Towards a more modern Swiss patent system

An interesting initiative has been lodged in the Swiss parliament on 21 March 2019 by Thomas HEFTI, member of the Council of States; see here. The title is pretty self-explanatory:

For a more modern Swiss patent

No further details have been made public by now; this post will be updated with further information when available; see below.

The future of the Swiss patent system had been widely discussed a few years ago, and the various options have been presented and discussed at an event on 1 June 2015, jointly organised by VSP, VESPA, VIPS and INGRES; see the summary in German language here. Not much has happened since then, but the present initiative might now restart the efforts to modernise the Swiss patent system.

By far the most patents that are currently in force in Switzerland are validations of European patents that are granted only after thorough examination on the merits. On the other hand, national Swiss patents are currently not examined on the merits, i.e. for novelty and obviousness. Some say that this is embarrassing, in particular for the leader in the Global innovation index.

Yet another good reason for a modernised patent system is that Swiss patents may be used in the ‘patent box’ that is foreseen to be enacted with the ‘Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing‘, subject to a positive outcome of the referendum on 19 May 2019.

UPDATE 28 March 2019:

The text of the motion and the reasons are now available on the website of the parliament, but currently only in German language. I have made a quick and dirty translation to English language.

Reported by Martin WILMING

DOCKET 19.3228

at the website of the Swiss Parliament.


of 19 May 2019 on the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing. See the official brochure with all details about the referendum below (not available in English language):

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