Requirements for Patent Protection in the UK

There are several points which must be considered before applying for a patent for a product or process within the UK. It must be judged:

1. Whether the invention functional or technical.

2. Whether the invention relates to how something works, what it does, what it is made of, or how it is made.

3. Whether the invention is new. The invention considered must not have been made public in any way, anywhere in the world, before applying for a patent for it. This excludes conversations with patent agents, patent attorneys, solicitors or agents at the UK Intellectual Property Office as these exchanges are considered confidential and therefore will not make the invention ?public?.

4. Whether there is an inventive step.

5. Whether the invention is obvious to someone with a good knowledge of the subject.

6. Whether the invention has an industrial use.

7. Whether the invention is capable of being made or used in an industry. It must work in a way which meets established physical laws.

If the answer to the above questions is positive, a patent may be able to be secured for the invention.

A patent cannot be obtained for certain things such as a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method; a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work; a way of performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business; the presentation of information, or some computer programs; an animal or plant variety; a method of medical treatment or diagnosis or anything immoral or contrary to public policy

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