Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr B Buchanan
Decision date
24 September 2021
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Lookout, Inc.
Provisions discussed
Patents Act 1977 section 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


The claimed invention relates to a method and system for authorising user access to a network resource. This is achieved by implementing multi-factor authentication including sending an authorisation request to a second user to authorise the first user’s access request. The authorisation request is sent to a separate device, associated with the second user. The examiner considered the apparatus and authentication means to be conventional and objected to the invention consisting of a program for a computer and/or a method for doing business. The applicant argued, among other things, that the use of multiple physical devices to enable authorisation gave rise to a technical contribution.

The Hearing Officer followed the four step Aerotel/Macrossan test to determine whether there was a technical contribution and considered the AT&T (HTC/Apple) signposts. The identified contribution to the field of access-control was found to include elements ensuring the independence of the second user authorisation, by using a second authorising device associated with the second user and separate authentication of the second user. This was deemed to provide the required technical effect and the application was remitted to the examiner for final processing.

Full decision O/701/21 PDF document351Kb