The Patents Act 1977 (as amended)

The Patents Act 1977 arrangement of sections; part 1

Section titles listed 1 to 76.


Chapter 37





  1. Patentable inventions
  2. Novelty
  3. Inventive step
  4. Industrial application 4A. Methods of treatment or diagnosis
  5. Priority date
  6. Disclosure of matter, etc., between earlier and later application

Right to apply for and obtain a patent and be mentioned as inventor

  1. Right to apply for and obtain a patent
  2. Determination before grant of questions about entitlement to patents, etc.
  3. Determination after grant of questions referred to before grant
  4. Handling of application by joint applicants
  5. Effect of transfer of application under section 8 or 10
  6. Determination of questions about entitlement to foreign and convention patents, etc.
  7. Mention of inventor


  1. Making of application
  2. Date of filing application 15A. Preliminary examination
  3. Publication of application
  1. Search
  2. Substantive examination and grant or refusal of patent
  3. General power to amend application before grant
  4. Failure of application 20A. Reinstatement of applications 20B. Effect of reinstatement under section 20A
  5. Observations by third party on patentability

Security and safety

  1. Information prejudicial to national security or safety of public
  2. Restrictions on applications abroad by United Kingdom residents

Provisions as to patents after grant

  1. Publication and certificate of grant
  2. Term of patent
  3. Patent not to be impugned for lack of unity
  4. General power to amend specification after grant
  5. Restoration of lapsed patents

28A. Effect of order for restoration of patent 29. Surrender of patents

Property in patents and applications, and registration

  1. Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents
  2. Nature of, and transactions in, patents and applications for patents in Scotland
  3. Register of patents, etc.
  4. Effect of registration, etc., on rights in patents
  5. Rectification of register
  6. Evidence of register, documents, etc. [repealed]
  7. Co-ownership of patents and applications for patents
  8. Determination of right to patent after grant
  9. Effect of transfer of patent under section 37

Employees’ inventions

  1. Right to employees’ inventions
  2. Compensation of employees for certain inventions
  3. Amount of compensation
  4. Enforceability of contracts relating to employees’ inventions
  5. Supplementary

Contracts as to patented products, etc.

  1. Avoidance of certain restrictive conditions [repealed]
  2. Determination of parts of certain contracts [repealed]

Licences of right and compulsory licences

  1. Patentee’s application for entry in register that licences are available as of right
  2. Cancellation of entry made under s.46
  3. Compulsory licences: general 48A. Compulsory licences: WTO proprietors 48B. Compulsory licences: other cases
  4. Provisions about licences under section 48
  5. Exercise of powers on application under section 48 50A. Powers exercisable following merger and market investigations
  6. Powers exercisable in consequence of report of Competition and Markets Authority
  7. Opposition, appeal and arbitration
  8. Compulsory licences: supplementary provisions
  9. Special provisions where patented invention is being worked abroad

Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown

  1. Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown
  2. Interpretation, etc., of provisions about Crown use
  3. Rights of third parties in respect of Crown use 57A. Compensation for loss of profit
  4. References of disputes as to Crown use
  5. Special provisions as to Crown use during emergency


  1. Meaning of infringement
  2. Proceedings for infringement of patent
  3. Restrictions on recovery of damages for infringement
  4. Relief for infringement of partially valid patent
  5. Right to continue use begun before priority date
  6. Certificate of contested validity
  7. Proceedings for infringement by a co-owner
  8. Proceedings for infringement by exclusive licensee
  9. Effect on non-registration on infringement proceedings
  10. Infringement of rights conferred by publication of application

Unjustified threats

  1. Threats of infringement proceedings 70A. Actionable threats 70B. Permitted communications 70C. Remedies and defences 70D. Professional advisers 70E. Supplementary: pending registration 70F. Supplementary: proceedings for delivery up etc.

Declaration or declarator as to non-infringement

  1. Declaration or declarator as to non-infringement

Revocation of patents

  1. Power to revoke patents on application
  2. Comptroller’s power to revoke patents on his own initiative

Putting validity in issue

  1. Proceedings in which validity of patent may be put in issue

Opinions by Patent Office

74A. Opinions on matters prescribed in the rules 74B. Reviews of opinions under section 74A

General provisions as to amendment of patents and applications

  1. Amendment of patent in infringement or revocation proceedings
  2. Amendment of applications and patents not to include added matter 76A. Biotechnological inventions