PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines
PART III EXAMINER CONSIDERATIONS COMMON TO BOTH THE INTERNATIONAL SEARCHING AUTHORITY AND THE INTERNATIONAL PRELIMINARY EXAMINING AUTHORITY
14.01 A claimed invention is considered industrially applicable if, according to its nature, it can be made or used (in the technological sense) in any kind of industry. The term “industrially applicable” may be deemed by an International Authority to be synonymous with the term “utility”. See the appendix to this chapter.
14.02 “Industry” is understood in its broadest sense, as in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Industry therefore includes any physical activity of a technical character, that is, an activity which belongs to the useful or practical arts as distinct from the aesthetic arts; it does not necessarily imply the use of a machine or the manufacture of an article and could cover a process for dispersing fog, or a process for converting energy from one form to another.
14.03 Focusing on the general common characteristics of the industrial applicability and utility requirements, an invention that is inoperative, for example, an invention which is clearly non-operable in view of well-established laws of nature, does not comply with either the industrial applicability requirement or the utility requirement. This type of invention is considered either as having no application in industry or as not being useful for any purpose, because it doesn’t work.