Can any invention be patented?

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No. An invention in all fields of technology can be protected, but it must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. Novelty: it must show a new characteristic which is not known in the existing knowledge in its technical field - that is, not being part of the state of the art;
  2. Inventive step: the invention can not be deduced by a person with average knowledge of the technical field;
  3. Practical use:  it must be capable of industrial application.

Countries may also deny under their laws patent protection to determined subject matters or types of inventions such as mathematical methods, scientific theories, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods, or methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products).