Statutory guidance

The Patents Act 1977

The Patents Act 1977 is the main law governing the patents system in the UK.


The Patents Act 1977 (as amended)

The Patents Act 1977 (as amended)


The Patents Act 1977 sets out the requirements for patent applications, how the patent-granting process should operate, and the law relating to disputes concerning patents. It also sets out how UK law relates to the European Patent Convention and the Patent Co-operation Treaty.

The latest amendment to the Patents Act 1977 took place on 31 December 2019 and was made by the Patents (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the Intellectual Property (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

Published 17 December 2007
Last updated 7 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated with changes made by legislation which came into force at the end of the transition period and 1 January 2021.

  2. Online version added.

  3. Updated due to changes made by the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017.

  4. Updated due to changes by legislation including the Intellectual Property Act 2014 and the Legislative Reform (Patents) Order 2014.

  5. First published.