Patent statistics

As of 31 December 2019, a total of 131,719 patents were in force in Switzerland. This can be divided into 7,066 national patents and 124,635 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.

More than 130,000 patents were in force in Switzerland in 2019.


This represents a significant increase over the previous year (around 122,000).

The IPI carried out more than 800 patent searches in 2019.


Putting inventions under the microscope – most assisted patent search customers come from the cantons of Zurich, Bern and Aargau.



Patents held by Swiss companies in European comparison

In its Patent Index 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) examined applications originating from Switzerland. The IPI presents the findings below.


Top 10 patent-filing countries (2019)

In the list of countries who submitted the most applications in 2019, Switzerland ranks seventh with 8,249 applications. The USA takes the top spot with 46,201 applications.


Source: European Patent Office


Top 5 countries – applications per million inhabitants (2019)

In 2019, 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 988 in 2019 (956 in the previous year). The EU average was 140 applications per million inhabitants.


Source: European Patent Office


Top 5 Swiss applicants (2019)

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


Source: European Patent Office


Trend in patent applications (2019)

The number of patent applications originating from Switzerland filed with the EPO has risen continuously since 2015. The 8,249 applications filed in 2019 represent a new record.


Source: European Patent Office


The regions with the most applications (2019)

The EPO has determined which European regions most patent applications originate from. First place goes to Bavaria. Switzerland is well represented in the top 25 with Vaud (16), Zurich (17), Aargau (20), Basel-City (21) and Neuchâtel (23).


Source: European Patent Office


Assisted patent searches in 2019 – inventions under the microscope

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.


In 2019, the IPI carried out 824 assisted patent searches. The service is mainly used by SMEs and individual inventors (71%). The other users (29%) 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

1 720

1 616

1 628

National patents granted




National patents in force

7 066

7 235

7 351

Patents granted by EPO
with effect in Switzerland

124 635

 115 684

 109 407

Total number of patents in force
in Switzerland

131 719

122 800

116 758

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