Not all innovations can be patented.
In order to be patented, innovations must comply with the three requirements set forth by the law, that is:
- novelty, meaning that the innovation cannot exist in the prior art. This means that the invention must not be manufactured, sold, exhibited in trade shows or otherwise disclosed or published. The Italian legislation adopts the "absolute novelty" criterion, meaning that the innovation cannot be patented, although unknown in Italy, if disclosures of it can be proved in any other country of the world.
- originality, meaning that, according to experts, the innovation cannot be the obvious solution of a technical problem achieved on the basis of ordinary information and their adjustment and organisation. On the contrary, the innovation must result from an authentic inventive activity capable of making the state of the art progress in a non-obvious way.
- Industrial applicability, meaning that the innovation must be capable of being reproduced and used in the industrial field..
The Italian law in force does not consider as invention and explicitly excludes from patenting :
- discoveries and scientific theories, mathematical methods or methods for surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic treatments of humans and animals
- plans, principles and methods for intellectual activities, games or commercial activities, together with computer programmes
- presentations of information
- animal breeds and biological methods used to obtain them, with the exception of microbiological processes or products obtained with them.