Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr J Elbro
Decision date
19 January 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Inc
Provisions discussed
PA 1977, section 1(2)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application related to the modification of a process control system, allowing new function blocks controlling aspects of a process to be created by a user and integrated into the whole system. The hearing officer followed the four-step approach to the assessment of patentability under section 1(2) approved by the Court of Appeal in Aerotel/Macrossan [2006] EWCA Civ 1371 in determining whether the invention was excluded from patentability. He held that as the applicant had accepted that it was known for a programmer to rewrite function blocks appropriately from scratch, albeit requiring low-level programming skills, the contribution made by the invention was a system which made it easier to modify a control system. This system being a computer program to modify the programming of the control system, he held that the invention was excluded from patentability as it was a computer program as such.

Full decision O/026/07 PDF document37Kb