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Contemporary Intellectual PropertyLaw and Policy

Contemporary Intellectual Property: Law and Policy (5th edn)

Abbe Brown, Smita Kheria, Jane Cornwell, and Marta Iljadica
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date: 22 March 2023

p. 40111. Patentabilitylocked

p. 40111. Patentabilitylocked

  • Abbe Brown, Abbe BrownProfessor in Intellectual Property, University of Aberdeen
  • Smita Kheria, Smita KheriaSenior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, University of Edinburgh
  • Jane CornwellJane CornwellLecturer in Intellectual Property Law, University of Edinburgh
  •  and Marta IljadicaMarta IljadicaLecturer in Intellectual Property, University of Glasgow


This chapter explores the criteria that are applied by an intellectual property office in examining a patent application. These applies to all forms for innovation and are novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. The chapter also explores additional requirements and barriers which apply in relation to biotechnological inventions, which has proved to be a particularly controversial issue in Europe, and the patentability of computer software and related inventions, such as business method patents. The chapter demonstrates the evolution in legal and policy thinking in these two fields, which provide a means to an understanding of developments in patent law in general.

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