QUT ePrints

Physical effect in patent law

McEniery, Benjamin Joseph (2010) Physical effect in patent law. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This thesis addresses one of the fundamental issues that remains unresolved in patent law today. It is a question that strikes at the heart of what a patent is and what it is supposed to protect. That question is whether an invention must produce a physical effect or cause a physical transformation of matter to be patentable, or whether it is sufficient that an invention involves a specific practical application of an idea or principle to achieve a useful result. In short, the question is whether patent law contains a physicality requirement. Resolving this issue will determine whether only traditional mechanical, industrial and manufacturing processes are patent eligible, or whether patent eligibility extends to include purely intangible, or non-physical, products and processes. To this end, this thesis seeks to identify where the dividing line lies between patentable subject matter and the recognised categories of excluded matter, namely, fundamental principles of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas. It involves determining which technological advances are worth the inconvenience monopoly protection causes the public at large, and which should remain free for all to use without restriction. This is an issue that has important ramifications for innovation in the ‘knowledge economy’ of the Information Age. Determining whether patent law contains a physicality requirement is integral to deciding whether much of the valuable innovation we are likely to witness, in what are likely to be the emerging areas of technology in the near future, will receive the same encouragement as industrial and manufacturing advances of previous times.

Impact and interest:

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

243 since deposited on 20 Feb 2012
127 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 48776
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Fitzgerald, Anne& Fitzgerald, Brian
Additional Information: Recipient of 2010 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: intellectual property law, patent, physicality, physical effect, physical transformation, machine or transformation, transformation of matter, intangible, non-physical, Bilski, Grant, invention, manufacture, manner of manufacture, business method, computer software, law, invention, ODTA
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2012 15:05
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2013 16:17

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page