For your patent to be valid, it must be novel and involve an inventive step. In Switzerland, however, these two essential requirements are not be verified during the application process. This is why we recommend that you take advantage of a Swiss Patent Application Search. This will provide you with a quick and inexpensive detailed report on the state of the art, which will help you to assess whether your invention fulfils the requirements for patenting.
A patent expert will search through accessible, published patent and scientific-technical literature for documents which may form the state of the art, anticipate novelty or call the inventive step into question. With the results, you can assess the likelihood that your patent will be granted and decide on the next steps – maintain the application, register the patent abroad, amend the patent claims or withdraw the application.
- The search must be based on a Swiss patent application (Patents Ordinance, Art. 54 para. 4).
- The applicant or their representative may request the search within 14 months of the priority or filing date.
- If the applicant or their representative decides not to carry out a search, any third party authorised to inspect the application may submit a request for a search (Patents Ordinance, Art. 90).
- The request is deemed to have been filed once the application and search fees have been paid (Patents Ordinance, Art. 53 para. 2) and, where necessary, once the revised technical documents have been made available (see the legal framework conditions below).
- The search will be based on the original technical documents submitted when the application was filed or, where necessary, on the revised technical documents. We will search up to ten patent claims; further searches will be carried out upon payment of additional claims fees. If a third party submits a request, the search will be based on the relevant technical documents submitted at the time the application was filed.
- The technical documents must be submitted in either German, French or Italian. Upon request, we will also carry out a search based on technical documents written in English. However, the search report will be published in an official language of Switzerland.
- If the patent claims lack unity, we will search the first invention defined in the patent claims. Subsequent inventions will be searched upon payment of additional search fees.
- If a search is no longer possible nor feasible due to ambiguities, insufficient disclosure, lack of industrial application, lack of technical character, exceptions to patentability or any other reason, we will inform the applicant or prepare a limited search report.
- Our searches are extensive but not unlimited. The order is considered complete when it appears that, even with a disproportionate amount of effort, the search results could not be significantly improved.
- The search report will be sent to the applicant and published at the earliest within 18 months of the filing or priority date. If a third party has submitted a request, the report will be sent to them and the applicant but will not be published.
This search is optional and does not have any influence on the substantive examination of the patent application. The provisions of the Patents Act (Art 58a para. 2, Art. 59 para. 5 and 6) and the Patents Ordinance (Art. 53 to 60) apply.
In the search report, you’ll find a list of the documents found and information on possible patent family members. A categorisation according to international standards shows the importance of the documents for evaluating your invention. We also include the full texts of the patent specifications if possible and if beneficial. Here is an example of a search report (only available in German).
Should you claim priority for a European patent application based on the Swiss application, we will send a copy of the search report to the European Patent Office (EPO). This way, you are exempt from having to submit this to the EPO yourself (Art. 124 of The European Patent Convention and Rule 141 of the Implementing Regulations of the Convention of the Grant of European Patents).
CHF 500 (incl. up to 10 claims; for supplementary claims, please see costs and fees
Request a search
By post, usually within three months after the search request has been accepted (see requirements). Upon request, delivery may be possible within one month.
With this search, you can determine the novelty and inventive step of the invention for which you’ve filed a patent application in Switzerland. Unlike a Swiss Patent Application Search, which serves the same purpose, this search is carried out by the European Patent Office (EPO). If after applying to patent your invention in Switzerland, you decide to also file a patent application with the EPO, the search report will be recognised and the search fee partially refunded.
- You can request the international-type search through us within six months after the first filing in Switzerland. We will forward on all necessary documentation to the EPO.
- Alternatively, you can request a Swiss Patent Application Search within 14 months of filing your application or the priority date. This gives you an inexpensive detailed report on the state of the art (also known as prior art) within three months.
- The international-type search is optional and has no influence on the substantive examination of the Swiss patent application. The provisions of the Patents Act (Art. 59 para. 5 and 6), the Patents Ordinance (Art. 126 and 127) and the EPO's Guidelines for Search (Part B, Chapter II, 4.5. International-type search) apply.
In the search report, you’ll find listed the found patent documents and information on possible patent family members. A categorisation according to international standards shows the importance of the documents for evaluating your invention. You’ll also receive copies of the documents mentioned in the report.
The search report will be published together with the patent application after 18 months.
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