Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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PATENTS ACT 1990 - SECT 7

Novelty, inventive step and innovative step

Novelty

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, an invention is to be taken to be novel when compared with the prior art base unless it is not novel in the light of any one of the following kinds of information, each of which must be considered separately:

                     (a)  prior art information (other than that mentioned in paragraph (c)) made publicly available in a single document or through doing a single act;

                     (b)  prior art information (other than that mentioned in paragraph (c)) made publicly available in 2 or more related documents, or through doing 2 or more related acts, if the relationship between the documents or acts is such that a person skilled in the relevant art would treat them as a single source of that information;

                     (c)  prior art information contained in a single specification of the kind mentioned in subparagraph (b)(ii) of the definition of prior art base in Schedule 1.

Inventive step

             (2)  For the purposes of this Act, an invention is to be taken to involve an inventive step when compared with the prior art base unless the invention would have been obvious to a person skilled in the relevant art in the light of the common general knowledge as it existed (whether in or out of the patent area) before the priority date of the relevant claim, whether that knowledge is considered separately or together with the information mentioned in subsection (3).

             (3)  The information for the purposes of subsection (2) is:

                     (a)  any single piece of prior art information; or

                     (b)  a combination of any 2 or more pieces of prior art information that the skilled person mentioned in subsection (2) could, before the priority date of the relevant claim, be reasonably expected to have combined.

Innovative step

             (4)  For the purposes of this Act, an invention is to be taken to involve an innovative step when compared with the prior art base unless the invention would , to a person skilled in the relevant art, in the light of the common general knowledge as it existed (whether in or out of the patent area) before the priority date of the relevant claim, only vary from the kinds of information set out in subsection (5) in ways that make no substantial contribution to the working of the invention.

             (5)  For the purposes of subsection (4), the information is of the following kinds:

                     (a)  prior art information made publicly available in a single document or through doing a single act;

                     (b)  prior art information made publicly available in 2 or more related documents, or through doing 2 or more related acts, if the relationship between the documents or acts is such that a person skilled in the relevant art would treat them as a single source of that information.

             (6)  For the purposes of subsection (4), each kind of information set out in subsection (5) must be considered separately.

[ Notes:   (1)   For the meaning of document see section 2B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

(2)   See also the definitions of prior art base and prior art information in Schedule 1: see also paragraph 18(1)(b) and section 98. ]



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