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Industrial Applicability

In this post we continue to analyze requirements for patentability of a technical solution. The last (and probably the least) requirement is industrial applicability. It happens very rarely that a patent is criticized  by an expert during patent examination as not having an "industrial applicability". In our practice there were no such inventions at all. But theoretically, such probability exist.

Short but not necessarily comprehensive explanation is following: industrial applicability determines if the invention can be mass-reproduced or used in industrial application.

European Patent Convention (EPC) describes this requirement in Article 57:

An invention shall be considered as susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.

This criteria is something which makes a distinction between Intellectual Property  and pure Arts.
Creations of art could not be protected with patents because arts, in nature, are something that is always different, always original. Though musical instruments, easel, or a pen - instruments of an artist - can be patented; theater costumes, product design or computer fonts could be protected with industrial design registrations.

Sometimes the requirement is linked to sufficiency of disclosure. The invention should be described so it could be carried out by a person skilled in the art. On the other hand, insufficient disclosure sometimes might be related to in-compliance  with the laws of physics. This feature also distinguishes "real inventions" from "fantasies".