Novel, commercially usable inventions of lesser inventive merit than patents may be protected for a maximum period of 10 years. Programme logics on which the programmes for data processing equipment are based may also be protected as utility models – but not by patents. A disclosure of the invention by the applicant or his predecessor within a period of six months prior to filing the application at the Austrian Patent Office does not affect novelty. Examination is only for formal requirements, not for novelty and inventive merit; however, a search concerning the prior art is carried out to which the scope of protection claimed may be adapted. If desired, a utility model application may be converted into a patent application prior to registration. After the granting and simultaneous entry into the register a utility model may only be contested by a nullification request (but not by an opposition).