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The priority documents

Priority documents include a declaration of priority and at least one priority document.

 

To claim priority, certain minimum requirements must be met:

  • The subsequent application must be filed within one year of the first filing date (known as the priority date).
  • The scope of protection for the subsequent application may not be larger than that of the priority application. No new findings or inventive information may be included in the subsequent application. The purpose of the invention, the solution and the necessary features of the invention must be identical with those of the first application in order for the priority date to apply to the subsequent application.
  • When submitting a subsequent application, you must submit a priority declaration within a reasonable period of time.
  • Priority documents are issued by the office where the first application was filed. These documents are also to be submitted at the same time as the subsequent application or at a later due date.
  

Scenario: you want to use your foreign priority for a subsequent application in Switzerland. How do you go about this?

To use a first foreign filing as a priority for a Swiss patent application, please submit the following documents:

  • A declaration of priority which shows the first date of filing, the country and the file number of the priority application being claimed. It is sufficient to fill in Section 7 of the application form for the grant of a patent for this.
  • A priority document in which the office of the first application certifies the date and the contents of the first application. It is not necessary for the priority document to be translated into one of the official Swiss languages or the language of the procedure.

The deadline for submitting these documents is 16 months from the earliest priority date claimed.

 

If you want to use a Swiss priority for a subsequent application in Switzerland, all you need is a declaration of priority. In the application form for the grant of a patent, it is sufficient to fill in Section 7 for this. Claiming national priority is less common. This is usually done when the subsequent application is to protect additional or alternative embodiments of the same invention.

 

Please note: it is possible to claim multiple priorities.