Intellectual property rights

The EFTA Free Trade Agreements provide standards for the protection of intellectual property rights, including measures to enforce these rights. Adequate and enforceable protection of intellectual property is a key interest of Switzerland and its innovation-driven economy. The provisions for the protection of intellectual property are based on the principles of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

As an innovative country, Switzerland is dependent on adequate protection of intellectual property. The expansion of free trade therefore also requires improved protection of the intellectual property rights of the products and services exchanged. In recent years, the protection of intellectual property rights has become increasingly important in global trade.

Around 80% of Swiss exports are based on intellectual property rights in one form or another. Patent protection is important, for example, for the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors as well as the machinery industry. Sectors such as the food or watchmaking industries, on the other hand, depend on good protection for their brands. In general, EFTA's free trade agreements cover all intellectual property rights, in particular patents, test data protection, designs, copyright, trademarks, indications of source and the protection of "swissness" and geographical indications.

The text of the agreement is based on international standards and creates legal certainty for right holders through transparent and predictable rules. The chapter on intellectual property rights also contains a section on enforcement, such as border measures. The provisions on intellectual property rights are subject to the dispute settlement mechanism of the Free Trade Agreement. Further information on intellectual property in Switzerland can be found here.

FAQs on intellectual property rights

Specialist staff
Last modification 10.09.2020

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