The relationship between patents and development

The view of the Swiss industry

Despite considerable pressure from abroad, Switzerland was slow in adopting patent laws and did so only to the extent that it complemented its own development. The government always made allowances for the needs of industry, especially the chemical industry, in matters of patent law. In fact, the first Swiss patent laws of 1888 did not affect the chemical industry at all and the revised version of 1907 again excluded the anti-innovative protection of substances. Substance protection was eventually granted in 1976. The Swiss industry positions expressed in this composite text show that strict patent protection is not necessarily conducive to the development of a national economy or a branch of industry and that Swiss industry as a whole benefited from weak patent protection for many years. Sometimes less is indeed more.