Mistakes made when filing a Swiss patent application can often result in no patent being granted or the granted patent not protecting the desired subject matter. Below are the six mistakes you should avoid:
1. The novelty of your invention is not examined in advance
In Switzerland, the novelty of an invention for which a patent application has been filed is not examined during the granting procedure, but it can be objected to during litigation, and can lead to the invalidity of the patent. It is therefore advisable to conduct a search to assess the novelty of your invention before filing a Swiss application. Such a search must be carried out by an expert, e.g. a patent attorney, in order to obtain a relevant result.
2. The invention is disclosed to the public before filing the application
It is very important that you do not disclose your invention to the public before a patent application is filed. Any disclosure (conference, exhibition, offer, etc.) may prejudice the novelty of your invention and prevent its patentability. If you absolutely must discuss your invention with potential investors, customers or partners, it is advisable to hold such discussions under a non-disclosure agreement.
3. Technical or formal documents contain errors
Drafting technical documents for a patent application is a complex task that must be done with precision and the necessary knowledge in the field of patenting. A poorly drafted application is often unrecoverable. It is highly recommended that the application be formulated by a patent attorney.
4. The patent strategy is not determined in advance
A patent is a national protective title. In other words, with a Swiss patent, your invention is protected in Switzerland, but not elsewhere. In order to achieve optimal protection for your invention, it is often necessary to file one or more patent applications abroad in addition to Switzerland. For this purpose, it is possible to make use of the so-called “priority right”. Within a period of twelve months from the filing date of your first Swiss application, it is possible to file further patent applications to obtain protection outside Switzerland, for example a European patent application or an international patent application. Since many different strategies are possible, it is important to determine the appropriate strategy before filing the first application.
5. You abstain from consulting a patent attorney
All of the above mistakes can be avoided if you choose the services of a patent attorney. A patent attorney will help you determine the patentability of your invention through a preliminary search that will allow you to decide whether a patent application should be filed. A patent attorney knows how to draft the technical and formal documents of your application so that effective protection for your invention can be achieved. Experience shows that not using a patent attorney to reduce costs is often a very bad idea.
6. You do not enforce your rights
There is no patent police! It is up to you to make sure that none of your competitors infringe your patent rights. A patent represents a large investment, so it is important that you assert your rights with the help of a patent attorney.