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Applying for a patent
Patentability What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction? In order for an invention to be patentable in Greece, it must be new, involve an inventive step and be susceptible of industrial application. A patentable invention may concern a product, process or industrial application. In order for an invention to be considered as involving an inventive step, it must not be obvious to a person skilled in the art. In order for it to be considered susceptible to industrial application, the subject matter must be possible to produce or use in any industrial field.
What are the limits on patentability? According to the law, the following cannot be patented:
- discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- aesthetic creations, schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business;
- computer programs; and
- presentations of information.
To what extent can inventions covering software be patented? Software is expressly excluded from patentability. However, computer-related inventions are patentable in Greece to the extent that the European Patent Office considers them patentable. In this respect, an invention that uses a computer program must be a functional system accompanying specific hardware.
To what extent can inventions covering business methods be patented? Business methods are expressly excluded from patentability.
To what extent can inventions relating to stem cells be patented? No Greek case law addresses the patentability of inventions relating to stem cells. However, such inventions are patentable under certain conditions and to the extent that the European Patent Office considers them patentable.
Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention? Surgical or therapeutic treatment methods for humans and animals and diagnostic methods practised on humans or animals are not considered as susceptible of industrial application; as such, they are not patentable. However, this does not apply to products – in particular, substances or compositions used in any of these methods.
Patents cannot be granted for the following:
- inventions whose subject matter is contrary to public order or morality; and
- plant or animal varieties or biological processes for the production of plants or animals.
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