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Patentability

What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?

To be patentable, an invention must be new, involve an inventive step and be capable of industrial application.

What are the limits on patentability?

The following are excluded from patentability:

  • discoveries, scientific theories or mathematical methods;
  • literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works (which are covered by copyright);
  • schemes, rules or methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business;
  • computer programs as such;
  • the presentation of information;
  • methods of treatment for, or methods of diagnosis practised on, humans or animals;
  • the discovery of a gene sequence, unless the industrial application of the discovery is disclosed;
  • use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes; and
  • animal or plant varieties, or any essentially biological process for their production.

Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?

Inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to public policy or morality are excluded from patentability – for example, processes for cloning humans or for modifying the genetic identity of animals which are likely to cause them suffering without any substantial medical benefit.

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