Protection of intellectual property

When an entrepreneur has an innovative commercial idea, or is the originator of a marketable invention, it is important for him to find an appropriate form of legal protection. Indeed, all companies need to ensure that it is not possible for a competitor to steal or copy their idea. At the same time, not everything that appears innovative at first sight can necessarily be patented. Thus, ideas and concepts per se cannot be protected in this way. Only the actual arrangement, meaning the implementation or realisation of an idea, can be patented.

The law in Switzerland envisages different types of protection in this regard :

  • A name may be protected by a trademark
  • A technical solution may be protected by a patent
  • A work of art or literature may be protected by intellectual property rights

Within the framework of its economic promotion programme, the canton of Vaud has at its disposal financial incentive for the registration of patent (12 pages - pdf, 3.3 MB). This is intended for companies operating in industry or production-related services which, as part of a well-defined commercial strategy, wish to acquire intellectual property rights.


Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
Stauffacherstrasse 65/59g
3003 Bern

Tel  : ++41 31 377 77 77
Fax : ++41 31 377 77 78
E-mail : info(at)


Financial incentives (12 pages - pdf, 3.3 MB), including for acquiring intellectual property rights