The technicality requirement, patents scope and patentable subject matter in Australia

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The technicality requirement confines patentable subject matter to practical processes and products. It excludes theoretical knowledge and methods of conducting services as such from patentability. In a post-industrial age, there may be good arguments to abandon this limiting requirement, because innovation has become highly scientific and because services now form such an important part of industrial activity. However, because the underlying effect of the requirement is to limit the scope of patent claims, it should arguably be retained: patents of excessively broad scope have a negative aggregate welfare effect. In any case, even within the constraints of technicality, courts applying the NRDC principles retain sufficient flexibility to adapt the concept of "manner of manufacture" to rapid evolution in science and industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-327
Number of pages29
JournalAustralian Intellectual Property Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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