Excluded Inventions

In the UK there are various exclusions as to what is capable of being patented:

1) Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods (s 1(2)(a))

2) Aesthetic creations (s 1(2)(b) n.b. these are protected by copyright

3) Schemes, rules or methods of performing mental acts, playing games or doing business (s 1(2)(c)) however where a method makes a substantive technical contribution to the known art then it may be patentable (Merrill Lynch’s Application [1989] RPC 561)

4) Computer programs (s 1(2)(c)), this is an area of considerable disagreement. A software related invention is patentable if it makes a substantive technical contribution to the known art (Fujitsu’s Application [1997] RPC 680), please note that this is a complex area and will be dealt with in more detail in a seperate article

5) Presentation of information (s 1(2)(d)) n.b. protected as design rights

6) Inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to public policy or morality (s 1(3))

7) Surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic methods carried out on the human or animal body (s 4A(2)) and

8) Certain biological and zoological inventions (Sch A2 para 3).

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