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1 1992




Patentable inventions.

9. —(1) An invention shall be patentable under this Part if it is susceptible of industrial application, is new and involves an inventive step.

(2) Any of the following in particular shall not be regarded as an invention within the meaning of subsection (1):

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

(b) an aesthetic creation,

(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.

(3) The provisions of subsection (2) shall exclude patentability of subject-matter or activities referred to in that subsection only to the extent to which a patent application or patent relates to such subject-matter or activities as such.

(4) A method for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and a diagnostic method practised on the human or animal body shall not be regarded as an invention susceptible of industrial application for the purposes of subsection (1). This provision shall not apply to a product, and in particular a substance or composition, for use in any such method.

(5) The Minister may by order modify any of the provisions of this section or of section 10 (other than paragraph (a)) or section 11 for the purpose of giving effect, in relation to the patentability of inventions, to the European Patent Convention as amended by any international treaty, convention or agreement to which the State is or proposes to become a party.

Exceptions to patentability.

10. —A patent shall not be granted in respect of—

(a) an invention the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality, provided that the exploitation shall not be deemed to be so contrary only because it is prohibited by law;

(b) a plant or animal variety or an essentially biological process for the production of plants or animals other than a microbiological process or the products thereof.


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

(2) The state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public (whether in the State or elsewhere) by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the patent application.

(3) Additionally, the content of a patent application as filed, of which the date of filing is prior to the date referred to in subsection (2)and which was published under this Act on or after that date, shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art.

(4) The provisions of subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall not exclude the patentability of any substance or composition, comprised in the state of the art, for use in a method referred to in subsection (4) of section 9 provided that its use for any method referred to in the said subsection (4) is not comprised in the state of the art.

Non-prejudicial disclosures.

12. —(1) For the application of section 11 a disclosure of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred not earlier than six months preceding the filing of the patent application and if it was due to, or in consequence of—

(a) a breach of confidence or agreement in relation to, or the unlawful obtaining of the matter constituting, the invention, or

(b) the fact that the applicant or his legal predecessor has displayed the invention at an international exhibition which is either official or officially recognised under the Convention on International Exhibitions signed at Paris on the 22nd day of November, 1928, or any subsequent treaty, convention or other agreement replacing that Convention:

Provided that the exhibitor states, when making the patent application, that the invention has been so displayed and files a supporting certificate within the period and under the conditions prescribed.

(2) The Minister may for the purpose of subsection (1) prescribe a period other than the six months specified in that subsection and circumstances other than those specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection where the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to give effect to any treaty or international convention to which the State is or becomes a party and the said subsection shall be construed accordingly.

(3) Where a statement appears in the Journal stating that an international exhibition specified in the statement is or was an international exhibition of the class referred to in subsection (1), then for the purposes of this section the statement shall be evidence that the international exhibition specified therein is or was an international exhibition of such class.

Inventive step.

13. —An invention shall be considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art, but if the state of the art also includes documents within the meaning of section 11 (3) those documents shall not be considered in deciding whether or not there has been an inventive step.

Industrial application.

14. —An invention shall be considered as susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.