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Applying for a patent
What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?
An invention is patentable if it is novel, involves an inventive step and has an industrial application. An invention is novel if it has not been disclosed before the date of filing or the date of priority of the application. An invention involves an inventive step if, at the time of filing or at the time of priority, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art due to an existing art or general knowledge. An invention is capable of industrial application if it has a utility that can be regularly reproduced. Finally, a patent must disclose the invention in sufficient detail to enable a person skilled in the art to practise the patent without making any inventive effort.
What are the limits on patentability?
Generally speaking, an invention is patentable if it is not contrary to public order or accepted principles of morality. The following subject matter is not patentable:
- mathematic and scientific discoveries or theories;
- plans, principles or methods for intellectual activities, games or business;
- computer programs; and
- the presentation of information.
Plant varieties and animal breeds are also not patentable. Further, therapeutic and surgical methods are not patentable (although pharmaceuticals and surgical tools and equipment are). Finally, the human body or its parts – including partial gene sequences, any invention whose use is contrary to human dignity and any procedure using human stem or embryo cells – are not patentable.
Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?
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