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patent application in Switzerland

P&TS is qualified to file patent applications in Switzerland. A draft is prepared by a P&TS patent agent on the basis of spoken or written indications provided by the applicant. This draft is submitted to the applicant who can correct and/or complete it before filing.

Elements of the patent application
The application must be filed with the Federal Institute for Intellectual Property (IFPI) in Berne and must contain the following elements:

  • A request for grant of the patent
  • A description of the invention
  • One or several claims
  • The drawings to which the description refers

A filing date and number will be allocated to the application upon filing of these papers. This filing date may be claimed as priority date for filings effected in other Paris Convention member states during the priority year.
The request is generally formulated by filing a specific form made available by the authorities.
No additions to the patent application are allowed without the filing date being postponed. It is thus necessary to ensure that a text be filed that is as complete as possible, that meets all requirements for grant of a patent and that will guarantee the applicant the best obtainable protection.

Examination of Swiss patent applications
Swiss patent applications are subjected only to a formal but not to a substantial examination. Even applications that are devoid of novelty can be accepted. The validity of a patent arising from such an application can however be contested by other parties by means of a legal action in cancellation. It is thus in the applicant's interest to limit the sought protection so as to obtain a patent unlikely to be cancelled by the courts.

Advantages of Swiss patent applications
Swiss patent applications have first and foremost the advantage of being relatively inexpensive since the grant procedure is simplified to the maximum. Annual maintenance fees are due only from the 5th year onwards. The grant procedure is not particularly fast and it is quite common to have to wait 4 or 5 years before the patent is finally granted. As the applications are not subjected to a substantial examination, a Swiss application does not enjoy a presumption of validity as high as that of a patent granted after an examination procedure and may be more difficult in the end to commercialize. 

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