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Applying for a patent

What are the criteria for patentability in your jurisdiction?

According to the Protection of Rights in Inventions and Utility Models Law, the criteria for patentability are as follows:

  • Novelty – inventions cannot be part of the prior art (ie, information that is public before the application date or the priority date, as applicable).
  • Inventive step – inventions cannot be obvious to a specialist.
  • Industrial applicability – inventions must be applicable for use in industry or other fields of activity.

Ukrainian law also provides for utility model protection, in respect of which only novelty and industrial applicability are required. Further, a utility model patent is granted without a patentability examination. Anyone may file a request for a utility model to be examined for patentability.

What are the limits on patentability?

The Protection of Rights in Inventions and Utility Models Law provides that the following are patentable either as inventions or as utility models:

  • products (devices, substances, strains and cell cultures of a plant or animal); and
  • processes (methods) and new applications of known products or processes.

The following subject matter is not patentable as an invention or utility model:

  • plants and breeds of animal;
  • processes that are biological in nature and relate to plant and animal reproduction which do not belong to non-biological or microbiological processes;
  • topologies of integrated circuits;
  • industrial designs;
  • discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
  • methods of intellectual, business, organisational and commercial activity (eg, planning, financing, supplying, accounting, crediting, forecasting and rate setting);
  • rules for performing bodily exercises, carrying out games, contests and public sales;
  • designs and schemes for construction, building and territory planning;
  • legends (eg, road signs, routes, codes and fonts), schedules and instructions;
  • software; and
  • methods for providing information (eg, tables, diagrams and graphics).

Are there restrictions on any other kinds of invention?

No express restrictions regarding objects other than the aforementioned exist. However, a general provision stipules that an invention or utility model will be granted legal protection if it:

  • is not contrary to public order or the principles of humanity and morality; and
  • meets the criteria for patentability.

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