Prof. Dr. Cyrill P. Rigamonti - Research Projects

To date, in the context of his academic research projects, Prof. Rigamonti has focused on the following topics:

Swiss Federal Patent Court

The Swiss Federal Patent Court has been operating since 1 January 2012. This research project is designed to trace, analyze, and comment on the development and the jurisprudence of this new specialist court.

The following contributions have already been published within the framework of this project:

  • Rigamonti, The New Swiss Patent Litigation System, 2 Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law (JIPITEC) 3 (2011) [SSRN]
  • Rigamonti, Swiss Patent Jurisprudence 2012, 4 Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law (JIPITEC) 53 (2013) [SSRN]
  • Rigamonti, The First Year of the Swiss Federal Patent Court, 112 Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft (ZVglRWiss) 293 (2013) (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, The Jurisprudence of the Swiss Federal Patent Court in 2013, in Festschrift for the Swiss Lawyer's Day 2014, Bern 2014, 307 (in German) [PDF]

In addition, the following presentations were given as part of this project:

  • Rigamonti, "Judicial Enforcement of Patents", Bern Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education in Business Law, Bern, November 2011 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Specialized Patent Courts: The Swiss Experience", Panel on Intellectual Property Courts and Judging, ATRIP 2013 Congress, Oxford University, June 2013 (in English)

In order to increase the international visibility of the case law of the Swiss Federal Patent Court, selected leading cases will be translated into English under the supervision and direction of Prof. Rigamonti. The following judgment deals with the doctrine of equivalents in Swiss patent law:

European Patent Law

This research project examines selected issues in European patent law, including, but not limited to, the emerging pan-European patent litigation system (Unified Patent Court) and the formal unification of substantive patent law associated with the implemention of this new litigation system. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) provided financial support for this project between 2012 and 2015.

As part of this project, Prof. Rigamonti has published the following contributions:

  • Rigamonti, Switzerland and the Substantive Law of Patent Infringement in Europe, sic! 2014, 237 (in German)  [PDF]

In connection with this project, Prof. Rigamonti has given the following academic presentations and speeches:

  • Rigamonti, "Current Developments in Patent Law", University of St. Gallen, Conference on Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Zurich, November 2009 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Current Developments in Patent Law", University of St. Gallen, Conference on Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Zurich, November 2010 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Regulating Biosimilars - Challenges and Complications", Basel Institute on Governance, Generics & Biosimilars Conference, Basel, May 2011 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "Switzerland and the Substantive Law of Patent Infringement in Europe", Conference Commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the Swiss Patent Office, Bern, November 2013 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Patent Priority Issues", Panelist, 23rd Annual Fordham IP Conference at Cambridge University, April 2015 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "The Doctrine of Equivalents in Patent Law - Comparative Aspects", Association of Swiss Patent and Trademark Attorneys (ASPTA), Fall Event, Lugano, August 2015 (in German)

Moreover, Prof. Rigamonti is currently supervising two doctoral dissertations that are being written as part of this research project.

Contributory Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

The subject matter of this project is the contributory (or indirect) infringement of intellectual property rights. Between 2007 and 2011, it received financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Prof. Rigamonti has published the following articles on this topic:

  • Rigamonti, Theory and Practice of Indirect Patent Infringement, Mitteilungen der deutschen Patentanwälte 2009, 57 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Secondary Liability of Internet Service Providers in Switzerland, in: Heckendorn Urscheler (ed.), Swiss Reports Presented at the XIXth International Congress of Comparative Law, Zürich 2014, 389 [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Internet Service Provider Liability - on the Way to Administrative Copyright Law?, sic! 2016, 117 (in German)  [PDF]

The results of this research project were made available to a large audience in the following presentations:

  • Rigamonti, "Secondary Liability in Intellectual Property Law", CMS von Erlach Henrici, Switzerland, Client Seminar, June 2007 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Indirect Patent Infringement - Doctrine and Case Law in Germany and Switzerland", University of Bayreuth, Germany, DFG Graduate Program on Intellectual Property, May 2009 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "The World of Contributory Patent Infringement", Cardozo Law School, New York, April 2010 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "Internet Service Provider Liability", ALAI Switzerland / University of Neuchâtel, Copyright at a Crossroads, Neuchâtel, January 2016 (in German)

Moreover, the following doctoral dissertations in law were published as a part of this project:

  • Witt, Indirect Patent Infringement in German and Swiss Law, Diss. 2010, SMI vol. 91, Bern 2011 (in German)
  • Hürlimann, Search Engine Liability, Diss. 2012, SMI vol. 94, Bern 2012 (in German)
  • Wullschleger, The Enforcement of Copyright Law on the Internet, Diss. 2014, SMI vol. 101, Bern 2015 (in German)

Moral Rights

This research project concentrated on the doctrine of moral rights, one of the most complex legal doctrines in copyright law. The project had two goals, namely to study the globalization of the continental European doctrine of moral rights on the basis of comparative and historical inquiries and to examine the conceptual basis and the current state of moral rights law in Switzerland. The research on U.S. law benefitted, inter alia, from a multi-year research conducted at Harvard Law School.

The following publications are part of the moral rights project:

  • Rigamonti, Deconstructing Moral Rights, 47 Harvard International Law Journal 353 (2006) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, The Conceptual Transformation of Moral Rights, 55 American Journal of Comparative Law 67 (2007) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Review of Stefanie Matanovic, "Contractual Dispositions of Moral Rights, also in view of French and U.S. Law" (2006), UFITA 2008/I, 247 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Review of Martina Braun, "The moral right of the performing artist", UFITA 2011/III, 871 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Review of Mira T. Sundara Rajan, "Moral Rights: Principles, Practice and New Technology", 3 The IP Law Book Review 1 (2012) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Moral Rights - On the Globalization and the Theory of a Legal Doctrine between Copyright Law and the Right of Personality, Bern 2013 (in German) [Link to Publisher's Website]

The moral rights project also resulted in the following academic presentations:

  • Rigamonti, "Moral Rights in Copyright Law", Harvard Law School, March 2004
  • Rigamonti, "Reconceptualizing Moral Rights", Cardozo Law School, New York, 5th Annual IP Scholars Conference, August 2005
  • Rigamonti, "Recontextualizing Moral Rights", Harvard Law School, November 2005
  • Rigamonti, "Recontextualizing Moral Rights", Yale Law School, Harvard-Yale Cyberscholar Working Group, November 2005
  • Rigamonti, "Net Art and the Theory of Moral Rights", American Association of Law Schools Annual Faculty Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 2006

Prof. Rigamonti was awarded the following academic prizes for his work on moral rights:

  • Addison Brown Prize, Harvard Law School (2004)
  • Mancini Prize, Harvard Law School (2006)
  • Prix Jubilé, Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (2007)

According to a study by Prof. Ted Sichelman of the University of San Diego, the moral rights article published by Prof. Rigamonti in the Harvard International Law Journal is among the top 20 most cited articles in copyright law published between 2004 and 2008:

  • "Written Description" IP Blog, Guest Post by Prof. Ted Sichelman, 24 September 2014, University of San Diego School of Law [HTML]

Digital Copyright

This research project addresses the challenges for the law of copyright posed by the developments in digital technology and the Internet. One part of the project, which was entitled "Digital Copyright in a Networked Society" and which ran from 2002 to 2005, was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) with a scholarship for advanced researchers. The initial research for this project was conducted at Harvard Law School.

To date, the digital copyright project has generated the following publications by Prof. Rigamonti:

  • Rigamonti, Attack on Digital Private Copying, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) No. 141 of June 21, 2004, 16 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Private Use or Receipt of Stolen Goods? On Downloading Music and Motion Picture Files from the Internet, GRUR Int. 2004, 278 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Review of William W. Fisher III, "Promises To Keep - Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment" (2004), UFITA 2005/I, 238 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, The Protection against the Circumvention of Technical Measures in Copyright Law from a Comparative and International Perspective, GRUR Int. 2005, 1 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Whoever helps copying shall be punished, plädoyer 2005/2, 25 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Review of Jan Poeppel, "The New Ordering of Limitations on Copyright in the Digital Environment" (2005), UFITA 2007/I, 258 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, Current Developments in European Copyright Law, sic! 2009, 196 (in German) [PDF]

In addition, the research conducted as part of the digital copyright project resulted in the following presentations:

  • Rigamonti, "Limitations and Exceptions in Copyright Law" (Discussant), Max Planck Institute, Symposium on the Balance of Interests in Copyright Law, Berlin, November 2004 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "Artists and Copyright in the Digital Millennium", University of Bielefeld, Germany, Conference on Copyright & Art, May 2005 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "Current Developments in European Copyright Law", University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Integrated Seminar on Law & Economics, March 2009 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "The Impact of Digital Technologies on the Global Intellectual Property Regime" (Discussant), World Trade Forum 2010, World Trade Institute, Bern, September 2010 (in English)
  • Rigamonti, "Content Flatrate - an Overview", Swiss Forum for Communications Law, 10th Annual Copyright Conference, Bern, February 2011 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Current Developments in Copyright Law and Their Significance for Research Libraries", Swiss Association of Law Libraries, Symposium 2011 - Digital Libraries and the Law, Bern, June 2011 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Limitations in Copyright Law – Critical Views from an Academic Perspective", Swiss Forum for Communications Law, 13th Annual Copyright Conference: AGUR12 – and now?, Bern, May 2014

The following doctoral dissertation written under the supervision of Prof. Rigamonti was published in connection with the digital copyright project:

  • Böttcher, Exhaustion in Copyright Law and its Significance in the Digital Environment, Diss. 2013, SMI vol. 98, Bern 2013

The research done as part of the digital copyright project was mentioned in the following media:

  • K-Tipp No. 20 of 1 December 2004, 15 [PDF]

Used Software

The issue of whether the trade in used software is legal is one of the most important issues affecting the software industry. Prof. Rigamonti has examined this issue in detail and has concluded that the trade in used software is legal as a general matter, both under Swiss law and under the law of the European Union. The CJEU later reached essentially the same conclusion for the EU in its leading decision in the UsedSoft case (C-128/11).

The following publications belong to this research project:

  • Rigamonti, The Trade in Used Software under Swiss Copyright Law, GRUR Int. 2009, 14 (in German) [PDF]
  • Rigamonti, On the Legality of the Trade in Software Product Keys, AJP 2010, 582 (in German) [PDF]

The research findings were made available to an audience of academics and legal practitioners in the following presentation:

  • Rigamonti, "The Assignment of Rights in Software - Used Software and Outsourcing", German Society for Law and Computer Science (DGRI), 16th Annual Tri-National Meeting, Italy, June 2009 (in German)

Moreover, Prof. Rigamonti's research in this area was mentioned in the following media pieces:

  • IT Reseller, 14 April 14, 2009, p. 5: "Haarspaltereien um alte Software, Hersteller und Gebrauchtsoftware-Händler streiten schon lange um die richtige Auslegung des Urheberrechtes. Ein Professor bezieht Stellung" [HTML]
  • NZZ am Sonntag, 17 May 2009, p. 34: "Geld sparen mit Occasions-Software" [PDF]
  •, 12 August 2009: "Gebraucht-SAP um 43 Prozent preiswerter - Gebrauchtsoftware-Handel in der Schweiz zulässig" [HTML]
  • Tages-Anzeiger, 23 July 2012, p. 33: "Bald gibt es einen Flohmarkt für Software und digitale Unterhaltung" [PDF]

Event Marks

This research project focused on the controversy regarding trademark protection for event marks, which are primarily filed by large sports organizations in order to guarantee - along with other mechanisms - legal exclusivity regarding the marketing of large sports events.

In the context of the events marks project, Prof. Rigamonti published the following article:

  • Rigamonti, Eventmarken und Markenrecht, in FS Roland von Büren, Basel 2009, 343 [PDF]

Moreover, Prof. Rigamonti gave the following presentations on this topic:

  • Rigamonti, "Intellectual Property Law and EURO 2008", University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Integrated Seminar in Law & Economics, April 2008 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Soccer Events and Trademark Law", University of Bern, Switzerland, Collegium Generale, May 2008 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Ambush Marketing and Event Marks", CMS von Erlach Henrici AG, Switzerland, June 2008 (in German)
  • Rigamonti, "Soccer Events and Trademark Protection - A Somewhat Different Introduction to the Soccer World Cup 2010", Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Lecture Series ip@6, Bern, June 2010 (in German)