Law - Industrial Applicability

Under PCT rules, an invention is unpatentable if it cannot be made or used (in the technological sense) in any kind of industry [PCT Article 33]. According to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property:

Industrial property shall be understood in the broadest sense and shall apply not only to industry and commerce property, but likewise to agricultural and extractive industries and to all manufactured or natural products, for example, wines, grain, tobacco leaf, fruit, cattle, minerals, mineral waters, beer, flowers, and flour [Paris Convention Art. 1(3)].
While the PCT allows national and regional patent offices to apply additional or different patentability criteria, the criterion of "industrial applicability" is generally accepted internationally. The USPTO, for example, insists that "the utility of an invention must be within the 'technological' arts" (MPEP 2106) The EPO stipulates that "An invention shall be considered as susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture" (EPC Art. 57).

The position of the USPTO on this issue is described in the following section(s) of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP):

MPEP 1878.01(a)(3) - Industrial Applicability under Chapter II

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