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Patent - Industrial Application


According to patent law, industrial applicability of an invention is a patentability requirement and generally patents are granted for inventions that can be used in some kinds of industries. Industrial applicability is also known as industrial application.

Generally, an invention can be patentable, if it possesses factors like novelty and inventive step, and it has industrial applicability. The lack of industrial applicability will result in revocation of a patent, however, according to U.S. patent law, utility requirement is used instead of industrial application. Malaysian Patent must have industrial application as one of its tenets.


An invention is considered industrially applicable if it can be made or used in any kind of industry. This requirement is easily met if it is shown that the invention has a practical application or will be useed in industry.


Industrial applicability is a patentability requirement according to which a patent can only be granted for an invention which is susceptible of industrial application. If it is not, then there is no point in giving it a grant of protection. In this context, the concept of "industry" is far-reaching as it includes agriculture, for instance. An example of invention which would not be susceptible of industrial application is "a method of contraception" as it would only apply to being privatly used by a human being".


In another intepretation by the European Patent Office (EPO), the requirement that an invention is susceptible of an industrial application has generally been taken to be more or less automatically fulfilled but a 2005 decision of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO saw this requirement intepreted differently. In decision T870/04 it was held that the mere fact that a substance can be made in some way does not necessarily mean that the requirements of Article 57 EPC(industrially applicable) are fulfilled, unless there is also some "profitable use" for which the substance can be employed. Thus it would not be patentable if you only privately produce it for your own use!


When an alleged invention does not fully comply with the accepted laws of physics, the industrial application requirement is related to the requirement of "sufficiency of disclosure", i.e. the fact that a "patent application must disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art (industry)"

Article 52(4) EPC or there about excludes "methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body" from patentability, because these methods are regarded as not susceptible of industrial application. The purpose of this exclusion is "to deny patent protection to methods which serve medical purposes, so that no one could be hampered in the practice of medicine by patent legislation. There again it means for industrial use.