Types of protection

Patent: A protective right for inventions of a technical nature which can be commercially applied. They must be new, not obvious, and commercially applicable. Switzerland and Liechtenstein have the same patent regulations based on a bilateral patent treaty. A Swiss patent offers protection for 20 years in both Switzerland and Lichtenstein (with one exception: Supplementary protection certificates (SPC) for pharmaceuticals and pesticides).

Industrial Model: Aesthetic forms are not patentable, however, they can be protected as a design. A patent protects the technical method. In contrast, an industrial model protects only the aesthetic effect of an invention. The first period is 5 years. It is possible to extend the protection 4 more periods of 5 years each. In total, a design can be protected up to 25 years.

Plant Variety Patents: Under the Federal Law on the Protection of New Plant Varieties, administered by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), plant varieties can be protected.1

Convention and treaty membership

Switzerland became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978, and is also a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Patent Law Treaty2

International, National or Regional applications

For information regarding how to file international, regional or national patent applications in each country, we welcome you to contact us.


1 https://www.ige.ch/en/patents/frequently-asked-questions.html#c6823

2 https://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/profile.jsp?code=CH