The substantive examination – verifying the contents of the application documents

Our patent experts examine the technical contents of your application during the substantive examination. Do your invention and the technical documents meet the legal requirements? Our experts do not examine for novelty or inventive step. Generally, the substantive examination takes place, at the latest, three years after the patent application has been filed.


During the substantive examination, we determine whether your invention meets the statutory requirements. This includes:

  • The technical character (“technicity”) – does the invention solve a problem using technical means?
  • Grounds for refusal – is your invention patentable by law?
  • The disclosure – is your invention presented in such a way that a person skilled in the art can understand it?
  • Clarity – can the scope of protection being claimed be clearly understood?
  • Uniformity – are the patent claims linked through a common inventive concept?
  • Extended scope – do modifications go beyond the content of the original technical documents in a way that is not allowed?
  • Form – do the technical documents meet the formal requirements?


Around three years after filing the application, we invite you to request the substantive examination. We will gradually reduce this period to two years in view of a possible revision of the Patents Act.


The examination fee will be due. At this point, applicants can submit revised technical documents for the examination. This is useful if, for instance, the scope of protection needs to be restricted based on the results of a search report.


If, during the substantive examination, we find deficiencies in the most recently filed technical documents, we will usually write a technical objection.


As soon as nothing prevents a Swiss patent being granted in our opinion, we will inform you that the examination has been completed. Otherwise, we will again make an objection to the application. If we determine that the deficiencies cannot be corrected or that the patent applicant does not want to correct them, we will send a warning of rejection.


An accelerated substantive examination can be carried out at any time on request.