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The Requirements And Specifications For Product Patents

1715 words - 7 pages

A patent is an exclusive statutory right given to the owner to exploit an invention for up to 20 years or 25 years in the case of pharmaceutical patents. For the duration of the period, the owner has the legal right to prevent any third party from producing the patented product or to sue those who infringe his/her exclusive right. In other works, a third party can produce the patented product or use the patented process without permission from the owner. This is case even if the third party has come upon the patented product or process completely independently. Thus, the award of a patent effectively grants the owner a monopoly right for a specified period of time. Generally, the patent ...view middle of the document...

There is no statutory definition of what constitutes an inventive step, but the court must identify the inventive concept embodied in the patent, assume the mantle of the skilled but unimaginative person with common general knowledge, identify the difference between the cited matter and the alleged invention and then ask whether those differences constituted steps which would have been obvious or whether they require any degree of invention.
An invention has industrial applicability “if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.” This does not cover inventions of methods of treatment involving surgery, methods of treatment involving therapy and methods of diagnosis. However, any drugs produced for treatment are capable of industrial application and are, thus, patentable provided that the other conditions are satisfied. The PA 1977 sets out a list of items which are declared not to be inventions. These include discoveries, scientific theories or mathematical methods; aesthetic creations; schemes, rules or methods for performing a mental act, playing a game, doing business or a computer programme; and the presentation of information as such. Further, the PA 1997 provides that a patent should not be granted for an invention if its commercial exploitation would be contrary to public policy or morality. However, exploitation would not be regarded as being contrary to public policy or morality simply because it is prohibited by domestic law.
The commercial use of patents
In order to secure protection the inventor must file an application for a patent to be granted. S/he can file an application for UK patent issued under the terms of the PA 1977. This application must be filed to the UK Intellectual Property Office. If successful, the inventor will be granted a patent effective throughout the United Kingdom. Alternatively, the inventor can file application for a European patent under the terms of the European Patent Convention 1973. This application may normally be filed with either the UK Intellectual Property Office or the European Patent Office in Munich. If filed with the former, it will be forward to the latter for processing. If the application is successful, the inventor will be granted, not a single patent effective throughout the Contracting Parties of the Convention, but rather a bundle of national patents, each taking effect as the particular Contracting Party designed his/her patent. Finally, the inventor can file an application to either the UK Intellectual Property Office, or the European Patent Office or the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970. An international application does not lead to the grant of a patent; rather it establishes the formal validity of, and a priority date, for the application.
One the patent has been granted, the owner can use it in various ways. She can exploit it internally for commercial...

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