The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Revision to the Patents Act: Final Vote Coming

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 12 March 2024

Switzerland’s Council of States finalises patent law modernisation, focusing on non-suspensive appeals and thorough examination of patent novelty.

Revision to the Patents Act: Final Vote Coming
Keystone/PETER KLAUNZER

Switzerland is modernizing its patent law. On Tuesday, the Council of States resolved the last differences in the bill.

Without opposition, it rejected a compromise proposal from the National Council on the structure of the right of appeal.

The decision means that, in principle, appeals against patents have no suspensive effect. The Council of States originally only wanted this for “sensitive” patents, such as those involving the human body.

The National Council originally wanted a popular appeal – i.e. that third parties are entitled to appeal – in a number of other cases as well. However, last week it decided not to extend the list of grounds for appeal accordingly, thereby accommodating the small chamber.

However, the key point of the revised law is something completely different. Until now, the Swiss patent procedure did not assess whether a particular invention was actually new, unlike the procedures in many other countries. The validity of a Swiss patent therefore remained uncertain.

Anyone who was not satisfied with such a patent previously had to take the detour via a fully examined European patent extended to Switzerland. This will now be changed with the revision. The bill is still subject to a final vote.

©Keystone/SDA

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