Inventions can also be protected by utility models, provided that the invention describes a technical solution that is novel, involves an inventive step and is susceptible to industrial application. Utility models are not limited to technical devices, but can also be registered for technical methods and manufacturing processes.
Utility models offer a 6-months novelty grace period for prior publications by the applicant: If the inventor has accidentally – or intentionally – published his invention, he can still get a utility model, provided he files the application no later than 6 months after the publication.
Utility model applications are researched, but not examined for novelty and inventive step, therefore a much faster grant can be achieved as compared to patents. Usually, utility models are granted within one year after the date of filing.
Expedited proceedings can be requested, wherein the search is conducted after registration, resulting in an even quicker registration.
The duration of utility models is limited to 10 years. Annuities have to be paid from the fourth year after the date of filing.
Austrian utility models can be branched off from pending Austrian or European patent applications with a customized claim set. This allows to quickly react to current protection requirements on the Austrian market.