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The Patents Act 1977 (Chapter 37, as amended up to the Crime and Courts Act 2013)

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United Kingdom

Year of current version:2013
Date of Text (Published):July 29, 1977
Type of Text:IP Legal Literature
Subject Matter:Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Competition, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Genetic Resources, IP Regulatory Body, Patents (Inventions), Plant Variety Protection
Notes:
This unofficial consolidated version of the Patents Act 1977, prepared by the Patents Legal Section of the Intellectual Property Office on October 1, 2013, includes all amendments up to the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
Changes since the previous (1 October 2011) version are as follows:
-Section 130(1) of the Patents Act 1977 has been amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which entered into force on October 1, 2013.

-The paragraph (a) of the definition of “the court' in section 130(1) (interpretation) provides that the words 'as respects England and Wales, the High Court or any patents as respects England and Wales, the High Court or any patents county court having jurisdiction by virtue of an order under section 287 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988;' are replaced by 'as respects England and Wales, the High Court;'.

This version of the Patents Act 1977 provides provisions on patent flexibilities, namely compulsory licenses and government use (sections 48-51, 55, 57 and 59); research exemption(section 60(5)(b)), and regulatory review exemption (section 60(5)(i)).

The UK harmonizes its patent law with the European laws.
Section 128A of the Patents Act sets out how certain provisions of the Act apply to EU compulsory licenses and applications for such licenses, which are granted under Regulation (EC) No. 816/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on compulsory licensing of patents relating to the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for export to countries with public health problems ('the EU Compulsory Licensing').
Section 128B and Schedule 4A of the Patents Act states that the Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) are granted in the UK under European legislation, i.e. Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council for pharmaceutical products, Regulation (EC) No. 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council for plant protection products, Council Regulation (EEC) No 1768/92 of 18 June 1992 concerning the creation of a supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products ('the Medicinal Products Regulation'), Regulation (EC) No 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 concerning the creation of a supplementary protection certificate for plant protection products ('the Plant Protection Products Regulation'); and other related UK legislation.
Section 60(5)(i) implements article 13 paragraph 6 of Directive 2001/82/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products; and article 10 paragraph 5 of Directive 2001/83/ 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use.

The Patents Act 1977 gives effect to certain international conventions on patents.
Part II of the Act (sections 77 to 95) provides for the effect in the UK of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). It covers matters relating European patents and patent applications, community patents, international applications for patents, convention countries and other miscellaneous matters.

Section 132(5) of this Act stipulates: 'This Act (except sections 77(6), (7) and (9), 78 (7) and (8), this subsection and the repeal of section 41 of the 1949 Act) shall come into operation on such day as may be appointed by the Secretary of State by order, and different days may be appointed under this subsection for different purposes.'

The text of the Patents Act 1977 (unofficial consolidated version 2013) is reproduced with the express authorization from the UK Intellectual Property Office (Intellectual Property Office © Crown Copyright 2013).
Available Texts: 
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The Patents Act 1977 (Chapter 37, as amended up to the Crime and Courts Act 2013) The Patents Act 1977 (Chapter 37, as amended up to the Crime and Courts Act 2013), Complete document (pdf) [647 KB]

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WIPO Lex No.:GB211

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