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Patents Act 1977

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

1Patentable inventions

(1)A patent may be granted only for an invention in Patentable respect of which the following conditions are satisfied, that is to inventions, say—

(a)the invention is new;

(b)it involves an inventive step ;

(c)it is capable of industrial application ;

(d)the grant of a patent for it is not excluded by subsections (2) and (3) below ;

and references in this Act to a patentable invention shall be construed accordingly

(2)It is hereby declared that the following (among other things) are not inventions for the purposes of this Act, that is to say, anything which consists of—

(a)a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method ;

(b)a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever;

(c)a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a program for a computer;

(d)the presentation of information;

but the foregoing provision shall prevent anything from being treated as an invention for the purposes of this Act only to the extent that a patent or application for a patent relates to that thing as such.

(3)A patent shall not be granted—

(a)for an invention the publication or exploitation of which would be generally expected to encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour ;

(b)for any variety of animal or plant or any essentially biological process for the production of animals or plants, not being a micro-biological process or the product of such a process.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) above behaviour shall not be regarded as offensive, immoral or anti-social only because it is prohibited by any law in force in the United Kingdom or any part of it.

(5)The Secretary of State may by order vary the provisions of subsection (2) above for the purpose of maintaining them in conformity with developments in science and technology; and no such order shall be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.

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