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Invention disclosure searches

Employees make inventions, which may be used by the employer. We can help with the next steps.


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Invention disclosure searches

An invention disclosure search is a patent search that is designed to indicate whether an employee invention is worth using or not, i.e. whether it is an invention that can potentially be exploited as a patent.

What are employee inventions?

Employee inventions are inventions made by employees in the scope of their work. Employees are obliged to notify their employer of any inventions they have made that concern the field of work of their employer (even if they have made the inventions during their free time). Within four months (or in some cases three months), the employer must inform the employee of whether it will make use of the invention or allow the employee to use it. In Austria, it is not mandatory for the employee to subsequently file a patent application for the invention.


Applications may only be made online. Registration and a citizen’s card, etc. are not required. The application is verified by means of an email confirmation link.

Formal requirements

A short description must be given of the technical matter or specific aspects of it. Patent claims do not need to be formulated. The more precisely the field of technology is specified or formulated, the more relevant the results of the search will be.

N.B. Invention disclosure searches are only offered for technical matters; searches concerning inventions that generally cannot be patented (e.g. software per se) or commercial matters (e.g. business methods) cannot be performed by us.

Who can apply for an invention disclosure search?

Invention disclosure searches are only offered to universities in Austria.

During the current pilot phase, the following universities are entitled to submit applications: the Technical University of Vienna (TU Wien), the Technical University of Graz (TU Graz), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), the University of Leoben (MU Leoben) and the technical faculties of the University of Linz and the University of Innsbruck.


Following receipt of the documents by the Patent Office, the content will be checked by the relevant technical examiner; if a meaningful search is not possible (e.g. the technical problem is described in terms that are too vague), or if the matter cannot be dealt with within two to three months due to our workload, the applicant will be contacted in person or in writing.

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