"We protect your intellectual property"

Utility Models

Utility models protect “technical inventions” like patents. The protection requirements broadly correspond to those of the patent. The term is shorter however and in Austria is 10 years from the filing date.

The effect, the scope of protection and the enforcement of rights are substantially the same as for a patent.

In the registration process, unlike patent applications the novelty and inventivity are not examined. A faster registration can therefore be effected. Whether the material protection requirements are actually given is only examined by the office in the event of an application for annulment.

An important point, at least in the case of an Austrian utility model, is the grace period with respect to one’s own prior publications: a disclosure of the invention is left out of consideration if it is not made earlier than 6 months before the filing date and is attributable directly or indirectly to the applicant or his legal predecessor.

A grace period with respect to one’s own prior publications also exists for German utility models but is not found in most other countries. Utility models also do not exist in other countries, for example, Switzerland. There is also no “European utility model”.


Hofmann & Fechner
Hörnlingerstraße 3
Postfach 5
6830 Rankweil
T: +43 5522 73137
F: +43 5522 73137-10


Österreichische Patentanwälte  |  European Patent Attorneys  |  European Trademark Attorneys           Design by ms-WebDesign