In the United Kingdom, in order to be patentable, an
invention must satisfy five conditions:
must be capable of being made or used in industry.
must not be fall in one of a number of classes of invention which are
excluded from the patent system.
must be novel having regard to everything publicly known anywhere in
the world up until the day before the “priority date” of the
invention, which is the date of filing the patent application or of
filing an earlier patent application from which priority can be
claimed and in which the invention was presented.
must be novel having regard to the content of any earlier unpublished
patent application covering the United Kingdom, provided that the
earlier application is eventually published.
It must be inventive, in
the sense that it would not have been obvious to a person with normal
skills in the relevant technical field, having regard to everything
publicly known anywhere in the world before the priority date of the
If a patent
application is being contemplated, it is therefore very important that the
invention is not disclosed to other people, unless in confidence, until
the patent application has been filed.