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Applying for a patent
What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?
The criteria for patentability are novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.
What are the limits on patentability?
There is no limit on patentability per se. Limits on patentability are in the form of excluded subject matter, including:
- discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- aesthetic creations;
- schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games and doing business;
- computer programs;
- the presentation of information;
- therapeutic or surgical methods of treatment for humans or animals and diagnostic methods practised on humans or animals;
- inventions whose publication or use is contrary to public order or morality; and
- plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals.
Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?
The following inventions are excluded from patentability:
- surgical or therapeutic methods of treatment for humans or animals and diagnostic methods practised on humans or animals; however, products – in particular, substances and compositions – used in any such methods are patentable;
- inventions whose publication or use is contrary to public order or morality; however, the use of an invention is not contrary merely because it is prohibited by Hong Kong law; and
- plant or animal varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals; however, microbiological processes and the products of these processes are patentable.
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