1. What you can patent

You can use a patent to protect your invention. It gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports it without your permission.

To be granted a patent, your invention must be all of the following:

  • something that can be made or used
  • new
  • inventive - not just a simple modification to something that already exists

Patents are expensive and difficult to get. Before you apply, check if a patent is right for your business.

What you can’t patent

You can’t patent certain types of invention, including:

  • literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
  • a way of doing business, playing a game or thinking
  • a method of medical treatment or diagnosis
  • a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method
  • the way information is presented
  • some computer programs
  • ‘essentially biological’ processes, eg crossing-breeding plants, and plant or animal varieties