An invention that is granted a patent must be industrially applicable (Article 29, Main Section, of the Japanese Patent Law). Industrial application is the ability for the invention to be used in general industry.
‘Industry’ is interpreted to have a wide meaning, and includes endeavors other than manufacturing, such as mining, agriculture, fishing, transportation and communications. Methods for performing surgery, treatments or diagnosis do not require the use of industry, and so are not patentable. Methods for performing surgery, treatments or diagnosis are normally performed by a physician as part of a medical act. (This includes a person that receives instruction from physicians, and applies below). Medical instruments and medicines themselves are articles, and are not included in methods for surgery, treatment or diagnosis. However, methods of human surgery using medical instruments (such as a scalpel and the like) and methods of treating humans using medicines are considered to be ‘methods of human surgery, treatment and diagnosis’. Methods of operating medical equipment are methods that include functions associated with the medical instruments themselves, and are not considered to be ‘methods of human surgery, treatment and diagnosis’.