Patents

A patent registers your invention and allows you to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports your invention without your permission.

What you can and can’t patent

Your invention needs to be:

  • New
  • Inventive – not just an obvious tweak to something that already exists
  • Something that can be made or used

You can’t patent:

  • Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
  • Schemes, rules or methods – including medical treatment methods
  • Anything that’s purely an idea – e.g. a way of thinking, a scientific or mathematical discovery
  • New types of plants, seeds or animals
  • The way information is presented
  • Some computer programs
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