IP Protection

If suitable, the TTO will arrange for intellectual property (IP) protection. This may be a patent among other options.


The term Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is understood to mean all intellectual creations and absolute rights to intangible goods. This includes industrial property rights (patents, utility models, trademarks, etc.) and copyright.

IPR is becoming increasingly important as an asset in both scientific competition and business. The scope of protection of intellectual property rights depends on the chosen protection mechanism, but is generally distinguished on one hand by the possibility of excluding others from use and, on the other hand, by certain exploitation rights to which the owner is entitled.

International supraregional cooperation has made the international dimension of IPR and its European legislation increasingly important.



A patent is a bundle of exclusive rights to an invention that enables the patent owner to prevent unauthorized commercial exploitation of the invention (e.g., manufacture, use or sale). Patents can be licensed and sold

An invention is patentable if it is new to the prior art (all publications prior to the filing date) if it were not obvious to one skilled in the art and if it is commercially applicable. National laws and legal practice determine which objects are patentable or which are excluded from patentability.


Approach, duration and territorial scope
Patents vs. Publications


Copyright provides the author/creator/inventor of an original work with certain rights regarding the use of the work and regulates its use by others. It arises automatically without the need for registration as soon as a work is created and recorded in a material form. Works within the meaning of the Austrian Copyright Act are peculiar intellectual creations in the fields of literature, the art of sound, the fine arts and film art. Works in the field of literature also include computer programs. In addition, photos, audio recordings, programs and databases enjoy limited protection.

The general rule is that the author is the first owner of the copyright of a work. He/she may, among other ways of using the work, license or assign the use of it to another person or organization for a particular purpose and period of use (e.g. the right to adapt and translate a work, the right to reproduce and distribute it).

However, as a rule, the University of Vienna holds the copyright for works created by its employees as part of their employment relationship. Your employment contract specifies the conditions applicable here.

University staff and students are expected to comply with copyright law and to use the copyrighted material appropriately.

If you have any questions regarding copyrights in connection with research projects according to § 27 UG 2002 ("University Projects"), please contact our Legal Service.