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Applying for a patent

What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?

For an invention to be patentable, it must be novel, involve an inventive step and be capable of industrial application. Chile follows the international criteria for patentability. 

What are the limits on patentability?

Inventions must relate to a technical field, insofar as the invention relates to an object or procedure with a specific utility. In other words, a patent is a solution to a technical problem within an industrial activity.

Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?

In accordance with the Patent Act, surgical or therapeutic methods of treatment for humans or animals, and diagnostic methods applied to humans and animals, cannot be patented. However, the products used in these methods are patentable.

Further, the act prohibits the registration of new use for, or changes to the form, dimensions, proportions or materials of, goods, objects or elements that are already known and employed for specific purposes. However, if the new use involves a technical problem which did not previously exist and complies with the novelty requirement, it may be patentable; but changes to the dimensions, proportions or materials of the article, object or known element are required in order to obtain the indicated solution to the technical problem.

Finally, inventions whose commercial exploitation must be prevented in order to protect the following are not patentable:

  • national security;
  • moral codes;
  • norms of good behaviour;
  • public order;
  • human or animal life or health; or
  • plants or the environment.