2.7.1 General Considerations and Definitions

Date Published


Life Forms: Includes whole living organisms, and cells and reproductive material derived there from. Thus the term encompasses plants, animals, viruses, vectors, micro-organisms, plasmids and plant and animal cells and cell lines. Living organisms include transgenic forms, varieties and strains.

Micro-Organism: The term is not defined in the Act or the Budapest Treaty.  The Office interprets the term "micro-organism" (as used in the Act) to include any biological materials accepted for deposit with a prescribed depository institution, for the purposes of the Budapest Treaty, in accordance with the rules relating to micro-organisms.  Examples of micro-organisms include bacteria and other procaryotes, fungi including yeast, mushrooms, algae, protozoa, eucaryotic cells, cell lines, hybridomas, viruses, plant tissue cells, spores, seeds and hosts containing materials such as vectors, cell organelles, plasmids, DNA, RNA, genes and chromosomes

Exclusions Under Subsections 18(2) and 18(3)

Human beings and biological process for their generation are excluded from patentable subject matter for standard patents and innovation patents under sec 18(2) (see Human Beings and Biological Processes for Their Generation).

Plants and animals and biological processes for their generation are excluded from patentable subject matter for innovation patents under sec 18(3). For the purposes of innovation patents, the definition of a “plant” is taken to include fungi and algae (see Ground (3): Subsections 18(2) and (3)).