Federal Patent Court
Patent Court decides disputes relating to patents. The smallest of the federal courts, it
regularly deals with international actors. With the agreement of the parties,
pleadings and briefs can be in English.
a technical idea usually costs a lot of money. With a patent, the “intellectual
property” of an invention is legally protected. In the event of a dispute, the
Federal Patent Court decides whether a new technical development meets the
requirements for patent protection; it also assesses whether existing patent
rights are being infringed. It must also decide who is the legal holder of a
patent or how a patent may be used in the context of licensing.
2012, the cantonal courts had jurisdiction in matters relating to patent
disputes. Since then, they have been a matter for the Federal Patent Court. Its
judgments may be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.
The Federal Patent Court is the smallest federal court. It
is not split into different divisions. 41
non-permanent judges work for the court but they do not have their own
offices in the court. The President of the Federal Patent Court, another judge,
two court clerks and two office staff members work for the Federal Patent Court
on a permanent basis.
The seat of the Federal Patent Court is in St. Gallen. It
does not have its own courtroom. If court hearings take place, they are held in
the building of the nearby Federal Administrative Court. The Federal Patent
Court can also hear cases in the cantons, e.g. in Neuchâtel, if the parties
come from French-speaking Switzerland.
President: Mark Schweizer
is also permitted as a language
actors frequently appear before the Federal Patent Court; the English language
is also often used in the field of technology.
The parties to the dispute may therefore also conduct the proceedings in
English if everyone agrees.
Judges with technical expertise
The Federal Patent Court regularly
deals with complex technical issues in its proceedings. Judges with appropriate
technical expertise are therefore involved, enabling fast and cost-effective
proceedings, as time-consuming and costly opinions from external experts can
usually be avoided.
cases by technical field received in 2019