Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (French: Institut Fédéral de la Propriété Intellectuelle, German: Eidgenössisches Institut für Geistiges Eigentum or IGE, Italian: Istituto Federale della Proprietà Intellettuale) is the federal agency in charge of intellectual property matters in Switzerland. Its seat is in Bern. The agency is in charge of patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright.
The Institute was established November 15, 1888. Its official names have been: from 1888 to 1979, the "Federal Office for Intellectual Property", from 1979 to 1996, the "Federal Intellectual Property Agency", and since January 1, 1996, the "Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property" (statutory federal institute with independent legal status).
Albert Einstein worked from 1902 to 1907 at the Institute, known at that time as the Federal Office for Intellectual Property; it was often casually referred to as "the patent office" at the time.
Mandate and services
The IPI's tasks are laid down in its own Federal Act on the Statute and Tasks of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property:
- The granting of intellectual property (IP) rights: The IPI is the central point of contact for patent, trade mark and design applications in Switzerland and, depending on the procedure, also for international applications. It examines national applications, grants IP rights and administers the relevant registers. Its official organ for publishing IP rights is the online database Swissreg. Information from the IP registers on IP rights and protected topographies can be found in this database free of charge.
- Sovereign duty to provide information: The IPI informs industry stakeholders, educational institutions and the public about the intellectual property protection systems and how they can be utilised to the best advantage. For this purpose, it provides a specific website for SMEs and newcomers to intellectual property at sme.ipi.ch.
- Political services: The IPI prepares legislation on patents for inventions, designs, copyright and related rights, topographies of semiconductor products, trade marks and indications of source, public coats of arms and other public signs, as well as other enactments in the field of intellectual property. It advises the federal authorities and represents Switzerland in all intellectual property issues in international organisations and in negotiations with third states.
- Commercial information services: The IPI carries out trade mark and patent searches on the basis of private law under the label of ip-search; in particular, it carries out similarity searches for trade marks, as well as prior art searches, validity searches (opposition searches), patent infringement searches (freedom to operate) and patent landscape analyses for patents. Information on trade marks, patents and technologies is an important basis for business decisions in the field of research and development, law and marketing.
- 1888 – 1921 Friedrich Haller
- 1921 – 1935 Walther Kraft
- 1935 – 1962 Hans Morf
- 1962 - 1969 Joseph Voyame (1923-2010)
- 1969 – 1975 Walter Stamm
- 1976 – 1985 Paul Brändli
- 1985 – 1989 Jean-Louis Comte
- Since 1989 Roland Grossenbacher (* 1950)
- 1902-1909: Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, The Institute. Consulted on May 2, 2008.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Einstein - Frequently asked questions. Consulted on May 2, 2008.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Einstein at the patent office. Consulted on May 2, 2008.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Dr. Roland Grossenbacher. Consulted on May 2, 2008.
- "Loi fédérale sur le statut et les tâches de l'Institut Fédéral de la Propriété Intellectuelle" (in French). Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
- ip-search, a service of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
- Swissreg, IP rights database
- Swiss Federal Act on Patents for Inventions
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