National Laws Governing Patents

Whilst international conventions are important in protecting patent rights, such conventions deal primarily with procedural issues, while substantive patent law remains governed by national laws, although a large measure of harmonisation between such national laws has been achieved, especially between the countries belonging to the European Patent Convention. In the UK, patents are subject to the Patents Act 1977 (Patents Act). The Act came into force on 1 July 1978 and, as patents last for 20 years, it now governs all UK patents still in force.

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