Together with a patent expert from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), you can find out free of charge whether your innovation can be patented and gain valuable insights into your innovation.
This offering is aimed at:
- SMEs, start-ups, administrative bodies, non-profit organisations, and other private and public institutions
- Academic researchers
- Your application for a funding instrument from Innosuisse has already been approved.
- In the case of an innovation project or a BRIDGE Proof of Concept project, your application must be in preparation or approved.
- Requirements in detail
Patent searches: two IPI offers
Innosuisse, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, offers you two free services: the Assisted Patent Search and the Assisted Patent Landscape Analysis.
Applicants for a funding offer from Innosuisse are entitled to a one-off Assisted Patent Search. If required, this Assisted Patent Search can be supplemented by an Assisted Patent Landscape Analysis.
The Assisted Patent Search
You can take advantage of the knowledge of a patent expert in your specialist field over the course of four hours. The expert will provide information on the patent system and will research various databases together with you. The Assisted Patent Search provides you with an initial overview of the state of the art in a field of technology, with the aim of better assessing the novelty of your idea and thus the possibility of patenting it. The result is the ideal basis for further steps, such as a patent application or meetings with investors. If you wish, you can also benefit from information on brands and designs.
>More about the IPI’s Assisted Patent Search
The Assisted Patent Landscape Analysis
Over the course of a day, you will gain valuable insights into your technology sector and your competitors. Together with an expert from the IPI, you will first compile relevant patents in your technology sector. Using suitable tools and analytical techniques, you will then analyse the data together and identify correlations.
>More about the IPI’s Assisted Patent Landscape Analysis
Is the Assisted Patent Search sufficient as an FTO Search?
During the Assisted Patent Search, funding clients regularly raise the issue of Freedom To Operate (FTO). The Assisted Patent Search is not an FTO search and is not sufficient as a basis for an FTO analysis. If required, the IPI will explain what FTO is about and why it is different to novelty searches and landscape analyses as part of the Assisted Patent Search.
Is an FTO analysis possible as part of the Assisted Patent Search?
No. FTO aspects can be explained during the Assisted Patent Search, but not specifically researched and by no means conclusively clarified.
What is FTO all about?
The FTO search
The FTO search is the most demanding and comprehensive form of patent research. All patents which could potentially be infringed by a product will be researched. Doing this implies not only that the product must be precisely defined but that each relevant feature of the product must be researched individually and comprehensively. The search is limited geographically by the target market and in terms of time by the planned market launch.
The FTO analysis
The FTO analysis, in combination with other information, forms the basis for strategic business decisions regarding the development or launch of a product. An FTO analysis consists of two steps: a thorough patent search specifically geared to FTO and a subsequent analysis of the patents found for infringement risks. It is usually carried out by a patent attorney. A comprehensive FTO clarification takes into account not only patents, but also other intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, designs and copyrights. Thus, an FTO analysis as part of the Assisted Patent Search is not possible. First, there is not enough time to conduct the research with the thoroughness required for an FTO search. Second, an FTO analysis also includes an assessment of the search results by a patent attorney to identify and rank the infringement risks. The IPI cannot offer this second aspect regardless of the time spent.
The following overview shows you the requirements for the IPI offers for guided patent searches and patent environment analyses for each of Innosuisse’s support offers:
|Innosuisse support offer||Stage||
Conditions for IPI offer
|National Innovation Project||Application in progress|
|International Innovation Project||Approved applicaation|
|Start-up Innovation Project||Application in progress|
|Swiss Accelerator Innovation Project||Full application in progress|
|BRIDGE||Proof of Concept
|Application in progress|
|Innovation Mentoring||Basic support
|Innovation Booster||Funding for idea approved by an innovation Booster|
|Start-up Coaching||Initial Coaching
Request your patent search
As an applicant for a support offer from Innosuisse, you can apply for a one-off Assisted Patent Search and, if required, an additional Assisted Patent Landscape Analysis. You submit the application by means of a self-declaration directly on the website of the IPI.
Further intellectual property services
Assisted Patent Searches, as offered by the IPI as part of Innosuisse’s various funding opportunities, give you an initial overview of all aspects of intellectual property. For further issues such as Freedom To Operate, licensing, strategy regarding intellectual property or enforcement, there are a number of services offered by specialists on the market.
The IP advisory network offers free initial advice for issues around patent protection and copyright protection of software. Patent attorneys from Switzerland and Liechtenstein who participate in our network advise small and medium-sized enterprises as well as individuals free of charge for up to 45 minutes. During this initial consultation, you can clarify your most pressing questions, find out how to proceed further and whether a further consultation would be useful. In this case, the patent attorney will be happy to tell you the additional costs.
Was the Assisted Patent Search unable to answer all of your questions? Are you not getting anywhere with your research online? Or do you have complex questions that you would like to have researched in a reliable manner? In particular, the question of whether I would be infringing upon third-party industrial property rights (FTO) with a product or a related process can only be determined with an in-depth clarification. Various research service providers offer you research and analyses that are adapted to such questions. List of providers of advanced patent searches
Do you want to file a trademark, design or patent application? Specialists will support you in choosing the right application process and in preparing the relevant applications. You will also receive support during the relevant granting process before the authorities and in the event of enforcement of an industrial property right. You will find the partner suitable for you on the list of trademark consultants, in the Swiss Patent Attorney Register or in the European Patent Attorney Register.
A company’s intellectual property rights can make up a considerable share of its overall value. Intellectual property can play a significant role even in small companies. It is an important value driver and creates strategic advantages in both national and international markets. Experience shows that successful products usually end up being copied. That’s why it is important to integrate how you manage your intellectual property into your company’s strategic process at an early stage. On the IPI’s page “Help in developing an IP strategy”, you will find detailed information on the topic of an IP strategy and who can support you in preparing this.
Last modification 24.03.2023