The basic aim of patent law is the balance of the interests of inventors on one hand and the interests of the public on the other hand. The inventors are rewarded with a limited exclusive right on their invention, for providing technical progress to the public. The exclusive right is limited in time (max. of 20 years), in territory (for the country granting the patent), and its content (on the patented invention). Patents protect the investments made for research and development and create an incentive for innovation.

Granted patents as well as patent applications are published. They therefore provide an insight into current technological developments and help avoiding parallel redundant developments.


Special issue stamp 150 years Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich


Patent protection is not only relevant for natural persons and enterprises. Also public institutions make use of the patent law. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich for example files more than a dozen international patent applications a year.


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