The Patents Act 1977 (as amended)

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

An unofficial consolidation produced by Patents Legal Section, July 2018.

The consolidation lays out in an easy to reference format the sections of the act, in a similar layout to the Manual of Patent Practice (on line version).

Note: for official reference see the full The Patents Act 1977

  1. The Patents Act 1977 note to users This consolidation includes (amongst other changes) the amendments to the 1977 Act.
  2. Section 1: Patentable inventions Patentability.
  3. Section 2: Novelty Patentability.
  4. Section 3: Inventive step Patentability.
  5. Section 4: Industrial application Patentability.
  6. Section 4A: Methods of treatment or diagnosis Patentability.
  7. Section 5: Priority date Patentability.
  8. Section 6: Disclosure of matter, etc., between earlier and later application Patentability.
  9. Section 7: Right to apply for and obtain a patent Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  10. Section 8: Determination before grant of questions about entitlement to patents, etc. Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  11. Section 9: Determination after grant of questions referred to before grant Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  12. Section 10: Handling of application by joint applicants Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  13. Section 11: Effect of transfer of application under section 8 or 10 Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  14. Section 12: Determination of questions about entitlement to foreign and convention patents, etc. Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  15. Section 13: Mention of inventor Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor.
  16. Section 14: Making of application Applications.
  17. Section 15: Date of filing application Applications.
  18. Section 15A: Preliminary examination Applications.
  19. Section 16: Publication of application Applications.
  20. Section 17: Search Examination and search.
  21. Section 18: Substantive examination and grant or refusal of patent Examination and search
  22. Section 19: General power to amend application before grant Examination and search
  23. Section 20: Failure of application Examination and search
  24. Section 20A: Reinstatement of applications Examination and search
  25. Section 20B: Effect of reinstatement under section 20A Examination and search
  26. Section 21: Observations by third party on patentability Examination and search
  27. Section 22: Information prejudicial to national security or safety of public Security and safety.
  28. Section 23: Restrictions on applications abroad by United Kingdom residents Security and safety.
  29. Section 24: Publication and certificate of grant Provisions as to patents after grant.
  30. Section 25: Term of patent Provisions as to patents after grant.
  31. Section 26: Patent not to be impugned for lack of unity Provisions as to patents after grant.
  32. Section 27: General power to amend specification after grant Provisions as to patents after grant.
  33. Section 28: Restoration of lapsed patents Provisions as to patents after grant.
  34. Section 28A: Effect of order for restoration of patent Provisions as to patents after grant.
  35. Section 29: Surrender of patents Provisions as to patents after grant
  36. Section 30: Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  37. Section 31: Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents in Scotland Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  38. Section 32: Register of patents, etc. Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  39. Section 33: Effect of registration, etc., on rights in patents Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  40. Section 34: Rectification of register Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  41. Section 35: Evidence of register, documents, etc. [repealed] Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  42. Section 36: Co-ownership of patents and applications for patents Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  43. Section 37: Determination of right to patent after grant Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  44. Section 38: Effect of transfer of patent under section 37 Property in patents and applications, and registration.
  45. Section 39: Right to employees’ inventions Employees’ inventions.
  46. Section 40: Compensation of employees for certain inventions Employees’ inventions.
  47. Section 41: Amount of compensation Employees’ inventions.
  48. Section 42: Enforceability of contracts relating to employees’ inventions Employees’ inventions.
  49. Section 43: Supplementary Employees’ inventions.
  50. Section 44: Avoidance of certain restrictive conditions. [repealed] Contracts as to patented products, etc.
  51. Section 45: Determination of parts of certain contracts. [repealed] Contracts as to patented products etc.
  52. Section 46: Patentee’s application for entry in register that licences are available as of right Licences of right and compulsory licences.
  53. Section 47: Cancellation of entry made under s.46 Licences of right and compulsory licences.
  54. Section 48: General Licences of right and compulsory licences
  55. Section 48A: WTO proprietors Licences of right and compulsory licences
  56. Section 48B: Other cases Licences of right and compulsory licences
  57. Section 49: Provisions about licences under section 48 Licences of right and compulsory licences
  58. Section 50: Exercise of powers on application under section 48 Licences of right and compulsory licences.
  59. Section 50A: Powers exercisable following merger and market investigations Licences of right and compulsory licences
  60. Section 51: Powers exercisable in consequence of report of Competition and Markets Authority Licences of right and compulsory licences
  61. Section 52: Opposition, appeal and arbitration Licences of right and compulsory licences
  62. Section 53: Supplementary provisions Licences of right and compulsory licences
  63. Section 54: Special provisions where patented invention is being worked abroad Licences of right and compulsory licences
  64. Section 55: Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  65. Section 56: Interpretation, etc., of provisions about Crown use Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  66. Section 57: Rights of third parties in respect of Crown use Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  67. Section 57A: Compensation for loss of profit Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  68. Section 58: References of disputes as to Crown use Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  69. Section 59: Special provisions as to Crown use during emergency Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  70. Section 60: Meaning of infringement Infringement.
  71. Section 61: Proceedings for infringement of patent Infringement.
  72. Section 62: Restrictions on recovery of damages for infringement Infringement.
  73. Section 63: Relief for infringement of partially valid patent Infringement.
  74. Section 64: Right to continue use begun before priority date Infringement.
  75. Section 65: Certificate of contested validity Infringement.
  76. Section 66: Proceedings for infringement by a co-owner Infringement.
  77. Section 67: Proceedings for infringement by exclusive licensee Infringement.
  78. Section 68: Effect on non-registration on infringement proceedings Infringement.
  79. Section 69: Infringement of rights conferred by publication of application Infringement.
  80. Section 70: Threats of infringement proceedings Unjustified threats.
  81. Section 70A: Actionable threats Unjustified threats.
  82. Section 70B: Permitted communications Unjustified threats.
  83. Section 70C: Remedies and defences Unjustified threats.
  84. Section 70D: Professional advisers Unjustified threats.
  85. Section 70E: Supplementary: Pending registration Unjustified threats
  86. Section 70F: Supplementary: proceedings for delivery up etc. Unjustified threats.
  87. Section 71: Declaration or declarator as to non- infringement Declaration or declaratory as to non-infringement.
  88. Section 72: Power to revoke patents on application Revocation of patents.
  89. Section 73: Comptroller’s power to revoke patents on his own initiative Revocation of patents.
  90. Section 74: Proceedings in which validity of patent may be put in issue Putting validity in issue.
  91. Section 74A: Opinions on matters prescribed in the rules Opinions by Patent Office:
  92. Section 74B: Reviews of opinions under section 74A Opinions by Patent Office.
  93. Section 75: Amendment of patent in infringement or revocation proceedings General provisions as to amendment of patents and applications.
  94. Section 76: Amendment of applications and patents not to include added matter General provisions as to amendment of patents and applications.
  95. Section 76A: Biotechnological inventions General provisions as to amendment of patents and applications.
  96. Section 77: Effect of European patent (UK) European patents and patent applications.
  97. Section 78: Effect of filing an application for a European patent (UK) European patents and patent applications.
  98. Section 79: Operation of section 78 in relation to certain European patent applications European patents and patent applications.
  99. Section 80: Authentic text of European patents and patent applications European patents and patent applications.
  100. Section 81: Conversion of European patent applications European patents and patent applications.
  101. Section 82: Jurisdiction to determine questions as to right to a patent European patents and patent applications.
  102. Section 83: Effect of patent decisions of competent authorities of other states European patents and patent applications.
  103. Section 84: Patent agents and other representatives. [repealed] European patents and patent applications.
  104. Section 85: European patent attorneys. [repealed] European patents and patent applications.
  105. Section 86: Implementation of Community Patent Convention. [repealed] Community patents
  106. Section 87: Decisions on Community Patent Convention. [repealed] Community patents
  107. Section 88: Jurisdiction in legal proceedings in connection with Community Patent Convention. [repealed] Community patents
  108. Section 88A: Implementation of Agreement on a Unified Patent Court Unified Patent Court
  109. Section 88B: Designation as international organisation of which UK is member Unified Patent Court.
  110. Section 89: Effect of international application for patent International applications for patents.
  111. Section 89A: International and national phases of application International applications for patents.
  112. Section 89B: Adaptation of provisions in relation to international application International applications for patents.
  113. Section 90: Orders in Council as to convention countries Convention countries.
  114. Section 91: Evidence of conventions and instruments under conventions Miscellaneous.
  115. Section 92: Obtaining evidence for proceedings under the European Patent Convention Miscellaneous.
  116. Section 93: Enforcement of orders for costs Miscellaneous.
  117. Section 94: Communication of information to the European Patent Office etc. Miscellaneous.
  118. Section 95: Financial provisions Miscellaneous.
  119. Section 96: The Patents Court. [repealed] Legal Proceedings.
  120. Section 97: Appeals from the comptroller Legal Proceedings.
  121. Section 98: Proceedings in Scotland Legal Proceedings.
  122. Section 99: General powers of the court Legal Proceedings.
  123. Section 99A: Power of Patents Court to order report Legal Proceedings.
  124. Section 99B: Power of Court of Session to order report Legal Proceedings.
  125. Section 100: Burden of proof in certain cases Legal Proceedings.
  126. Section 101: Exercise of comptroller’s discretionary powers Legal Proceedings.
  127. Section 102: Right of audience, etc., in proceedings before the comptroller Legal Proceedings.
  128. Section 102A: Right of audience, etc., in proceedings on appeal from the comptroller. [repealed] Legal Proceedings.
  129. Section 103: Extension of privilege for communications with solicitors relating to patent proceedings Legal Proceedings.
  130. Section 104: Privilege for communication with patent agents relating to patent proceedings. [repealed] Legal Proceedings.
  131. Section 105: Extension of privilege in Scotland for communications relating to patent proceedings Legal Proceedings.
  132. Section 106: Costs and expenses in proceedings before the Court Legal Proceedings.
  133. Section 107: Costs and expenses in proceedings before the comptroller Legal Proceedings.
  134. Section 108: Licences granted by order of comptroller Legal Proceedings.
  135. Section 109: Falsification of register etc. Offences.
  136. Section 110: Unauthorised claim of patent rights Offences.
  137. Section 111: Unauthorised claim that patent has been applied for Offences.
  138. Section 112: Misuse of title “Patent Office” Offences.
  139. Section 113: Offences by corporations Offences.
  140. Section 114: Restrictions on practice as patent agent. [repealed] Patent agents.
  141. Section 115: Power of comptroller to refuse to deal with certain agents. [repealed] Patent agents.
  142. Section 116: Immunity of department as regards official acts Immunity of department.
  143. Section 117: Correction of errors in patents and applications Administrative provisions.
  144. Section 117A: Effect of resuscitation of a withdrawn application under section 117 Administrative provisions.
  145. Section 117B: Extension of time limits specified by comptroller Administrative provisions.
  146. Section 118: Information about patent applications and patents, and inspection of documents Administrative provisions.
  147. Section 118A: Copyright in documents made available electronically for inspection under section 118(1). [repealed] Administrative provisions.
  148. Section 119: Service by post Administrative provisions.
  149. Section 120: Hours of business and excluded days Administrative provisions.
  150. Section 121: Comptroller’s annual report Administrative provisions.
  151. Section 122: Crown’s right to sell forfeited articles Supplemental.
  152. Section 123: Rules Supplemental.
  153. Section 124: Rules, regulations and orders; supplementary Supplemental.
  154. Section 124A: Use of electronic communications Supplemental.
  155. Section 125: Extent of invention Supplemental.
  156. Section 125A: Disclosure of invention by specification: availability of samples of biological material Supplemental.
  157. Section 126: Stamp duty. [repealed] Supplemental.
  158. Section 127: Existing patents and applications Supplemental.
  159. Section 128: Priorities between patents and applications under the 1949 Act and this Act Supplemental.
  160. Section 128A: EU compulsory licences Supplemental.
  161. Section 128B: Supplementary protection certificates Supplemental.
  162. Section 129: Application of Act to Crown Supplemental.
  163. Section 130: Interpretation Supplemental.
  164. Section 131: Northern Ireland Supplemental.
  165. Section 131A: Scotland Supplemental.
  166. Section 132: Short title, extent, commencement, consequential amendments and repeals Supplemental.
  167. Schedule 1 (section 127): Application of 1949 Act to existing patents and applications Application of 1949 Act to existing patents and applications
  168. Schedule 2 (section 127): Application of this Act to existing patents and applications Application of this Act to existing patents and applications
  169. Schedule 3 (section 127): Repeals of provisions of 1949 Act Repeals of provisions of 1949 Act
  170. Schedule 4 (section 127): Transitional provisions Transitional provisions.
  171. Schedule 4A (section 128B): Supplementary protection certificates Supplementary protection certificates
  172. Schedule 5 (section 132): Crown Proceedings Act 1947 (c.44). Consequential amendments;
  173. Schedule 6 (section 132): Enactments repealed Enactments repealed
  174. Schedule A1 (Section 60(5)(g)):
  175. Schedule A2 (section 76A): Biotechnological inventions Biotechnological inventions