In order to obtain a patent, the applicant has to file a patent application at the competent authority. The formal requirements are quite similar worldwide.

For example, a Swiss patent application is required to include:

  1. a request for the grant of the patent
  2. a description of the invention
  3. one or more patent claims
  4. if applicable the drawings to which the description or claims refer
  5. an abstract

Upon receipt of the patent application, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property examines within the receiving inspection if the formal legal requirements are fulfilled in order to assign filing date. The same applies for European patent applications.