The application procedure

These points will help you understand the application procedure and file the necessary documents with the IPI.


Once you have analysed your invention, you can begin formulating your technical documents. These include the description of your invention and basic information concerning the patent that you want to file.



A national patent application consists of:

  • A request for the grant of a patent valid in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • The technical documents consisting of:
    • a description of the invention, which must be comprehensible to a person skilled in the art
    • one or more patent claims that define the scope of protection
    • technical drawings to further illustrate the description
    • an abstract
  • The name of the inventor
  • Any priority documents.

The day on which the IPI receives at least the request for the grant of the patent and the description of the invention is considered the official filing date. If the application is sent by post, the filing date is the Swiss postmark date where legible.
You must submit the full technical documentation within three months. All further application documents must be submitted within 16 months of the earliest priority date at the latest.


Examination on filing/formal examination

First, we examine your application documents for completeness. If the minimum requirements have been met, you will receive a certificate of filing containing the filing date and the application number. From this point on, you should always include your application number with all correspondence
We also examine whether your application documents meet the formal requirements.  If there are any deficiencies, we contact you and ask that you rectify them or submit missing information within a reasonable period of time.


Search request

You can request a Search for a Swiss patent application when submitting your application or at a later date. Such a search provides you with information about the state of the art related to your invention. The search report cites the documents that are relevant to your invention. It enables you to evaluate the novelty and inventive step of your invention.


Publication of the application

The patent application is published 18 months after it has been filed (or after the earliest priority date). A search report is published with it also, if the applicant has requested one. They are published on Swissreg.


Modifying the technical documents

Modifying the original documentation is subject to strict regulations. It is not possible to expand the disclosure. Up until 16 months from the earliest priority date, an applicant is allowed to do the following on his or her own initiative:

  • Correct obvious errors in the technical documents
  • Submit new patent claims once