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Patentability What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?

A patent can be obtained for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application. In addition, a number of formal requirements must be met (eg, no subject matter can be added or extended after grant). 

What are the limits on patentability? Non-patentable subject matter includes:

  • discoveries;
  • scientific theories;
  • mathematical methods;
  • aesthetic creations;
  • schemes;
  • rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business;
  • computer programs; and
  • presentations of information as such. 

Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention? The following are not patentable:

  • inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to the public order or public morality;
  • the human body in its various stages of formation and development, as well as the sole discovery of one of its parts, including a sequence or partial sequence of a gene;
  • plant or animal varieties;
  • essentially biological processes consisting entirely of natural phenomena (eg, hybridisations or selections) in order to produce plants or animals and the products obtained thereby;
  • inventions that lead to an infringement of Article 3, 8(j), 15(5) or 16(5) of the Convention on Biological Diversity; or
  • surgical, medical or diagnostic methods of treatment for humans or animals, with the exception of products (eg, substances or compositions) for the application of these methods.

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