- BL number
- Concerning rights in
- GB 0428269.5
- Hearing Officer
- Mr R C Kennell
- Decision date
- 11 December 2006
- Person(s) or Company(s) involved
- John Lahiri Khan
- Provisions discussed
- PA 1977 sections 1(2) and 4(1)
- Excluded fields (refused), Industrial application
- Related Decisions
The application related to a system for effecting introductions, for the purpose of making friends or dating, by means of a device (especially a ring) which was distinctive in appearance so that it could be identifiable as being for the purpose of effecting introductions. Following the four-step approach to the assessment of patentability under section 1(2) approved by the Court of Appeal in Aerotel/Macrossan  EWCA Civ 1371, the hearing officer considered that the contribution made by the invention was the use of a device for effecting introductions in a way which need not be limited to predetermined encounters but also embraced random encounters.
He held this contribution to be excluded under section 1(2) as being in substance a method for doing business in the light of Aerotel/Macrossan because of the need for some underlying system, rules or protocol to ensure that the device would be identified as being for the intended purpose; but that if he was wrong on that the invention was nevertheless still excluded as the presentation of information (but not as a method for performing a mental act). It was not accordingly necessary to consider whether the contribution was of a technical nature. The hearing officer did not consider that supplementing the device with, eg, a set of cards to help determine compatibility would take the invention outside the excluded areas.
The hearing officer also held that a method of effecting introductions for the purpose of making friends was not capable of industrial application under section 4(1).
Full decision O/356/06 33Kb