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Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are subject to territorial laws: the relevant legal bases for Austria are listed in the box on the right.

Other IP-relevant laws or international conventions:

Inventions by employees are governed by the Patent Act and must be reported and compensated (unless the employee is an express inventor). This means that inventions must be reported to the employer. If the employer takes up the invention and registers it for a patent, for example, they are obliged to compensate the employee.

In order to access employee service inventions, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The invention must be a service invention within the meaning of Section 7 (3) Patent Act.
  2. The employment contract must comprise either
  • an agreement on service inventions ("direct")     


  • a collective agreement containing a service invention clause ("indirect"),

pursuant to Section 7 (1) Patent Act: agreements between employers and employees according to which future inventions of the employee shall belong to the employer or the employer shall be granted a right to use such inventions shall only be legally effective if the invention is a service invention (para. 3). The agreement shall be in writing, which shall also be deemed to have been complied with if a collective agreement exists (Sec. 2 (1) Labor Constitution Act, Federal Law Gazette No. 22/1974 - german only).

If employees develop computer programs, the employer is entitled to an unlimited right to use the work unless otherwise agreed - see UrhG § 40b.


In the case of research & development or the exploitation of inventions, the general conditions under tax law should also be considered in order to be able to generate possible benefits or advantages.