Privacy policy

1. Principle

The protection of your privacy is an important concern for us. With the following data protection declaration, we explain to you which personal data we process from you when you visit our website or use our online services, or more generally when we provide services for you.
We collect and process your personal data carefully, and only for the purposes described in this privacy policy and only to the extent necessary for this purpose and within the scope of the applicable legal provisions. We retain your personal data only to the extent and for as long as necessary to provide our services or as required by law. In close cooperation with our hosting providers, we make every effort to protect the databases from unauthorized access, loss, misuse or falsification.
In particular, this privacy policy is also aligned with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO). Although the GDPR is a regulation of the European Union, it is relevant to us. The Swiss Data Protection Act (DPA) is strongly influenced by EU law, and companies outside the European Union or EEA must comply with the GDPR under certain circumstances.

2. Data Protection Officer

The General Law, Designs and Enforcement Legal Service is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable data privacy regulations. If you have any data protection concerns, you can send them to us at the following contact address:
Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property Legal and
International Affairs Division
Legal Services General Law, Designs and Enforcement Stauffacherstrasse 65/59g 3003 Bern

3. Collection and processing of personal data

We primarily process personal data that we receive in the course of enforcing the laws of intellectual property, in particular the administration of industrial property rights (patents, trademarks, designs and topographies), the administration of the patent attorney register and the supervision of copyright collecting societies. Furthermore, we process personal data within the scope of our information services (patent and technology searches, trademark searches) and our training and course offerings.
To the extent permitted, we also take certain data from publicly accessible sources (e.g. debt collection registers, land registers, commercial registers, press, Internet) or receive such data from authorities and other third parties, in particular so that we can conclude or process contracts with you or so that we can correctly enter your property rights in the register.
To conduct conference calls, online meetings, video conferences and/or webinars ("online meetings"), we use the "Zoom" service via local provision ("on premise"). The following data is processed in this context: User name, general information about service preferences, information about the device and the network and Internet connection of each user, e.g. IP address(es), MAC address, other device IDs (UDID), device type, type and version of the operating system, client version, information about the use of or other interaction with "Zoom" products ("Usage Information"), other information uploaded, provided or created by the User while using the Service, and metadata used for the maintenance of the Service provided. Where appropriate, as is common with collaborative tools, other personal data may also be exchanged between the IPI and the participants, such as chat messages, images, files, audio or video recordings, contact information, or metadata used for the maintenance of the service provided. Only a minimum of data will be processed if you participate in an "online meeting" of "Zoom" without registering. Recordings of the "online meeting" are made only with prior notice and are generally stored locally. Additional information about the processing of personal data by "Zoom" can be found in their privacy policy.

4. Purposes of data processing and legal basis
We use the personal data we collect primarily to examine, grant and administer industrial property rights (patents, trademarks, designs, topographies) and to maintain the patent attorney register. Furthermore, we use the data to conclude and execute our contracts with our customers and business partners, in particular in the context of our search services with our customers and the purchase of products and services from our suppliers and subcontractors, as well as to comply with our legal obligations at home and abroad. If you work for such a customer or business partner, your personal data may of course also be affected in this capacity.
In addition, we also process personal data of you and other persons, as permitted and as we deem appropriate, for the following purposes, in which we (and sometimes third parties) have a legitimate interest corresponding to the purpose:
Information about offers, services, websites and other platforms on which we are present;
Communicating with third parties and handling their inquiries (e.g., job applications, media inquiries);
Examination and optimization of procedures for needs analysis for the purpose of direct customer contact as well as collection of personal data from publicly available sources for the purpose of customer acquisition;
Advertising and information about our services and offers (including holding events and sending the annual report), unless you have objected to the use of your data (if we send you advertising as an existing customer of ours, you can object at any time, we will then put you on a blacklist against further advertising mailings);
Market and opinion research, media monitoring;
Assertion of legal claims and defense in connection with legal disputes and official proceedings;
Prevention and investigation of crime and other misconduct (e.g., conducting internal investigations, data analysis to combat fraud);
Guarantees of our operations, in particular IT, our websites and other platforms;
Measures for IT, building and facility security and protection of our employees and other persons and assets belonging to or entrusted to us (such as access controls, visitor lists, network and mail scanners, telephone records);
Conducting "online meetings."

Insofar as you have given us consent to process your personal data for certain purposes (for example, when you register to receive newsletters or other requests via online forms on our website), we process your personal data within the scope of and based on this consent, insofar as we have no other legal basis and we require such a basis. Consent given can be revoked at any time, but this has no effect on data processing that has already taken place. Insofar as the processing of your personal data is within the scope of the administration of industrial property rights, the law and ordinance dictate which data we process and in what form. For example, we are required by law to inform the public about the intellectual property rights valid in Switzerland and the personal data associated with them.
5. Cookies / tracking and other technologies related to the use of our website

5.1 Cookies and image elements
We typically use "cookies" and similar technologies on our websites to identify your browser or device. A cookie is a small file that is sent to your computer or automatically stored on your computer or mobile device by the web browser you use when you visit our website. This allows us to recognize you when you return to this website, even if we do not know who you are. In addition to cookies that are only used during a session and deleted after your website visit ("session cookies"), cookies can also be used to store user settings and other information for a certain period of time (e.g. two years) ("permanent cookies"). However, you can set your browser to reject cookies, store them for one session only, or otherwise delete them early. Most browsers are preset to accept cookies. We use persistent cookies so that we can better understand how you use our offerings and content. If you block cookies, certain functionalities (such as voice dialing) may no longer work.
We also include visible and invisible image elements in our newsletters and other marketing emails in part and to the extent permitted. By retrieving these from our servers, we can determine whether and when you have opened the email so that we can also measure and better understand how you use our offers and tailor them to you. You can block this in your email program.
5.2 Newsletters and marketing emails
By using our websites and agreeing to receive newsletters and other marketing emails, you consent to the use of these techniques. If you do not want this, you must set your browser or e-mail program accordingly.
5.3 Google Analytics
We sometimes use Google Analytics on our websites. This is a service provided by third parties, which may be located in any country in the world (in the case of Google Analytics, it is Google LLC in the USA,
Google Analytics allows us to measure and evaluate the use of the website (non-personal). Permanent cookies that the service provider sets are also used for this purpose. The service provider does not receive any personal data from us (and does not keep any IP addresses), but can track your use of the website, combine this information with data from other websites that you have visited and which are also tracked by the service provider, and use these findings for its own purposes (e.g. controlling advertising). If you have registered with the service provider yourself, the service provider also knows you. The processing of your personal data by the service provider then takes place under the responsibility of the service provider in accordance with its data protection provisions. The service provider only informs us how our respective website is used (no information about you personally).
We have activated IP anonymization on this website, i.e. the IP addresses that Google Analytics must necessarily transmit to the Google Analytics servers for visitors to the IPI websites are automatically shortened by the last digits within the shortest possible time. For more information, see Google Marketing Platform.
5.4 Google reCaptcha
We sometimes use Google reCaptcha on our websites. These are third-party services that may be located in any country in the world (in the case of Google reCaptcha, it is Google LLC in the USA).
We use Google reCaptcha to protect online forms on our website. The data processing is based on your consent. The purpose of reCAPTCHA is to check whether the data entry on our websites (e.g. in a contact form) is made by a human or by an automated program. For this purpose, reCAPTCHA analyzes the behavior of the website visitor based on various characteristics. Cookies are also used for this purpose, which are set by the service provider. This analysis starts automatically and runs completely in the background as soon as the website visitor opens the website. Website visitors are not made aware that an analysis is taking place.
For analysis purposes, Google can evaluate all information from these form pages (including the IP address, time spent by the website visitor on the website or mouse movements made by the user). The data collected during the analysis is forwarded to Google. The use of the reCaptcha service is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use; for more information, see the reCaptcha website.
5.5 Plug-ins
We also use so-called plug-ins from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn on our websites. This is apparent to you in each case (typically via corresponding icons). We have configured these elements so that they are deactivated by default. If you activate them (by clicking on them), the operators of the respective social networks can register that you are on our website and where and can use this information for their purposes. The processing of your personal data is then the responsibility of this operator according to its data protection regulations. We do not receive any information about you from him.

6. Transmission of data to third parties

Your personal data will not be disclosed, sold or otherwise transferred to third parties, unless this is necessary for the purpose of contract execution or to fulfill our legal duties, or you have expressly consented (e.g. to ensure the security of our input forms on the website). In addition, data may be transferred to third parties if we are required to do so by law or by enforceable governmental or court order.
The recipients of such data are partly domestic, but may be anywhere in the world. If we transfer data to a country without adequate legal data protection, we ensure an adequate level of protection by using appropriate contracts or rely on the legal exceptions of consent, contract performance, the establishment, exercise or enforcement of legal claims, overriding public interests, published personal data or because it is necessary to protect the integrity of the data subjects.
The "Zoom" service used for "Online Meetings" is provided by a provider from the USA; personal data is therefore also processed in a third country. An appropriate level of data protection is contractually guaranteed. Even in the case of local provision ("on premise"), user and meeting metadata as well as cloud recordings are managed in the public Zoom cloud. As a supplementary protective measure, our Zoom configuration is such that, as a matter of principle, only data centers in Switzerland and the EU are used to conduct "online meetings".
You can request information about the contractual guarantees mentioned at any time from the office mentioned under point 2. However, we reserve the right to black out copies for reasons of data protection or confidentiality or to supply only excerpts.
By law, anyone may inspect the registers kept by us and therefore become a recipient of the personal data processed therein. The same applies to the inspection of the record book from the time when the property right is entered in the register or the disclosure document is published. Under certain conditions, inspection of the record book may be requested even before this date. The requirements are regulated in the respective ordinances.
The register data as well as other documents such as disclosure documents, patent applications and search reports may - within the scope of the legal provisions - be transmitted to international organizations (EPO, WIPO, EUIPO) and to other trademark and patent offices.

7. Duration of the retention of personal data

We process and store your personal data as long as it is necessary for the fulfillment of our contractual and legal obligations or otherwise the purposes pursued with the processing, i.e., for example, for the duration of the entire business relationship (from the initiation, processing to the termination of a contract) as well as beyond that in accordance with the statutory retention and documentation obligations. In this context, it is possible that personal data will be retained for the period during which claims can be asserted against our institution and to the extent that we are otherwise legally obligated or authorized to do so or legitimate business interests require this (e.g. for evidence and documentation purposes). The duration of file retention in the context of the administration of industrial property rights is regulated in the respective ordinances and is generally 5 years after cancellation, withdrawal or rejection of the property right (patents, trademarks, designs, topographies).
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the data in our registers of intellectual property rights remain visible even after they have been deleted, as the registers must also provide information about the legal relationships in the past. These data therefore remain visible in the electronic publication organ Swissreg after their deletion.

8. Data security

We take appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect your personal data from unauthorized access and misuse, such as issuing instructions, training, IT and network security solutions, access controls and restrictions, encryption of data carriers and transmissions, pseudonymization and controls.

9. Obligation to provide personal data

Within the scope of our business relationship, you must provide those personal data that are necessary for the establishment and implementation of a business relationship and the fulfillment of the associated contractual obligations (you generally do not have a legal obligation to provide us with data). Without this data, we will generally not be able to enter into a contract with you (or the entity or person you represent), process it, or fulfill our legal duties.

10. Profiling and automated decision making

The personal data is not used as the basis for any automated decision-making. We do not carry out any profiling with the personal data.

11. Rights of the data subject

Within the scope of the data protection law applicable to you and insofar as provided therein (such as in the case of the GDPR), you have the right to information, correction, deletion, the right to restrict data processing and otherwise to object to our data processing as well as to the surrender of certain personal data for the purpose of transfer to another entity (so-called data portability). Please note, however, that we reserve the right to enforce the restrictions provided for by law. For example, if we are obliged to retain or process certain data, if we have an overriding interest in doing so (insofar as we are entitled to rely on this) or if we need the data to assert claims. If you incur costs, we will inform you in advance. We have already informed you about the possibility of revoking your consent in section 4. Please note that the exercise of this rights may conflict with contractual agreements and this may have consequences such as premature termination of the contract or cost consequences. We will inform you in advance if this is not already contractually or legally regulated.
The exercise of such rights usually requires that you clearly prove your identity (e.g. by means of a copy of your ID card, where your identity is otherwise not clear or cannot be verified). To exercise your rights, you can contact us at the address given in section 2.
In addition, every data subject has the right to enforce his or her claims in court or to lodge a complaint with the competent data protection authority. The competent data protection authority in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (

12. Changes

We may amend this privacy policy at any time without prior notice. The current version published on our website shall apply. Insofar as this appears appropriate, we will inform you of the change by e-mail or other suitable means in the event of an update.

Third party cookies and tracking technologies

The following technologies are used on our site. Detailed information about the tools can be found under the links provided.

Solution Category / Purpose Provider Address Links
Google Analytics Website Analytics Google inc. 600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
Google re Captcha To protect the forms on the IPI website, works with Google recaptcha. For identification and security purposes, this Cookie set. Google inc. 600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
Session cookie / functional cookie { "fe_typo_user".) Keep language settings Typo3 GmbH Am Wehrhahn 41, D-40211 Düsseldorf
Session cookie / security cookie works with This is an infrastructure provider. For identification and security purposes, this Cookie set. f5 Networks, Inc. Corporate HQ 401 Elliott Avenue West Inc. Seattle, WA 98119-4017