Industry is subject to broad interpretation in this context (T 74/93) and extends to any activity that is carried out continuously, independently and for financial gain (T 144/83) or that can be offered commercially by a company (T 1165/97). The case law refers to the concepts of "financial (commercial) gain" (T 144/83) and of "profitable use" (T 870/04) in relation to industrial applicability (T 898/05). The need to show a "profitable use" is not to be understood in the narrow sense of an actual or potential economic profit (i.e. generating more income than expenditure) or of a commercial interest (i.e. creating a new or increased business opportunity). Rather, it must be understood in the wider sense that the invention claimed must have such a sound and concrete technical basis that the skilled person can recognise that its contribution to the art could lead to practical exploitation in industry (T 898/05). This interpretation therefore does not extend for example to inventions that merely amount to a research finding (T 870/04; T 338/00) or that are applied for exclusively private and personal purposes.
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017