Categories: | Categories:

Austria – New Utility Model Law

Austria has for the first time adopted a utility model law. The new law adopts a very broad definition of what is protectable so that almost the only exclusions seem to be microorganisms and similar biotechnological inventions. Thus even chemical processes are protectable by way of a utility model. Applications can be filed initially in English, French or German, although subsequent translation into German is required, and will be subject to a novelty examination.

The novelty provision of the law provides for a grace period so that a publication originating from the inventor will not be regarded as destroying the novelty of any utility model application filed in Austria within 6 months of that publication.

The maximum term of protection under the utility model law is 10 years from the end of the month in which the application is filed.

There is no prohibition on double protection by means of a patent and by a utility model and thus, filing a utility model application may provide a means to secure protection quickly in cases where this is needed for immediate action against infringers. Subsequently, a patent application may be prosecuted to obtain a longer period of protection. A pending utility model application may be converted into a patent application, and vice versa.

Share b