Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr B Micklewright
Decision date
8 July 2021
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Arm Limited and Apical Ltd
Provisions discussed
Patents Act 1977 sections 1(1)(d), 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed), Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The invention relates to classifying objects in sequential sets of image frames representing a dynamic scene. The crux of the invention relates to selecting subsets of object definitions from categorization data in a first and second object classification cycle in dependence on control data from an external data source. This object definition data may be in a hierarchical form with coarse-level and fine-level definitions, e.g. the class “Animal” could have a subclass “2 legged” which could have a further subclass “Human”. The hearing officer decided that the invention related to a program for a computer as such but found that claims 3 and 4, which carried out these steps in response to data representing availability of a system resource of the image processing system, were allowable. He therefore provided an opportunity for the applicants to limit their claims to the features of claims 3 and 4.

Full decision O/519/21 PDF document121Kb