2.9.3.4.4A Contravention of Laws of Nature

Date Published

Note: The information in this part only applies to:

  • standard patent applications with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.
  • innovation patents with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.
  • innovation patents where the Commissioner had not decided before 15 April 2013 to examine the patent.  

For all other standard patent applications/innovation patents, see 2.11.3.11 Contravention of Laws of Nature - e.g. Perpetual Motion Machines.

The fact that an invention is apparently contrary to the laws of nature is likely to result in an invention that is not useful. In particular, if it is clear that the invention cannot work as described in the specification, then the invention will lack a credible use and prima facie will not achieve the promise of the invention.

Inventions that contravene well-established laws of nature and are therefore non-operable, for example perpetual motion machines or ‘cold fusion’, will not satisfy the credible use requirement or the requirement that the claimed invention achieves the promised benefit.

Any objection that the claimed invention is not useful should explain why the claimed invention has no specific, substantial and/or credible use and/or why it will not achieve the promised benefit.

Note: Examiners should also consider whether other grounds of objection apply, e.g. lack of clear enough and complete enough disclosure (see 2.11.3.11A Contravention of Laws of Nature – e.g. Perpetual Motion Machines).