Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2002 submitted by Austria (SCIT/ATR/PI/2002/AT)

Click here to print the ATR form.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).

Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities

The numbers of applications, grants and registrations in 2002 in Austria are presented together with the numbers in 2001 (= 100%):

National patent applications: 2.182 in 2002 (-6,4%)
2.332 in 2001

Granted national patents: 1.564 in 2002 (+13,1%)
1.383 in 2001

Granted European patents
with AT as designated state: 18.815 in 2002 (+50,3%)
12.522 in 2001

Utility model applications: 983 in 2002 (-10,5%)
1.098 in 2001

Utility model registrations: 958 in 2002 (+21,3%)
790 in 2001
Supplementary protection
certificate applications: 44 in 2002
45 in 2001

Supplementary protection
certificate registrations: 81 in 2002 (+8,4%)
61 in 2001

Corresponding to the structure of the Austrian industry, the majority of the inventions came from the fields of fixed construction (13.5%), process engineering (13.4%), human necessities (12.8%), and transportation (12.27%) comparable to the situation prevailing in recent years. These leading industrial sectors correspond with the leading sectors of the preceding years, whereby only the sequence within these four sectors changes from year to year.

Significant growth rates compared with the previous year were recorded in the fields of medical technology (13.58%) and process engineering (6.43%),

The increase of these sectors corresponds to a long-term trend, which was noticeable throughout the entire 90's. Likewise, the invention applications within the field textile/paper climbed around 6,82% compared with 2001, whereby no trend can be determined here, but a recovery of invention activity was noticeable after some weak years. The number of applications declined in the sectors agriculture (with a minus of 19.4%) and general mechanical engineering (6.6% fewer registrations than 2001).

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information
Austrian examined patent applications laid open for public inspection (laid open for a time period of 4 months) are published on CR-R together with the inquiry software since 2000. Every year, 12 editions of CD-R´s are issued on the 15th of each month and can be purchased by the public.

Austrian granted patents and registered utility models are published on CD-ROM.

As main mass storage media CD-ROMs are used (about 70% of all incoming documents). To a small extent, patent documents in paper form and on microform are still in use.

Paper production of the Austrian Patent Gazette and the Austrian Utility Model Gazette was discontinued. They are now published on the Internet monthly.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents
Austrian examined patent applications laid open for public inspection (laid open for a time period of 4 months) are published on CR-R together with the inquiry software since 2000. Every year, 12 editions of CD-R´s are issued on the 15th of each month and can be purchased by the public.

Austrian granted patents and registered utility models are published on CD-ROM.

As main mass storage media CD-ROMs are used (about 70% of all incoming documents). To a small extent, patent documents in paper form and on microform are still in use.

Paper production of the Austrian Patent Gazette and the Austrian Utility Model Gazette was discontinued. They are now published on the Internet monthly.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
The classified search files of the technical examiners cover all documents of the PCT minimum documentation.

In 1995, the paper file collections of patent documents were discontinued and an inhouse online patent search system (RISP) was introduced which enables searching on the basis of the IPC and ECLA systems.

A network (LAN) supported electronic search file system with access to downloaded documents (Internet, e.g. Esp@cenet) is under development.

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
In-house systems:
see item III.

External databases:
Access to EPOQUE (B-DOOR/First Page+), epoline, QUESTEL, STN, ELSEVIER.

Internet access is available to all technical examiners at their desk tops.

Administrative management systems:
The paperless administration system for search and examination requests, including PCT international applications, was extended to the utility model and patent-processing and became operational in May 2002. The SQL-based system allows the input of all reports in the area of patents, utility models and search/examination directly on the terminal with transfer to a host and processing of the fair copy.

The first phase of a project of migration of the jukebox based in-house online patent search system RISP to a hard disk online system was finalized.

Hardware: Pentium III 800 MHz for all examiners via Token-Ring-Lan, leased lines to Internet and EPO(Vienna, The Hague)
Planning activities for migration from Token-Ring LAN to Ethernet LAN for 2003

Software: Windows Operating System (Win2000, WinXP), B-DOOR/FirstPage+, MS Internet Explorer, STN-Express, Questel Imagination, in house systems for search/examination-reports.

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
The library provides access to approx. 50 million patent documents from 39 states and of 5 international organisations. These are sorted by numbers and according to technical subjects and are at the disposal of the users either in paper form, on microfilm or on CD-ROM. The library of the patent office also offers patent gazettes from a large number of countries and international organizations. Likewise, the trademark and design gazettes of many countries are accessible to the public.

The library of the Austrian Patent Office puts an extensive collection of information with an emphasis on natural science and technology, and certainly also on intellectual property at the disposal to its users. This information is offered both in printed form ("classic" books and periodicals) and in electronic form (CD-ROM).

The information database of the Austrian Patent Office, patent information in the Internet as well as released Austrian patent applications are accessible on computers in the public reading room for the users of the library.

Information services:

The Austrian Patent Office offers free information services concerning legal questions, details of registration procedures, property rights or due fees, which can be submitted verbally (personally or by telephone).

Legal and technical information service:
Legal and technical experts of the Austrian Patent Office can be consulted for legal and technical questions in connection with an intellectual property right, a pending application or for an intended application. The legal information service is available personally or by telephone free of charge.

Information Center:
The information center in the Austrian Patent Office provides information by telephone or personally about all national intellectual property applications and granted rights, about published European and international patent applications designated for Austria, as well as about registered international trademarks with effect for Austria, and about community trademarks of the European Union. This information covers all bibliographic data of the mentioned protection rights. This inquiry can also be made in the library by self-service (with support of the library personnel) on computer workstations.

Register information:
The register administrators of the Austrian Patent Office provide information concerning the current legal status of all effective patents, utility models, semiconductor rights, supplementary protection certificates, trademarks and designs.

The library of the Austrian Patent Office is open for the public on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., on all other working days from 8 am to 12:30 pm.

In Austria, there is a network of 10 patent information libraries (PATLIB). These information centers are either part of technical universities or of research institutes or they belong to the chamber of commerce of the Federal States of Austria.

Information services of the Service and Information Sector (TRF):

The Service and Information Sector of the Austrian Patent Office (TRF) commenced its activities in the fall of 1994 pursuant to the appropriate regulations of the amendment of the Patent Law of 1992 and the corresponding ordinance of 1994. The central purpose of the founding of this enterprise was to offer customer-oriented service and information products in the area of patents, trademarks and designs in a commercial manner.

The Service and Information Sector establishes written information concerning patents and utility models, trademarks and industrial designs on request. Search parameters are e.g. the applicant, the property right owner, the inventor or the technical subject according to the IPC.

Uncertified register extract:
This information product concerning trademarks, designs, patents and utility models contains, among other things, data with regard to the owner of the property right as well as data of the application and registration.

External on-line information:
This information service offers network access via telephone network to the databases of the Austrian Patent Office for information concerning patents, utility models, designs and supplementary protection certificates .
A German and an English version of the Homepage of the Austrian Patent Office is now available and can be accessed via two addresses: and

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information
Patent documentation and information is mutually exchanged on a bilateral basis with almost all of the PCT Member States.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries
Training courses (foreign participants):
Delegations of the patent offices of China, Turkey and Romania visited the Austrian Patent Office for the exchange of experience and for training purposes in the fields of patent examination, trademark registration and information activities. In the context of a European Union program for public service members in the adhering countries, a legal expert of the Marshal Office of the Voivodship Malopolska in Krakow, Poland, attended a practical course in the Austrian Patent Office.
Experts of the Austrian Patent Office were also sent to other patent offices. Two teams of experts for the topics of information activities as well as dispute proceedings and protection for biotechnological inventions visited the patent office of the People's Republic of China. An expert mission was sent to the patent office of the Gulf States in Riyadh.

Training courses (national participants):
One of the seminar series for SMEs concerned introduction seminars, where an overview of the industrial property rights was presented. The second seminar series dealt with special topics, e.g. software protection, trademark information, trademark protection in Austria and abroad, and were arranged under consultation of external experts in the respective area. Altogether about 1.500 participants were trained in 51 training courses.

Furthermore, a discussion forum for a practice-oriented exchange of experience between specialized technical examiners and representatives of the applicants with the goal of improved legal security and faster procedural sequences was established in the year 2002. The first meeting was dedicated to the topic of supplementary protection certificates.

Assistance to developing countries:
The participants in the WIPO/Austria training course 2002 came from Armenia, Cambodia, Mongolia, Trinidad, Tobago and Zambia. The Austrian Patent Office has been participating in the examination of patent applications, which were submitted in patent offices of developing countries on the basis of an agreement with WIPO. 70 applications were transferred for treatment to the Austrian office in the context of this "International Co-operation for Search and Examination of Inventions" (ICSEI) project in the year under report.

The Austrian Patent Office held a two-week seminar on patents, post grant procedures, information and training activities in China.

Promotional activities:

The contacts were further extended by numerous work discussions at office head level. The head of the Intellectual Property Office of the Slovak Republic, the Director of the Institute for the Protection of Intellectual Property of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the President of the Hungarian Patent Office, stayed in Vienna for further co-operation with regard to the exchange of experience and for discussions.
The President of the Austrian Patent Office visited the patent offices of Latvia, Spain, Hungary and the Federal Republic of Germany.

It was possible to organise the 12th conference of the joint Austrian-Chinese working group for intellectual property affairs in the Austrian Patent Office in November 2002.

Further, a delegation from Armenia, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Treasury, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the central bank, was informed about the Austrian Patent Office and its tasks. A delegation of the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Korea was informed about dispute proceedings as well as the means of redress concerning intellectual property protection in Austria.

A three-day seminar with patent attorneys and members of the Austrian Industry as the main target group was organized by WIPO at the Austrian Patent Office

The Austrian Patent Office was represented in the year 2002 at eight fairs. In order to optimise the offered information, the fair participations of the Austrian Patent Office are frequently organised in co-operation with other patent offices with joint information stands.

IX. Other relevant matters
Further information about activities of the office in 2002 is available on the "Annual Report of the Austrian Patent Office 2002", published in German and English on the Homepage of the office.

1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.
2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.
3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.

World Intellectual Property Organization

Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS)

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