A moment's reflection on the history of the Firm is a moment well spent, because our origins resonate with the same spirit that still prevails in our firm.The principles guiding the way we counsel our clients - reliability, competence, and resourcefulness - permeate our legal work as well. Openness and an interest in cultural issues infuse our work, creating an intellectual climate that supports innovative and efficient solutions for the mandates entrusted to us.
Records first mention the Blum family in Koblenz on the Rhine river and its shipping activities in 1590. Emil Blum, born in 1847, was unable to continue the familys long tradition because the introduction of free trade and commerce under the new Federal Constitution abolished all transportation monopolies. The railroad also contributed to the demise of shipping on the Rhine. So Emil Blum decided to pursue a technical career and earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. He later worked as a design engineer for over 10 years, at home and abroad.
Finally settling in Zürich, he opened an engineering office for factory equipment in 1878. He quickly gained a reputation as a specialist in patent issues. Engineer Moritz Veith became a partner in 1883, and the name of the firm was changed to E. Blum & Co. Emil Blum was deeply committed to establishing patent law provisions with nationwide validity. After two draft bills were rejected, his efforts finally culminated in success with the ratification of a constitutional clause in 1887. The skills Emil Blum acquired over the years in this battle to achieve effective protection for inventions soon gained international recognition for his company, and patent matters became its most important practice area. Emil Blum was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Swiss Patent Attorneys and actively involved in the International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI).
Emil's son Eugen Blum, who had joined the firm in 1911, took over the helm after his fathers death in 1929. Again wholly owned by the Blum family, the office employed 27 persons at that time and was the undisputed leader among patent firms in Switzerland, accounting for 15 % of all patents issued. Eugen Blum undertook to rebuild the AIPPI which had faltered during World War I. He was its general secretary from 1925 to 1961. Under his dynamic leadership, the organization expanded to play a decisive role in patent legislation. The reactivation of the AIPPI was also his accomplishment. He was permanent secretary of this organization until 1961.
During both world wars, the need for neutral representation of client interest in opposing countries grew considerably. Patents from countries in conflict were often sequestered during the wars, so the law firm was frequently involved in resolving such issues within the scope of peace treaties.
Dr. Rudolf Blum, the third generation, joined the management of the firm in 1948, which he shared with his father until 1959. At that time, the office employed 55 people. Like his father, Rudolf Blum published numerous works. Perhaps his most important one is "The Swiss Patent Law", a commentary on the 1954 federal law that he co-authored with Prof. Mario Pedrazzini.
He also took on extensive responsibilities of a voluntary nature, serving as president of the Association of Swiss Patent Attorneys, as general secretary as well as honorary president of the AIPPI, and as a judge at the Cantonal Commercial Court of Zürich. Under his guidance, the firm expanded to include an independent law division. The firms steady growth demanded a broader leadership structure. The former two-person management team was expanded in 1972.
In 1995 Dr. Urs Blum was appointed to the management board. Dr. Urs Blum had previously implemented a fully computer -based infrastructure in the firm, making E. Blum & Co. one of the first patent and trademark attorney firms in Switzerland to do so. He also held office as president of the Association of Swiss Patent and Trademark Attorneys. In 2006, he retired from the firm as attorney and partner.
In 2006, the patent and trademark attorney firm changes its legal form and henceforth continues its activities as E. Blum & Co. AG. Simultaneously, the owners Dr. Rudolf E. Blum and Eleonore Blum decide to transfer their holdings in the firm to the firm’s management members. Accordingly, Dr. Regula Rüedi, René Monsch, Rainer Schalch and Dr. Kurt Sutter, all senior members of the firm and members of the Board of Management, acquire E. Blum & Co. AG and manage the company as partners, as well as forming the firm’s Board of Directors. They are joined in 2007 by Brendan Bolli, also a senior partner and member of the firm’s existing Board of Management, as co-owner.
In 2009, the E. Blum & Co. AG acquires and integrates the specialised trademark attorney firm Meyer Marks AG. The latter’s Director, Mathias Meyer, joins the firm as a further co-owner and member of the Board of Management and Board of Directors. This development is a further important step in the course of the firm’s efforts to continuously increase the efficiency and maintain the high quality of its trademark services.
In 2014, René Monsch retires from the Board of Management and is succeeded by Martin Toleti.
In 2019, following the retirement of Rainer Schalch, Dr. Siegfried Grimm joins the Board of Management.
Today, E. Blum & Co. AG is one of the largest and most reputable patent and trademark attorney firms of Switzerland.