The Patents Act 1977 (as amended)

Section 56: Interpretation, etc., of provisions about Crown use

Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown

  1. (1) Any reference in section 55 above to a patented invention, in relation to any time, is a reference to an invention for which a patent has before that time been, or is subsequently, granted.

(2) In this Act, except so far as the context otherwise requires, “the services of the Crown” includes -

  • (a) the supply of anything for foreign defence purposes;
  • (b) the production or supply of specified drugs and medicines; and

  • (c) such purposes relating to the production or use of atomic energy or research into matters connected therewith as the Secretary of State thinks necessary or expedient; and “use for the services of the Crown” shall be construed accordingly.

(3) In section 55(1)(a) above and subsection (2)(a) above, references to a sale or supply of anything for foreign defence purposes are references to a sale or supply of the thing;

  • (a) to the government of any country outside the United Kingdom, in pursuance of an agreement or arrangement between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the government of that country, where the thing is required for the defence of that country or of any other country whose government is party to any agreement or arrangement with Her Majesty’s Government in respect of defence matters; or

  • (b) to the United Nations, or to the government of any country belonging to that organisation, in pursuance of an agreement or arrangement between Her Majesty’s Government and that organisation or government, where the thing is required for any armed forces operating in pursuance of a resolution of that organisation or any organ of that organisation.

(4) For the purposes of section 55(1)(a) and (c) above and subsection (2)(b) above, specified drugs and medicines are drugs and medicines which are both;

  • (a) required for the provision of;

(ai) primary medical services under the National Health Service Act 2006, the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, part I of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 or any corresponding provisions of the law in force in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man or primary dental services under the National Health Service Act 2006, the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, or any corresponding provisions of the law in force in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, or

(i) pharmaceutical services, general medical services or general dental services under Chapter 1 of Part 7 of the National Health Service Act 2006 or Chapter 1 of Part 7 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (in the case of pharmaceutical services), Part II of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (in the case of pharmaceutical services or general dental services), or the corresponding provisions of the law in force in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, or

(ii) personal medical services or personal dental services provided in accordance with arrangements made under section 17C of the 1978 Act (in the case of personal dental services), or the corresponding provisions of the law in force in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, or

(iii) local pharmaceutical services provided under a pilot scheme established under section 134 of the National Health Service Act 2006, or section 92 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, or an LPS scheme established under Schedule 12 to the National Health Service Act 2006, or Schedule 7 to the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, or under any corresponding provision of the law in force in the Isle of Man, and

  • (b) specified for the purposes of this subsection in regulations made by the Secretary of State.