What Can Be Protected by a Patent?
A patent does not protect an idea, but a concrete solution to a technical problem. In order to achieve patent protection, the invention in any field of technology must:
- be new, i.e. it must not be shown to the public in any way, anywhere in the world, before filing an application for protection;
- have an inventive step, i.e. it must not arise from the state of the art in an obvious manner to a person skilled in that state of the art;
- be industrially applicable, i.e. be practically (not just theoretically) applicable and suitable for production or use in the industrial scope.
In addition to these conditions, it is essential that your invention falls into the category subject to patent protection. Namely, some "inventions" are not considered inventions in terms of patent protection. Thus they cannot protect e.g.:
- discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- aesthetic creations;
- rules, instructions and methods for performing mental activities, games or doing business;
- displaying information;
- computer programs as such.
Although they belong to the category of the invention, the following is also exempted from patent protection for ethical or similar reasons, such as:
- inventions of animal and plant species as such and essentially biological processes for obtaining plants and animals;
- human body and the mere discovery of some of its elements (e.g. a section of a gene);
- diagnostic and surgical procedures and treatment procedures applied directly to the human or animal body;
- inventions contrary to public order or morality (cloning, genetic modification, embryos).