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Applying for a patent

What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?

In order to be patentable, an invention must:

  • be a technical solution to a problem;
  • be new;
  • involve an inventive step; and
  • have industrial applicability.

An invention is considered to be new if it does not form part of the prior art.

An invention involves an inventive step if, with regard to the prior art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art at the time of the filing date or the priority date of the application claiming the invention.

An invention that can be produced and used in any industry shall be industrially applicable.

What are the limits on patentability?

Patent protection does not extend to:

  • scientific discoveries;
  • laws of nature;
  • abstract ideas;
  • schedules;
  • business methods;
  • computer programs;
  • methods for treatment of humans, animals, plant varieties or animal breeds;
  • aesthetic creations; and
  • anything contrary to public health and welfare, including cloning or use of a human embryo.

Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?

The following shall be excluded from patents protection:

  • discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods, laws of nature, scientific truths or knowledge as such;
  • abstract ideas or theories and fundamental concepts other than the means or processes for using the concept to produce a technical effect;
  • schemes, rules and methods of performing mental acts and playing games;
  • methods of doing business, such as a method or system for transacting business without the technical means for carrying out the method or system;
  • computer programs;
  • methods for the treatment of humans or animals by surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body (this provision does not apply to products and compositions for use in any of these methods);
  • plant varieties, animal breeds or essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals (this provision does not apply to micro-organisms and non-biological and microbiological processes);
  • aesthetic creations; 
  • anything which is contrary to public order, health, welfare or morality; and
  • the process of cloning or modifying the germ line genetic identity of humans or animals or uses of the human embryo.