Lebensmittel und Schutzrechte
The aim of the project is to give an overview and deliver an insight into the intellectual property rights of interest with regard to food in Austria. These are the patent, the utility model, the trademark, the registered design, the protected designation of origin, the protected geographical indication, the traditional speciality guaranteed, and the protected plant variety, respectively. Said property rights protect the food directly with exception of the trademark which serves as fanciful
... the purpose of marketing, recognition, and distinction to similar products. Patents and utility models protect "technical" inventions which can be seen as the "technical" solution of a "technical "problem. Specifically for applications concerning food the question often arises whether the "technicity" is given. The subject of the registered design are the features of the shape of a product, that of the protected designation of origin, of the protected geographical indication, or of the traditional speciality guaranteed is the specific product of a certain region, and that of the protected plant variety are the different varieties of cereals, vegetables, fruit, etc., respectively. The comparison of all counts in a property right register with the counts concerning food shows that 0,76% of patents and utility models, 20,57% of trademarks, and 1,22% of registered design are related to the food area. There are 9 protected designations of origin, 6 protected geographical indications, and one traditional speciality guaranteed. The Austrian register of protected plant varieties counts 41 varieties. Additionally, it is reported that microorganisms, microbiological processes and products produced by said processes are legally patented since 1986, that the legal exclusion of food from patentability existed before 1987, and that the implementation of the so-called Biopatent Directive of the EU in the year 2005 resulted in the legal entitlement of patentability for biotechnologically modified plants and animals, respectively.