Section 14

Making of application

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14.-(1) Every application for a patent -

  • (a) shall be made in the prescribed form [rules 12 & 25, applicant's name & address within 2 months] and shall be filed at the Patent Office in the prescribed manner;
  • (b) [repealed]

(1A) Where an application for a patent is made, the fee prescribed for the purposes of this subsection ("the application fee") shall be paid not later than the end of the period prescribed for the purposes of section 15(10)(c) below.

(2) Every application for a patent shall contain -

  • (a) a request for the grant of a patent;
  • (b) a specification containing a description of the invention, a claim or claims and any drawing referred to in the description or any claim; and
  • (c) an abstract [Rule 15];

but the foregoing provision shall not prevent an application being initiated by documents complying with section 15(1) below.
[Rule 25: formal requirements]

(3) The specification of an application shall disclose the invention in a manner which is clear enough and complete enough for the invention to be performed by a person skilled in the art.

(4) [repealed]

(5) The claim or claims shall -

  • (a) define the matter for which the applicant seeks protection;
  • (b) be clear and concise;
  • (c) be supported by the description; and
  • (d) relate to one invention or to a group of inventions which are so linked as to form a single inventive concept.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5)(d) above, rules [Rule 16] may provide for treating two or more inventions as being so linked as to form a single inventive concept for the purposes of this Act.

(7) The purpose of the abstract [Rule 15] is to give technical information and on publication it shall not form part of the state of the art by virtue of section 2(3) above, and the comptroller may determine whether the abstract adequately fulfils its purpose and, if it does not, may reframe it so that it does.

(8) [repealed]

(9) An application for a patent may be withdrawn at any time before the patent is granted and any withdrawal of such an application may not be revoked.

(10) Subsection (9) above does not affect the power of the comptroller under section 117(1) below to correct an error or mistake in a withdrawal of an application for a patent.

Manual of Patent Practice
Excluded days: s120; Interrupted days: rule 110

Clarity (s14(5)):
Neuberger LJ, in LG Philips LCD Co Ltd v Tatung (UK) Ltd & Ors [2006] EWCA Civ 1774 (para 20):

  • "The mere fact that a word, phrase or other provision in a patent claim is not wholly clear will not, by any means, automatically lead to the conclusion that the claim is objectionable. That would involve setting a far too high and unrealistic standard for drafting in any field; it would be particularly inappropriate to adopt such an approach to the drafting of patents, a notoriously difficult exercise in many cases. A claim needs to be as clear as the subject matter reasonably admits of."
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