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Archived updates for Tuesday, August 30, 2005

CIPO Limits Subject Mastter of International Patent Searches

Rule 39.1 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty lists subject matter for which an International Searching Authority (ISA) shall not be required to conduct a search of an international application. It includes "methods of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy." In light of this rule the Canadian Intellectual Property Office ("CIPO") has taken the position that
An international search will be conducted on all subject matter which would
normally be searched and examined in a domestically filed patent application.
Therefore, the following subject matter will be excluded from the search:
  • methods of medical treatment of living humans and non-humans intended to
    improve the function or health of a living part of a body which include the
    manipulation of the body or its organs or tissues using electrical or mechanical
    means for the prevention or treatment of pathological conditions;
  • surgical methods (invasive procedures); and
  • methods of use claims and use claims including manipulative steps.

A search will be carried out for the following subject matter, provided that
they do not include surgical steps:

  • diagnostic methods;
  • cosmetic methods; and
  • methods of treatment of animals to derive an economic benefit;

and the CIPO will interpret the following subject matter:

  • methods of use claims directed to medicinal use which do not include
    manipulative steps as a use claim, without any manipulative steps. A search will
    be carried out based on this interpretation.
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