Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB 1715687.8
Hearing Officer
Mrs C L Davies
Decision date
9 October 2019
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Google LLC
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(1)(b) and 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (allowed), Inventive step
Related Decisions


The invention relates to identifying a user at a particular location. In the application the invention is described in an embodiment concerning a transaction between a customer (user) and a merchant. A merchant and a user register with a payment processing system, which establishes a facial template based on a user image. The user signs into a payment application via a user computing device, which receives an identifier from a merchant beacon device to transmit to the payment processing system. The payment processing system transmits facial templates to the merchant camera device for other users who are also signed in to the payment application in range of the merchant beacon device. The merchant camera device compares a captured facial image against the received facial templates to identify the user. A merchant POS device operator selects an account of the user. The merchant POS device transmits transaction details to the payment processing system, which processes the transaction with an issuer system. The payment processing system receives an approval of the transaction authorization request and transmits a receipt to the merchant POS device.

Taking the Windsurfing/Pozzoli approach, the Hearing Officer found that the invention claimed did involve an inventive step. On applying the Aerotel/Macrossan test, the Hearing Officer found that the invention claimed was not excluded as a computer program as such and a business method as such. The application was remitted to the examiner for further processing.

Full decision O/611/19 PDF document476Kb