Assisted patent searches online

Searches are generally carried out via an online meeting platform. The basic conditions remain unchanged.


Information on other measures introduced by the IPI during the coronavirus pandemic.


Assisted Patent Search

Do you have an idea or an invention and are wondering if you can patent it? Or are you a researcher at a public research institute working on an invention? An Assisted Patent Search at the IPI will help you to get to grips with the patenting process and help you to decide on the next steps.


You can take advantage of the knowledge of a patent expert in your specialist field over the course of four hours with us at the IPI in Bern. He or she will provide you with information on patents and patenting and search together with you in various patent databases. To prepare for the search, we recommend answering these additional questions.


The Assisted Patent Search will give you an initial overview of the state of the art (also known as prior art) in the technology sector of interest. You can then assess whether your idea or invention is new and if it is worth applying for a patent. You will also become familiar with the various patent application procedures and will find out what you should pay attention to once your patent has been granted.


We maintain complete confidentiality of all information exchanged between you and the IPI and all search results.



Please note that the Assisted Patent Search is not a freedom-to-operate search (FTO) and is also not a suitable basis for an FTO analysis.




Target group


The Assisted Patent Search is offered to representatives of the following target groups in Switzerland:

  • Innovative SMEs, start-ups, individual inventors
  • Public research institutes (higher education institutes, universities or institutes within the ETH Domain)

Scope and results


Due to the time and databases available, we can only carry out an initial basic search. If you require a more comprehensive overview of the state of the art or a basis for a freedom-to-operate (FTO) analysis, we recommend ordering an advanced patent search.


You will receive up to 50 of the patent citations found.


Duration and location


The Assisted Patent Search will take four hours. If required and if agreed, it may last for a maximum of eight hours. We will carry out the search at the IPI or via an online meeting solution.


It is also possible to carry out the search at a partner location via an online meeting platform. 




CHF 300 incl. VAT (IPI Fee Ordinance, GebV-IGE Art. 3 para. 2, only available in German, French or Italian). You have the right to a maximum of four assisted patent searches or patent landscape analyses within any twelve-month period.


You may eligible for a discount if you are participating in a funding programme.



Click here for an overview of the IPI's basic conditions for assisted patent searches an analyses.


Request a search

Please complete and send us the online request form. And if you have any questions, we would be happy to answer them.


After the search

If you would like to follow your search by applying to patent your invention, we recommend seeking advice from a patent attorney. He or she will help you with drafting the application and technical documents. The results of the Assisted Patent Search and our advice have no influence on the examination of your patent application.


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