Patent statistics


As of 31 December 2018, a total of 122 919 patents were in force in Switzerland. This can be divided into 7235 national patents and 115 684 European patents. The first figure refers to inventions that have been filed for patent protection directly with the IPI. The considerably higher figure refers to patents filed with the European Patent Office (EPO), which are also in effect in Switzerland.


Patents held by Swiss companies in European comparison


In its Annual Report 2018, the European Patent Office (EPO) examined applications originating from Switzerland. The IPI presents some of the findings below.



Top 10 patent-filing countries (2018)


In the list of countries who submitted the most applications in 2018, Switzerland ranks sixth with 7927 applications. The USA takes the top spot with 43 612 applications.




Source: European Patent Office


Top 5 countries – applications per million inhabitants (2018)


In 2018, Switzerland was once again the country with the most patent applications per million inhabitants. The number of patent applications reached an all-time high of 956 in 2018 (884 in the previous year). The EU average was 139 applications per million inhabitants.



Source: European Patent Office


Top 5 Swiss applicants (2018)


In the statistics on Swiss companies with the most applications with the EPO, Hoffmann-La Roche takes first place. ABB and Nestlé also made it onto the podium.



Source: European Patent Office


The IPI offers patent searches. Together with a patent expert, the client can take an in-depth look at questions relating to patenting an innovation. Clients receive valuable search results which support them in making decisions concerning their idea or invention. This service is aimed at SMEs, individual inventors, research institutes and companies supported by research and innovation funding.


Patent searches in 2018 – inventions under the microscope



In 2018, the IPI carried out 704 patent searches. The service is mainly used by SMEs and individual inventors (57%). The other users (43%) are research institutes and companies which are supported by a promoter of research and innovation.




Source: IPI


Patents in annual comparison

Anyone who wants to patent an invention in Switzerland must apply to the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). In addition, patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) are also active in Switzerland.



National applications




National patents granted




National patents in force




Patents granted by EPO
with effect in Switzerland

 115 684

 109 407

102 780

Total number of patents in force
in Switzerland

122 800

116 758

110 139

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