Conditions of Patentability
There is general recognition that a patent should only be granted for an invention that
These three conditions of patentability may be referred to as substantive conditions
in the sense that they form the fundamental technical content of the solution
claimed to be an invention in the patent application.
- is new;
- involves an inventive step;
- is industrially applicable.
The apparently simple fact that an invention must be novel, has in fact long been
disputed in relation to the question, "..against what knowledge should novelty
be determined..". In other words, if an invention is patented in a particular
country, is it sufficient to prove that it is novel against knowledge existing
in that country? In this case all knowledge imported from abroad could be patentable.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) proposes the so-called universal
or worldwide definition of novelty. This includes knowledge from all over the
world, provided it is from "publication in tangible form".