Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB 9715667.3
Hearing Officer
Mr S Probert
Decision date
18 December 2001
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Bilgrey Samson Limited
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)(c), EPC Article 52
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The invention relates to an amusement apparatus of the type commonly known as a one-armed bandit. As filed, the claims were directed to a variation of this apparatus having two sets of reels instead of the usual one. The purpose of the invention is to attract players to "an otherwise dark or uninviting corner" of an amusement arcade. In addition to the extra illumination provided by the additional set of reels, the game charge and prize level is set to a level below that at which licence duty is payable.

The examiner had maintained an objection that the application related to a rule, scheme or method for doing business as such, and a hearing was held to determine the matter. No decided cases were discussed at the hearing, and the decision does not go into any detail regarding the complex case law that has built up around this subject. The decision deals solely with the facts of this particular case, and the applicants contention that the invention involves a technical effect. In the event, the hearing officer found that the invention related to a rule, scheme or method for doing business as such, and the application was refused.

Full decision O/577/01 PDF document21Kb