Switzerland is a land of numerous inventors. Homegrown startups and SMEs substantiate this reputation with new innovations and ingenious achievements. For companies, intellectual property and its trademark protection is an important piece of the jigsaw on the road to success. Companies are advised to develop an intellectual property (IP) strategy and to consult a qualified patent attorney or a trademark lawyer.
The IGE is the competence center of the Swiss Confederation for all questions concerning patent and trademark protection, indications of source, design protection and copyright. Trademarks, patents, designs, copyright Trademark protection, patent protection and design protection must be applied for at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. Copyright automatically protects artistic works from the moment of their creation.
Foreign companies and entrepreneurs venturing into the Swiss market with their intellectual property or launching new products are strongly advised to consult only with a qualified English-speaking patent attorney who has special knowledge of Swiss patent law as well as international intellectual property law.
Swiss Federal Law on Patent Attorneys
In Switzerland, the title “patent attorney” has been protected since July 1, 2011. By virtue, under the Federal Law on Patent Attorneys (Patent Attorneys Act, PatAA), any person who calls himself or herself a “patent attorney”, “conseil en brevets”, “consulente in brevetti” or “patent lawyer” shall:
a. Have obtained a recognized university degree in science or engineering (Art. 4 and 5);
b. Have passed the federal patent attorney examination or a recognized foreign patent attorney examination (Art. 6 and 7);
c. have completed a practical training period (Art. 9);
d. have at least one domicile for service in Switzerland; and
e. be entered in the Register of Patent Attorneys (Art. 11 et seq.).
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) enables inventors to apply for patent protection in any number of PCT contracting states simultaneously by filing a single international patent application under the PCT.
Do you have an idea, a prototype or even a final product? In a non-disclosure agreement, it is important to describe the area of confidential information as precisely and comprehensively as possible, but without already revealing too many classified information.
Qualified English Speaking Patent Attorneys in Switzerland
Patent attorneys advise clients in the field of intellectual property (IP) in technology and the natural sciences and represent them before patent offices in Switzerland and abroad and before appeal bodies; in Switzerland, these are the Federal Institute or the Federal Appeals Commission for Intellectual Property and, in the case of administrative court appeals, to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
They examine ideas and inventions for protectability, prepare applications for protective rights and conduct application procedures. They accompany development projects, investigate possible infringements of patent rights, negotiate with their clients’ competitors and negotiate license agreements. Patent attorneys usually have a degree in a technical or scientific field. In addition, they have acquired a sound knowledge of Swiss intellectual property law with a focus on patent law, as well as European and international patent law, Swiss competition and contract law, and procedural law before judicial and administrative authorities.