Patent Law

Topics: Patent / Pages: 5 (1237 words) / Published: Dec 16th, 2013
Topic 2
Patents and Computer Software
(Part 1)

What is a Patent?
It is a right granted by law to an individual who has created an invention in a form of product or process, which is new. In other words, a patent simply means a right to an invention.

Darcy v. Allin (1602) Co Rep 84 b

Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary of Words And Phrases: letters patent for an invention
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: a paper from a government office (the Patent Office) giving someone the right to make or sell a new invention for a certain number of years
Terrell On The Law Of Patents :
“The term “patent” is derived from “Letters Patent”….. They are a common form of making grants of dignities, ……. …monopoly rights in inventions.”

Process Patent: Cochrane v. Deener [1876] 94 US 780
Product Patent: Union Sugar Refinery v. Matthesson [1865] 24 F 686

Patents Act 1983
Patent Act 1983 does not define the word ‘patent’. Section 3 of the Act introduces concepts like: patented invention; product; patented product; and patented process.

Note: The invention must meet certain requirements i.e. be new, have an inventive step and is capable of being made or used in some kind of industry.

Why patents are granted?
Patent gives the inventor the right to exclude all others from making, using or selling the invention for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. It is important to note that the patent owner has an exclusive right to exploit the inventions up to a period specified by law i.e. 20 years.

The Contract theory:
The reward theory:
The incentive theory:
The natural law/ moral rights theory:

Chiron Corporation v. Organon Teknika Ltd (No 10) [1995] FSR 325

Patent Co-operation Treaty
Multilateral Treaty- Washington 1970 came into force 1978
Allows for common application of patents for member countries
PA 1983 amended to pave the way for the accession to PCT

History of Patent law in

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