Biomedical Engineering Reference
Art. 6 of the Directive on Biotechnology provides some examples of inventions
which are not patentable because they are contrary to public morality and public
order: processes for cloning human beings, processes for modifing the germ line
genetic identity of human beings, uses of human embryos for industrial or com-
mercial purposes, processes for modifing the genetic identity of animals which are
likely to cause them suffering without substantial medical benefit to man or ani-
mal, and also animals resulting from such processes.
For the conditions of patentability, also the following articles are important
184.108.40.206 Unity of Invention (Art. 82: EPC)
The European patent application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of
inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept.
220.127.116.11 Disclosure of the Invention (Art. 83: EPC)
The European patent application shall disclose the invention in a manner suffi-
ciently clear and complete for it to be the carried out by a person skilled in the art.
18.104.22.168 Claims (Article 84: EPC)
The claims shall define the matter for which protection is sought. They shall be
clear and concise and be supported by the description.
3.4 Patent Searches
When judging whether an invention meets the patentability requirements (i.e. if it
is new and inventive), a deep search in databases (patents, scientific articles, etc…)
must be carried out [ 18 ].
But before starting the search to retrieve all the relevant documents, it is useful
to establish a clear strategy and more precisely it is necessary to:
• identify the essential technical features and not every single detail of the inven-
tion (so it will be easier to deduce the keywords for the search query);
• note that the non-technical features are not part of the state of the art and there-
fore are not to be searched for (non-technical elements are the description of an
algorithm, a mathematical method or a business method);
• understand the technical problem solved by the invention (important because to
make a technical breakthrough, the invention must relate to a “technical prob-
lem” and must be defined in terms of “technical features”);