example, irrespective of the patent, a substance must initially be approved as a medicine before the related invention can be sold as a drug. It is also possible that your invention improves the functioning of a specific machine. If this machine is patented by others, their rights must also be observed.

Patents always constitute an economic value. Exploiting or generating this value is reserved for the patent owner.

  • Commercially exploit your invention. The profit you make through selling your patented products or innovative services compensates you for the efforts and costs you invested during the development stage. Imitators and free riders can deny you this. Patents are therefore a way of setting yourself apart from the competition.
  • Let others exploit your invention commercially. Established companies and start-ups may have a commercial interest in your patent. You can award one or more licences. Some people also sell or bequeath their patents.

Licensing agreements with third parties should be negotiated and drafted with care. An attorney specialising in licensing negotiations and licences will be able to assist you. Find one by consulting the websites of the Swiss Bar Association (in German and French) or the Democratic Lawyers of Switzerland.