The criteria for patentability in the UK are set out below (these are adopted from the European Patent Convention):
1. It must be new.
2. It must involve an ‘inventive step’.
3. It must be capable of industrial application.
In summary the invention must be new, i.e. it must not merely be a sum of parts already thought up. It must be an innovative step, this can be determined by looking at the Patent Act 1977 which declares that an invention should be seen as taking an innovative step if it is not obvious to persons skilled in that area. Not everything is patentable, as we have seen it must be capable of industrial application this means that it must be either a thing that can be made i.e. a product or a means of making an item i.e. a process.