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Intellectual Property LawText, Cases, and Materials

Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (4th edn)

Tanya Aplin and Jennifer Davis
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date: 24 February 2024

p. 72612. Patents II: Novelty, Inventive Step, Sufficiency, and Supportlocked

p. 72612. Patents II: Novelty, Inventive Step, Sufficiency, and Supportlocked

  • Tanya AplinTanya AplinProfessor of Intellectual Property Law, School of Law, King's College, London
  •  and Jennifer DavisJennifer DavisFellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge


All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter discusses the requirements of patentability: novelty, inventive step, and sufficiency and support. Novelty means that the invention is new, i.e. is not anticipated. Under section 3 of the Patents Act 1977, an invention involves an inventive step ‘if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art, having regard to any matter which forms part of the state of the art’. Patent applicants must also satisfy disclosure requirements. Section 14(3) provides that the specification of an application must disclose the invention in a manner clear and complete enough to be performed by the person skilled in the art (sufficiency of disclosure). Section 14(5)(c) provides that claims must be clear, concise, and supported by the description, a requirement (supported by the description).

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