Manual of Patent Practice

The Manual of Patent Practice (MOPP) explains the Intellectual Property Office's practice under the Patents Act 1977.

It recites sections of the Patents Act 1977 and the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 relating to patents.

The Manual also includes:

  • commentary for each provision and related legislation
  • official notices from the Patents and Design Journal
  • a section on Supplementary Protection Certificates for Medicinal Products
  • a section on Plant Protection Products

It is regularly updated to reflect changes in the Law and judicial decisions. Any paragraphs which have been updated in the preceding three months are highlighted by a grey box.

Note: Statements made in the Manual are not in themselves an authority for any action by the IPO and should not be used as a set of legal requirements.

If you notice any errors, please email the manual editor.

  1. Manual of Patent Practice Introduction Section (0.01 - 1.12) last updated: April 2015.
  2. Changes to the Manual of Patent Practice This section details the recent main changes to the manual.
  3. Glossary of terms and abbreviations used in this Manual Section last updated April 2015.
  4. Table of cases Section last updated: March 2017.
  5. Section 1: Patentability Sections (1.01 - 1.47) last updated: July 2016.
  6. Section 2: Novelty Sections (2.01 - 2.41) last updated April 2016.
  7. Section 3: Inventive step Sections (3.01 - 3.101) last updated: March 2017.
  8. Section 4: Industrial application Sections (4.01 - 4.07.2) last updated April 2015.
  9. Section 4A: Methods of treatment or diagnosis Section (4A.01 - 4A.31) last updated March 2017.
  10. Section 5: Priority date Sections (5.01 - 5.32) last updated: December 2016.
  11. Section 6: Disclosure of matter, etc, between earlier and later applications Sections (6.01 - 6.03) last updated April 2007.
  12. Section 7: Right to apply for and obtain a patent Sections (7.01 - 7.13) last updated: February 2008.
  13. Section 8: Determination before grant of questions about entitlement to patents etc Sections (8.01 - 8.31) last updated: July 2012.
  14. Section 9: Determination after grant of questions referred before grant Sections (9.01 - 9.04) last updated April 2007.
  15. Section 10: Handling of application by joint applicants Sections (10.01 - 10.10) last updated: April 2008.
  16. Sections 11: Effect of transfer of application under s.8 or 10 Section (11.01 - 11.10) last updated: April 2008.
  17. Section 12: Determination of questions about entitlement to foreign and convention patents, etc Sections (12.01 - 12.16.1) last updated: April 2008.
  18. Section 13: Mention of inventor Sections (13.01 - 13.19) last updated: April 2015.
  19. Section 14: The application Sections (14.01 - 14.209) last updated: March 2017.
  20. Section 15: Date of filing application Sections (15.01 - 15.58) last updated: March 2017.
  21. Section 15A: Preliminary examination Sections (15A.01 - 15A.26) last updated December 2016.
  22. Section 16: Publication of application Sections (16.01 - 16.37) Last updated: December 2016.
  23. Section 17: Search Sections (17.01 - 17.121) last updated: December 2016.
  24. Section 18: Substantive examination and grant or refusal of patent Sections (18.01 - 18.99) last updated March 2017.
  25. Section 19: General power to amend application before grant Sections (19.01 - 19.26) last updated: March 2017.
  26. Section 20: Failure of application Sections (20.01 - 20.10) last updated January 2016.
  27. Section 20A: Reinstatement of applications Sections (20A.01 - 20A.16) last updated: October 2016.
  28. Section 20B: Effect of reinstatement under section 20A Sections (20B.01 - 20B.02) last updated: April 2015.
  29. Section 21: Observations by third party on patentability Sections (21.01 - 21.19) last updated: March 2017.
  30. Section 22: Information prejudicial to national security or safety of public Sections (22.01 - 22.29) last updated: April 2014.
  31. Section 23: Restrictions on applications abroad by United Kingdom residents Sections (23.01 - 23.08) last updated: April 2009.
  32. Section 24: Publication and certificate of grant Sections (24.01 - 24.05) last updated: April 2014.
  33. Section 25: Term of patent Sections (25.01 - 25.15) last updated: March 2017.
  34. Section 26: Patent not to be impugned for lack of unity Sections (26.01 - 26.02) last updated April 2007.
  35. Section 27: General power to amend specification after grant Sections (27.01 - 27.33) last updated: March 2017.
  36. Section 28: Restoration of lapsed patents Sections (28.01 - 28.18) last updated January 2015.
  37. Section 28A: Effect of order for restoration of patent Sections (28A.01 - 28A.03) last updated: April 2007.
  38. Section 29: Surrender of patents Sections (29.01 - 29.07) last updated: July 2012.
  39. Section 30: Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents Sections (30.1 - 30.9) last updated April 2007.
  40. Section 31: Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents in Scotland Sections (31.01 - 31.05) last updated April 2007.
  41. Sections 32: Register of patents, etc Section (32.01 - 32.24) last updated: October 2016.
  42. Section 33: Effect of registration, etc on rights in patents Sections (33.01 - 33.06) last updated: April 2008.
  43. Section 34: Rectification of register Sections (34.01 - 34.06) last updated : April 2007.
  44. Section 35: Evidence of register, documents, etc [Repealed] Sections (35.01) last updated: April 2007.
  45. Section 36: Co-ownership of patents and applications for patents Sections (36.01 - 36.09) last updated: July 2010.
  46. Section 37: Determination of right to patent after grant Sections (37.01 - 37.22) last updated: April 2015.
  47. Section 38: Effect of transfer of patent under s.37 Sections (38.01 - 38.10) last updated: April 2008.
  48. Section 39: Right to employees' inventions Sections (39.01 - 39.13) last updated: April 2015.
  49. Section 40: Compensation of employees for certain inventions Sections (40.01 - 40.20) last updated: March 2017.
  50. Section 41: Amount of compensation Sections (41.01 - 41.11) last updated: April 2015.
  51. Section 42: Enforceability of contracts relating to employees' inventions Sections (42.01 - 42.06) last updated: April 2007.
  52. Section 43: Supplementary Sections (43.01 - 43.03) last updated: April 2007.
  53. Section 44: Avoidance of certain restrictive conditions [repealed with savings] Sections (44.01 - 44-12) last updated: April 2007.
  54. Section 45: Determination of parts of certain contracts [repealed with savings] Sections (45.01 - 45.05) last updated: April 2007.
  55. Section 46: Patentee's application for entry in register that licences are available as of right Sections (46.01 - 46.78.3) last updated: October 2012.
  56. Section 47: Cancellation of entry made under s.46 Sections (47.01 - 47.13) last updated: October 2013.
  57. Section 48: Compulsory licences: general Section (48.01 - 48.23) last updated: April 2011.
  58. Section 48A: Compulsory licences: WTO proprietors Sections (48A.01-48A.09) last updated: April 2007.
  59. Section 48B: Compulsory licences: other cases Sections (48B.01 - 48B.17) last updated: April 2007.
  60. Section 49: Provisions about licences under s.48 Sections (49.01 - 49.07) last updated: April 2007.
  61. Section 50: Exercise of powers on applications under s.48 Sections (50.01 - 50.09) last updated: April 2007.
  62. Section 50A: Powers exercisable following merger and market investigations Sections (50A.01 - 50A.05) last updated: April 2015.
  63. Section 51: Powers exercisable in consequence of report of Competition and Markets Authority Sections (51.01 - 51.06) last udpated: April 2015.
  64. Section 52: Opposition, appeal and arbitration Sections (52.01 - 52.10) last updated: April 2015.
  65. Section 53: Compulsory licences; supplementary provisions Sections (53.01 - 53.06) last updated: April 2015.
  66. Section 54: Special provisions where patented invention is being worked abroard Sections (54.01 - 54.04) last updated: April 2007.
  67. Section 55: Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown Section last updated: April 2007
  68. Section 56: Interpretation, etc., of provisions about Crown use Sections (56.01 - 56.04) last updated: April 2007.
  69. Section 57: Rights of third parties in respect of Crown use Sections (57.01 - 57.02) last updated: April 2007.
  70. Section 57A: Compensation for loss of profit Sections (57A.01 - 57A.02) last updated: April 2007
  71. Section 58: References of disputes as to Crown use Sections (58.01 - 58.15) last updated: April 2015.
  72. Section 59: Special provisions as to Crown use during emergency Sections last updated: April 2007.
  73. Section 60: Meaning of infringement Sections (60.01 - 60.32) last updated: March 2017.
  74. Section 61: Proceedings for infringement of patent Sections (61.01 - 61.25) last updated: July 2015.
  75. Section 62: Restrictions on recovery of damages for infringement Sections (62.01 - 62.13) last updated April 2015.
  76. Section 63: Relief for infringement of partially valid patent Sections (63.01 - 63.08) last updated April 2008.
  77. Section 64: Right to continue use begun before priority date Sections (64.01 - 64.06) last update October 2012.
  78. Section 65: Certificate of contested validity of patent Section (65.04-65.06) last updated April 2007.
  79. Section 66: Proceedings for infringement by a co-owner Sections (66.01-66.04) last updated April 2007.
  80. Section 67: Proceedings for infringement by exclusive licensee Sections (67.01 - 67.06) last updated: July 2010.
  81. Section 68: Effect of non-registration on infringement proceedings Sections (68.01 - 68.08) last updated: October 2011.
  82. Section 69: Infringement of rights conferred by publication of application Sections (69.01 - 69.08) last updated: April 2007.
  83. Section 70: Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings Sections (70.01 - 70.08) last updated: April 2015.
  84. Section 71: Declaration or declarator as to non-infringement Sections (71.01 - 71.10) last updated: April 2015.
  85. Section 72: Power to revoke patents on application Sections (72.01 - 72.45) last updated: December 2016.
  86. Section 73: Comptroller's power to revoke patents on his own initiative Section (73.01 - 73.12) last updated: March 2017.
  87. Section 74: Proceedings in which validity of patent may be put in issue Sections (74.01 - 74)(8) last updated: April 2015.
  88. Section 74A: Opinions on matters prescribed in the rules Sections (74A -74A)(6) last updated: July 2015.
  89. Section 74B: Reviews of opinions under section 74A Sections (74B.01 - 74B.10) last updated: April 2015.
  90. Section 75: Amendment of patent in infringement or revocation proceedings Sections (75.01 - 75.21.1) last updated: October 2016.
  91. Section 76: Amendments of applications and patents not to include added matter Sections (76.01 - 76.28) last updated: July 2015.
  92. Section 76A: Biotechnological inventions Sections (76A.01 - 76A.10) last updated: July 2015.
  93. Section 77: Effect of European patent (UK) Sections (77.01 - 77.25) last updated October 2016.
  94. Section 78: Effect of filing an application for a European patent (UK) Sections (78.01 - 78.15) last updated April 2009.
  95. Section 79: Operation of s.78 in relation to certain European patent applications Sections (79.01 - 79.04) last updated April 2008.
  96. Section 80: Authentic text of European patents and patent applications Sections (80.01-80.07) last updated April 2009.
  97. Section 81: Conversion of European patent applications Sections (81.01 - 81.19) last updated October 2012.
  98. Section 82: Jurisdiction to determine questions as to right to a patent Sections (82.01 - 84.02) last updated April 2008.
  99. Section 83: Effect of patent decisions of competent authorities of other states Sections (83.01 - 83.05) last updated April 2008.
  100. Section 84: Patent agents and other representatives [Repealed] Sections (84.01 -84.02) last updated April 2007.
  101. Section 85: European patent attorneys [Repealed] Sections (85.01 - 85.02) last updated April 2007.
  102. Section 86: Implementation of Community Patent Convention [Repealed] Sections (86.01 - 86.03) last updated: April 2007.
  103. Section 87: Decisions on Community Patent Convention [Repealed] Sections (87.01 - 87.02) last updated: April 2007.
  104. Section 88: Jurisdiction in legal proceedings in connection with Community Patent Convention [Repealed] Section (88.01) last updated: April 2007.
  105. Section 88A: Implementation of Agreement on a Unified Patent Court Sections (88A.01 - 88A.05) last updated: January 2015.
  106. Section 88B: Designation as international organisation of which UK is member Sections (88B.01 - 88B.03) last updated: April 2015.
  107. Section 89: Effect of international application for patent Section (89.01 - 89.10) last updated July 2015.
  108. Section 89A: International and national phases of application Section (89A.01 - 89A.26) last updated: October 2016.
  109. Section 89B: Adaptation of provisions in relation to international application Sections (89B.01 - 89B.18) updated December 2016.
  110. Section 90: Orders in Council as to convention countries Sections (90.01 - 90.04) last updated: April 2015.
  111. Section 91: Evidence of conventions and instruments under conventions Sections (91.01 - 91.03) last updated: April 2007.
  112. Section 92: Obtaining evidence for proceedings under the European Patent Convention Sections (92.01 - 92.08) last updated: July 2015.
  113. Section 93: Enforcement of orders for costs Sections (93-01 - 93-02) last updated October 2013.
  114. Section 94: Communication of information to the European Patent Office, etc Sections (94.01 - 94.03) last updated April 2008.
  115. Section 95: Financial provisions Sections (95.01) last updated April 2007.
  116. Section 96: The Patents Court [Repealed] Section last updated: July 2012
  117. Section 97: Appeals from the comptroller Section last updated: December 2016.
  118. Section 98: Proceedings in Scotland Sections (98.01 - 98.03-1) last updated: April 2008.
  119. Section 99: General powers of the Court Sections (99.01 - 99.02) last updated April 2007.
  120. Section 99A: Power of Patents Court to order report Sections (99A.01 - 99A.04) last updated last updated April 2007.
  121. Section 99B: Power of Court of Session to order report Sections (99B.01 - 99B.03) last updated April 2007.
  122. Section 100: Burden of proof in certain cases Sections (100.01 - 100.06) last updated April 2016.
  123. Section 101: Exercise of comptroller's discretionary powers Sections (101.01 - 101.45) last updated: July 2015.
  124. Section 102: Right of audience, etc., in proceedings before the comptroller Sections (102.1 - 102.7) last updated: July 2012
  125. Section 102A: Right of audience, etc., in proceedings on appeal from the comptroller [Repealed] Sections (102A.01 - 102A.02) last updated: April 2011.
  126. Section 103: Extension of privilege for communications with solicitors relating to patent proceedings Sections (103.1 - 103.3) last updated: April 2007.
  127. Section 104: Privilege for communications with patent agents relating to patent proceedings [Repealed] Sections (104.01 - 104.02) last updated: April 2007.
  128. Section 105: Extension of privilege in Scotland for communications relating to patent proceedings Section last updated: April 2007.
  129. Section 106: Costs and expenses in proceedings before the Court Sections (106.01 - 106.06) last updated: April 2007.
  130. Section 107: Costs and expenses in proceedings before the comptroller Section last updated: October 2013.
  131. Section 108: Licences granted by order of comptroller Section (108.01 - 108.03) last updated: April 2007.
  132. Section 109: Falsification of register etc Sections (109.01 - 109.03) last updated: April 2007.
  133. Section 110: Unauthorised claim of patent rights Sections (110.01 - 110.08) last updated: July 2015.
  134. Section 111: Unauthorised claim that patent has been applied for Sections (111.01 - 111-07) last updated: July 2010.
  135. Section 112: Misuse of title "Patent Office" Sections (112.01 - 112.02) last updated: July 2010.
  136. Section 113: Offences by corporations Sections (113.01 - 113.02) last updated: April 2007.
  137. Section 114: Restrictions on practice as patent agent [Repealed] Sections (114.01 - 114.02) last updated April 2007.
  138. Section 115: Power of comptroller to refuse to deal with certain agents [Repealed] Sections (115.01 - 115.02) last updated April 2007.
  139. Section 116: Immunity of department as regards official acts Section (116.01) last updated: February 2008.
  140. Section 117: Correction of errors in patents and applications Sections (117.01 - 117.31) last updated: July 2015.
  141. Section 117A: Effect of resuscitating a withdrawn application under section 117 Sections (117A.01 - 117A.02) last updated April 2007.
  142. Section 117B: Extension of time limits specified by comptroller Sections (117B.01 - 117B.05) last updated: July 2016.
  143. Section 118: Information about patent applications and patents, and inspection of documents Sections (118.01 - 118.23) last updated: July 2015.
  144. Section 118A: Copyright in documents made available electronically for inspection under section 118(1) [Repealed] Sections 118A.01 -118A.02) last updated April 2015.
  145. Section 119: Service by post Sections (119.01 - 119.08) last updated April 2016.
  146. Section 120: Hours of business and excluded days Sections (120.01 - 120.08) last updated: July 2012
  147. Section 121: Comptroller's annual report Sections (121.01 - 121.02) last updated April 2007.
  148. Section 122: Crown's right to sell forfeited articles Section last updated: February 2008
  149. Section 123: Rules Section last updated: October 2016.
  150. Section 124: Rules, regulations and orders; supplementary Section last updated: April 2007
  151. Section 124A: Use of electronic communications Section last updated: October 2009
  152. Section 125: Extent of invention Sections (125.01 - 125.25) last updated: April 2011.
  153. Section 125A: Disclosure of invention by specification: availability of samples of biological material Sections (125A.01 - 125A.34) last updated October 2013.
  154. Section 126: Stamp duty [repealed] Sections (126.01 126.02) last updated: April 2009.
  155. Section 127: Existing patents and applications Sections (127.01 - 127.10) last updated: April 2007
  156. Section 128: Priorities between patents and applications under 1949 Act and this Act [spent] Section (128.01) last updated: April 2007.
  157. Section 128A: EU Compulsory licences Sections (128A.01 - 128A.08) last updated: April 2009.
  158. Section 128B: Supplementary Protection Certificates Section (128B.0 - 128B.12) last updated: April 2015
  159. Section 129: Application of Act to Crown Sections (129.01) last updated: April 2007.
  160. Section 130: Interpretation Sections (130.01 - 130.35.1) last updated October 2015.
  161. Section 131: Northern Ireland Sections (131.01 - 131.03) last updated: April 2007.
  162. Section 131A: Scotland Sections (131A.01) last updated: April 2007.
  163. Section 132: Short title, extent, commencement, consequential amendments and repeals Sections (132.01 - 132.11) last updated: October 2015.
  164. Section 274: Persons permitted to carry on business of a patent agent Section (274.01 - 274.07) last updated: October 2016.
  165. Section 275: The register of patent attorneys Section (275.01 - 275.05) last updated: July 2012
  166. Section 275A: Regulation of patent attorneys Section (275A.01 - 275A.04) last updated: July 2012
  167. Section 276: Persons entitled to describe themselves as patent agents Section (276.01 - 276.07) last updated: April 2011
  168. Section 277: Persons entitled to describe themselves as European patent attorneys, &c Section (277.01 - 277.04) last updated: April 2011
  169. Section 278: Use of the term "patent attorney": supplementary provisions Section (278.01 - 278.03) last updated: April 2007
  170. Section 279: Power to prescribe conditions etc for mixed partnerships and bodies corporate [Repealed] Section (279.01 - 279.02) last updated: April 2011
  171. Section 280: Privilege for communications with patent agents Section (280-01 280.05) last updated: July 2015
  172. Section 281: Power of comptroller to refuse to deal with certain agents Section last updated (281.01 - 281.04) July 2015.
  173. Section 285: Offences committed by partnerships and bodies corporate Section (285.01 - 285-05) last updated April 2007.
  174. Section 286: Interpretation Section (286.01 - 286.05) last updated April 2011.
  175. Section 287: Patents county courts: special jurisdiction [Repealed] Section (287.01 - 287.03) last updated April 2014.
  176. Section 288: Financial limits in relation to proceedings within special jurisdiction of patents county court [Repealed] Section (288.01 - 288.02) last updated April 2014.
  177. Section 290: Limitation of costs where pecuniary claim could have been brought in patents county court [Repealed] Section (290.01 - 290.02) last updated April 2014
  178. Section 291: Proceedings in patents county court [Repealed] Section (291.01 - 291.03) last updated April 2014.
  179. Section 292: Rights and duties of registered patent agents in relation to proceedings in patents county court [Repealed] Section (292.01 - 292.02) last updated April 2011.
  180. Section 293: Restriction of acts authorised by certain licences Section (293.01) last updated April 2007.
  181. Section 294: When application may be made for settlement of terms of licence [spent] Section (294.01) last updated April 2007.
  182. Section 295: Patents: miscellaneous amendments Section (295.01) last updated April 2007
  183. Supplementary Protection Certificates for Medicinal and Plant Protection Products Section last updated: March 2017.
  184. Regulation (EC) No 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the council (Plant Protection Products) Section (SPP0.01 - SPP21.01) last updated: April 2016.
  185. Citation formats Section last updated December 2015.
  186. Standard titles for online database names Section last updated March 2017.