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COUNTRY : SWISS CONFEDERATION
CAPITAL : BERN
LANGUAGE : GERMAN
The IP office of Switzerland is known as TheSwiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
Protection to Inventions is provided at a two tier level in Switzerland:
- THROUGH NATIONAL REGISTRATION. Direct Filing with the National Patent & Trademark office
- THROUGH EUROPEAN PATENT CONVENTION.
Kindly refer our guide on the European Patent Convention procedures
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES TO WHICH SWITZERLAND IS SIGNATORY
(i) Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property
(ii) Patent Co-operation Treaty “PCT”.
(iii) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights “TRIPS”.
(iv) European Patent Commission.
PATENT LEGISLATION IN SWITZERLAND:
The Swiss legal system is based on the Civil Law system.
Patents in Switzerland are governed by:
The Patents Act 1995. Patents are granted by the Swiss Intellectual Property Office.
Switzerland & Liechstenstein have the same patent regulations based on a bilateral patent treaty. Designation of one country implies the other and they cannot be designated separately.
BASICS REGARDING PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS IN SWITZERLAND:
Inventions may relate to products, processes or industrial applications. Patents are therefore granted to inventions that:
- Are New or Novel
- Involve an inventive step
- Comprise of a process or an Industrial application of the invention.
For an Invention to be patentable, it should contain the following:
(i). Novelty: An invention is considered new or novel if it is not included in the state of the art. State of the art consists of all the information available and accessible to the public prior to the date of filing for the patent application nationally or internationally by means of its description, use or any other method by which it may be known or utilised by experts in the field.
(ii). Inventive Step: is, given the prevailing state of the art, it is not obvious to an expert in that field. An invention is considered “obvious”when it is within the grasp of a skilled person in that field of expertise & therefore to be expected from him.
(iii). Industrial Application: of the invention would be “when the object of the invention may be produced, manufactured or used in any kind of industry including agriculture”.
INVENTIONS NOT PATENTABLE IN SWITZERLAND:
Inventions pertaining to the following:
- Discoveries, Scientific Theories & Mathematical methods.
- Aesthetic creations.
- Substances already existing in nature and nuclear materials.
- Schemes, Rules, Methods for performing mental acts, playing games, doing business as well as Presentation of Information.
- Programmes for Computers.
- Inventions contrary to public order & morals.
- Methods of treatment by surgery or therapy on humans and animals.
- Human body and its elements, human body as it is, at all stages of development, formation, as well ass human embryo.
- Sequencing of gene.
- Inventions contrary to human dignity and integrity of living organisms.
- Plant and animal varieties.
- Prejudicial to the Interests or Security of the Nation.
PartityPatents Law Firms through its associates in Switzerland is at hand to help you with patent registration and prosecution.
FILING REQUIREMENTS OF PATENTS IN SWITZERLAND:
(i). Name & Address of the applicant.
(ii). Name & Address of the Inventor.
(iii). Specification comprising a description claims & drawings if any.
(iv). Priority Data if any.
(v). State of incorporation / nationality of the Applicant.
(vi). Abstract of the Invention.
(vii). Indications serving to identify the identity of the inventor(s) as well as the Solicitor.
(viii) Request for examination of the patent.
(ix). If the patent application relates to a micro-organism or a process in which a micro-organism is used, it is necessary to include a certificate of deposit of the micro-organism with an officially recognised national depositary institution designated by the Government.
EXAMINATION OF THE PATENT APPLICATION IN SWITZERLAND:
Switzerland follows the system of a formal, immediate examination.
- Upon receipt, of the patent application, formalities examination is conducted to check compliance with all requisites. Any deficiencies found are to be rectified within a stipulated period of time els, patent application is liable to be rejected.
- Patent application is published.
- Patent application is then subjected to material examination, wherein technical aspects of the patent application are scrutinised. Any deficiencies forthcoming are to be addressed within a stipulate period of time else, application deemed rejected.
Please note: there is no substantive examination of patent applications in Switzerland.
- Once the patent application is found compliant with all the requisites and full fills its technical claims, application is registered and patent granted.
Post Patent grant by the European Patent Office (EPO), Patent needs to be validated in the member country as designated on the Patent application.
Patent Validation comprises of certain formalities and requirements per national laws of the designated country.
Parity Patent Attorneys and Associate Law Firms in Switzerland are at hand to help and assist you with Patent Validation.
RIGHTS OF THE PATENTEE IN SWITZERLAND:
TERM AND KINDS OF PATENTS GRANTED IN SWITZERLAND:
Patents with a term of 20 yrs.
Utility Models with a term of 10 yrs.
- Patents confer on its holders and successors an exclusive right to work the invention.
- Patentee may authorise such uses of the patent through a contractual agreement with interested parties as to import, rent out, deliver or sell the product patent .
- Patentee may authorise the working of the patent either by a manufacturer or by an importer.
- Patentee may even assign, lease or licence the patent.
- Patentee is entitled to take legal action against infringers.
COMPULSORY LICENCES OF PATENTS IN SWITZERLAND:
An application may be made to court for the grant of a license after 3 yrs. from the date of the grant of patent of 4yrs. from the date of filing of the patent application whichever is later. Such an application may be made for a license on the ground that such a grant is necessary to remedy anti-competitive practices. The court may determine grant of license where:
a) If public interest so requires, those whose license application has been rejected by the patent holder without sufficient cause, can sue the judge to grant a license for the use of the invention.
b) A non-exclusive license to correct anti competitive practices or administrative procedures may be granted for inventions in the field of semi conductor technology.
c) When invention is desired to be used as a resource for research.
d) Non-exclusive license is granted for inventions consisting of products or processes for diagnosis in humans.
e) To be granted for the export of pharmaceutical products to a country that has none or insufficient production capacities in the pharma filed and requires the patented products to tackle public health problems.
ParityPatents along with specialised Patent Lawyers and Patent Attorneys in Switzerland, can assist you comprehensively with Compulsory Licence matters.