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The Requirements of a Patent

Written by Jody Tsigarides on 01 February 2007

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The Patents Act 1977 

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

(a) the invention is new;

(b) it involves an inventive step;

(c) it is capable of industrial application;



(1) An invention shall be taken to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art.

(2) The state of the art in the case of an invention shall be taken to comprise all matter (whether a product, a process, information about either, or anything else) which has at any time before the priority date of that invention been made available to the public (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) by written or oral description, by use or in any other way.


State of the Art

Has the novelty been anticipated prior patent application (s. 2(2)) or by the inventor or public anywhere in the world?


Quantitative – The invention must be quantitatively different from that already disclosed (i.e. the technical element of the patent has yet to be disclosed to the public. 

Jurisprudence Novelty to ensure that patents do not award a monopoly over that which people/public already use/do prior to the application

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